Social responsibility must be integrated into corporate DNA, said top mining CEOs at the first ever CSR panel to be held during the main program at the Mining Indaba, yesterday.
Three leading CEOs joined the Head of Conservation International in a collaborative effort to put sustainability on the corporate agenda.
Mark Cutifani (AngloGold Ashanti), Andre Wilkens (African Rainbow Minerals) and Nick Holland (Gold Fields) - all representing ICMM member companies - addressed an audience of over 300 delegates in a session moderated by Peter Seligmann, Founder and CEO of Conservation International.
The CEOs talked about the inherent value of sustainability and their efforts to tackle related challenges, including community development and climate change.
'If we don't create value for the communities in which we work, we are not creating a sustainable future for our business,' said Mark Cutifani. 'Sustainability is about being able to build and operate mines that can protect the environment and the community and generate robust returns.'
Andre Wilkens echoed these sentiments: 'We believe that successfully addressing the social and environmental challenges of sustainability is essential to achieving our longer term strategic growth objectives. It is only by operating in an informed, responsive and socially responsible manner that we can meet the underlying requirements for our continued business growth.'
He welcomed the collaborative efforts of ICMM member companies in stimulating change through accountability. Nick Holland also highlighted the value of the organization's reporting and assurance work in raising transparency standards for the industry as a whole.
Peter Seligmann said: 'It is in the enlightened self interest of mining companies to embrace the issues of conservation and sustainability in this era of transparency, and I am pleased that ICMM and its member companies are taking this so seriously and building environmental considerations into their business practices.'
The organizers of Mining Indaba also voiced their support. Jonathan Moore, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Mining Indaba, said: 'Corporate social responsibility has become an integral part of the Mining Indaba program. The bringing of industry leaders from some of the largest mining companies to participate in the CEO panel reaffirms Mining Indaba's commitment to CSR issues. We were pleased to work with ICMM to make this possible.'
The panel was the first of two sessions convened by ICMM at the 2011 Mining Indaba and highlights the growing integration of sustainability with mainstream industry practices. It will be followed by a morning of multi-stakeholder discussions on Thursday, 10 February, where 200 participants from civil society, government and industry are expected.
The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) was established in 2001 to act as a catalyst for performance improvement in the mining and metals industry. Today, the organization brings together 18 mining and metals companies as well as 30 national and regional mining associations and global commodity associations to address the core sustainable development challenges faced by the industry.
ICMM serves as a change agent - not in areas affecting competitive positioning, but related to our members' social and environmental responsibilities where collaboration makes sense. Our vision is one of leading companies working together and with others to strengthen the contribution of mining, minerals and metals to sustainable development. www.icmm.com