Sustainability Archives

Ernesto Sirolli: Want to help someone?

Sustainability |  27 March 2024

An entertaining talk with a serious message about the unintended consequences of good intentions underpinned by preconceived ideas...

Dan Ariely: How equal do we want the world to be?

Sustainability |  27 March 2024

Sharing the benefits that mining can generate as fairly and locally as possible is one of the keys to building good relationships with local communities. The big question is: What does 'fair' look like? You may be surprised.

Linking company actions to the SDGs

Sustainability |  31 October 2023

Since I made the decision eight years ago to work with junior and mid-tier explorers and operators I have been making the case that they can contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (the SDGs) and just as importantly, be recognised for what they do. As is my way, I started by for ideas to borrow and tweak. The ICMM references the SDGs in their good practice principles. Another good source was a think-tank report mapping mining to the development goals . More recently IPECA has published a guide for the oil and gas industry and the US FAO has incorporated SDG considerations into their sustainable forest management toolbox.  All have been useful in one way or another, but they definitely reflect the capabilities and strategies of the big-end of town and overlook (or at least underplay) the shorter life-cycles, smaller physical, environmental, social and economic footprints, leaner management teams and lesser lobbying strength that are typical of mid-tiers and juniors.

STE(A)M powered education

Sustainability |  15 October 2023

Supporting education can be done in many ways. However, education presents a conundrum – the community wants and needs with a passion, but companies do not have in-house capability, interventions have little immediate development impact (particularly when compared with the other areas of water and food security, health, and income generation) and the requirement to work with government education agencies adds a level of complexity.

Water Security - difficult to do well

Sustainability |  15 October 2023

I can’t think of one site I’ve worked on or visited that doesn’t provide some level of support to improving the availability of clean water and better sanitation. It is easy to cut the cloth to fit the available resources, although it must be said this is an area where it is easy to under-estimate the amount of effort to create long lasting behaviour change which goes far beyond simply providing a borehole or building a toilet and hoping for the best, which unfortunately is an approach taken by many companies, big and small...

Permaculture powered community development

Sustainability |  21 September 2023

I don’t know about you, but when permaculture was suggested to me a technique for community development I had some doubts but having seen Edge5 Permaculture in action I am  now a convert. The Edge5 way uses an integrated approach to design, combining the ecological processes of land, plants, animals and climate into highly productive systems resulting in stronger and healthier communities. The approach is practical and hands-on, encourages peer-to-peer learning, starts at the backdoor with intensive kitchen gardens before building to larger scale strategies for water-harvesting, sustainable farming (crops, trees and animals) and agro-forestry...