Mining firms’ climate-sensitive initiatives

Background paper for Building resilience: a green growth framework for mobilizing mining investment
Mining Climate change mitigation Climate change adaptation Economic growth

This report identifies existing climate-sensitive practices of mining firms that generate or have the potential to contribute to local value creation. It also suggests a future-state model in which companies and host countries would ideally leverage climate-sensitive mining practices for scalable and sustainable in-country value creation, which in turn could lead to the establishment of new green economic value chains, facilitating a diversification away from a potential over reliance on the natural resource sector.

The first part of this report—the Current-State Assessment—looks into what mining companies are doing to adapt to climate risk and mitigate their climate impacts, and showcases five publicly traded mining firms, and the extent to which their climate strategy may generate in-country value. The reason for approaching these sustainability efforts at the firm-level, as opposed to providing a catalogue of initiatives by various mining firms, is to capture at a strategic level how publicly traded mining firms with a profit motive are able to achieve positive climate outcomes while maintaining—or even increasing— their net income. Firms that have yet to take steps in this direction, might find these examples useful for setting a roadmap toward climate-smart operations that benefit not only the global climate and their host jurisdictions, but their shareholders as well.

The second part of the report—Mining Firms’ Insights and Proposed Future State—summarizes the feedback provided by sustainability officers at some of the world’s largest mining firms who were consulted during the preparation of this report. Their feedback provides insights into how the industry really views local value creation, and to what extent it has used climate-sensitive efforts as a lever to generate such value. The report concludes with a proposed future state model that might help focus mining firms’ investment toward climate-sensitive production and procurement processes that also drive in-country value creation.

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Building resilience: a green growth framework for mobilizing mining investment

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Washington, DC