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energy|financial|indaba|mining|projects|environmental|operations

Global Reporting Initiative formally launches new biodiversity, mining standards

8th February 2024

By: Rebecca Campbell

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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More than 50% of global gross domestic product was moderately or highly dependent on biodiversity, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) vice chairperson Bola Adeeko highlighted in Cape Town on Thursday. Adeeko, who is also the special projects director for Flour Mills of Nigeria, was speaking at the launch of two new GRI standards, for biodiversity and mining.

The Mining Standard was GRI 14: Mining Sector 2024. This addressed the sustainability impacts of the mining industry, in a holistic manner. The biodiversity standard was GRI 101: Biodiversity 2024. This enabled companies to report on their biodiversity impacts, throughout all their operations and across their value chain.

“Today [Thursday] marks a huge milestone,” he asserted. The new standards sought to drive transparency and ensure consistent reporting of the impact of companies, environmentally and socially.

He highlighted that the reporting of sustainability information by companies was being brought to the same level as the reporting of their financial information. In various jurisdictions this was being made mandatory, through legislation.

The public perception of corporate responsibility had also changed, he pointed out. “Customers and citizens want more transparency.” They wanted more knowledge of corporate behaviour regarding workers, biodiversity, and climate change.

Mining found itself at a nexus. It contributed to biodiversity loss. But, through its role in enabling the transition to clean energy, it would play a key role in countering climate change and so also in protecting biodiversity. Nevertheless, the sector had to minimize its environmental impact, which was why transparency had become crucial for the industry.

Aggregating and publishing data at the company/group level was no longer good enough, warned Adeeko. People now wanted to know the environmental impact of individual projects and operations. They also wanted to know the impact created through the whole value chain. Consequently, both new standards created the requirement for reporting from individual operations.

The biodiversity standard was one of the most comprehensive tools yet developed to determine the impact of companies on biodiversity. It also covered their impact on local communities and indigenous peoples. The creation of both standards involved the GRI engaging with a large, globe-spanning network of experts. The two standards expressed global views, and were based on strong and well-accepted principles, he assured.   

“I urge all companies to embrace the standards,” he concluded.

The GRI hosted an event on the sidelines of the Investing in African Mining Indaba.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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