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AusIMM announces ESG/Social Responsibility Forum to be held April 2021

Dominic Stevenson
· 650 words, 4 minute read

AusIMM is planning an Environmental, Social, Governance and Social Responsibility (ESG/SR) Forum for early 2021 as a follow up to the successful Social Licence Forum held in 2019.

At the 2021 Forum, representative delegates from AusIMM Communities of Interest (COIs) will discuss and make recommendation on how AusIMM can further advance its SR and Trusted Voice agendas.


AusIMM supports and promotes the professional integrity and development of its members and the resources sector. In this context, and with escalating attention to the issue of our industry’s social acceptance (often referred to as ‘Social Licence to Operate’ – SLTO), AusIMM plays a critical role as Trusted Voice for the sector. AusIMM leads the way as the voice of resources professionals, representing our members to advocate for professional standards and advance policy and practice for the benefit of the community.

As a professional community with expertise and experience across all parts of the sector, it is incumbent on AusIMM to show leadership for professionals and the sector on the matters most critical in delivering sustained value through resources. This leadership is the crux of our function as Trusted Voice.

To add substance to this claim, in 2020 AusIMM released its Social Responsibility Framework and Social Responsibility Statement, setting out explicit SR expectations for our 13,000 global members.

Social responsibility for AusIMM members is exercised at three levels, as set out in the Social Responsibility Statement: competence, understanding and awareness. At the highest level, persons accountable for Social Performance (SP) may now demonstrate their competence by obtaining AusIMM Chartered Professional accreditation. The awareness and understanding levels indicate that AusIMM members in all disciplines should behave and engage in their everyday work conscious of the social consequences.

The Forum – what to expect

The 2019 Forum was instigated by the AusIMM Consultants Society and Social and Environmental Society Committees to escalate attention to SLTO and respond to the challenge. Notably, EY simultaneously ranked ‘Licence to Operate’ as the number one business risk for mining and metals for each of the last three years – and it still is!

Recommendations from the 2019 Forum led to AusIMM developing and its Social Responsibility Framework, comprising AusIMM’s Royal CharterCode of EthicsSocial Responsibility Statement and defined Area of Practice descriptors for Environmental and SP Chartered Professionals.

The next Forum will be convened in April 2021 in conjunction with the AusIMM Life of Mine Conference, probably as a hybrid event involving online and face-to-face presence. As with the 2019 Forum, delegates will be required to properly inform themselves for the deliberations through pre-reading. The program will involve expert plenary presentations and panel discussions; however, most of the time will focus on facilitated break-out discussion groups with reporting back to the plenary.

Discussion and debate on what the three levels of SR will mean in practice for AusIMM members is a primary objective for the 2021 Forum. The second objective is to determine how SR and SP might be incorporated into the Modifying Factors of the JORC Code and other ESG-related project finance requirements.

Designated reporters will record the discussions into a report with recommendations on AusIMM policy development and action. Following delegate review of a draft, the final report will proceed to the AusIMM Policy and Advocacy Committee (PAC) and then the AusIMM Board. It is anticipated that the report will include recommendations for enhancing AusIMM members’ SR capability, socially conscious workplace performance and SP competency in JORC and equivalent code compliance.

The Forum organising committee will be seeking diversity in terms of regional location, age, primary discipline and gender and will select delegates on this basis, so if you are interested watch out for the registration announcement and get in early! In the meantime, you can prepare yourself by reading up on the Social Responsibility Framework and JORC Modifying Factors and thinking about common sense ways of integrating these into how you practice your profession on a daily basis.

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