Sustainability in Metals and Mining

The topic sits at the heart of the metals industry.

I had the pleasure of facilitating a session on responsible sourcing and sustainability in metals and mining during the World Economic Forum earlier this week. This topic sits right at the heart of our industry at present and this discussion was illustrative both of how far we’ve come collectively in aligning our values, but also of the next big challenges we face.

We welcomed Iván Arriagada, CEO of Antofagasta and Chairman of the International Copper Association; Faustine Delasalle, Head of Clean Energy Systems at SYSTEMIQ and Director of the Energy Transitions Commission; and Juan Yermo, Deputy Chief of Staff of the OECD onto our panel. Experts in their respective fields, our panelists provided valuable insights into this critical and complex topic.

We began the discussion focusing on what our industry has already achieved – including the work carried out by the OECD in forging a global consensus on how to protect human rights when mining in conflict and high-risk areas – before moving on to look at what we’re all doing now to progress this as we come to transform guidance into policy and policy into action.  While many in the supply chain are coming to grips with industry schemes and standards, the LME is also putting into action its own recently established responsible sourcing framework, supporting our listed brands in achieving compliance with a brand new set of requirements.

Looking to the future, we considered how we can begin to meaningfully tackle the issue of environmental sustainability as an industry. We discussed how we might write sustainability requirements into supply chain rules for energy-intensive industries, and how to provide carbon tracking tools for those consumers needing to adhere to their own ESG policies. We agreed that producers, consumers, policy-makers, industry bodies and NGOs must continue to work together before real change can be achieved.

I’d like to thank our panelists and audience for contributing to this important debate, which highlighted how far we have come but equally how far we still have to go to achieve – what I think we all agree needs to be – a large-scale transition of the metals and mining sector. 

To find out more about the LME’s responsible sourcing requirements for LME-listed brands visit our website