The next generation of mining leaders will arrive with a “tsunami” of environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns, says Claudia Mueller, associate director of the Global Mining Management program at the Schulich School of Business.
Mueller joined a panel of experts in October to discuss ESG issues at The Northern Miner’s third annual Progressive Mine Forum in Toronto. In recent years, she has seen a “tremendous increase” in questions about ESG from the youth who will run tomorrow’s mining companies.
ESG criteria is a set of operating standards used by socially conscious investors to screen potential investments concerning stewardship of the natural environment, stakeholder management (including local communities, employees and suppliers) and corporate governance (compensation, internal controls, shareholder rights, etc.).
“We have seen a paradigm shift in ESG interest over the last two or three years,” says Sam Pazuki, OceanaGold’s (TSX: OGC) vice-president of investor relations. “Based on our estimates there are about $25 trillion of investments under management, globally, with investors who consider themselves to be socially responsible investors.”
Pazuki says the trend will only intensify in a hyper-connected world, with growing concern about climate change and sustainable development. Large investors will increasingly set minimum ESG thresholds for investment.
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