Welcome to the fifth edition of the LME’s Sustainability Spotlight newsletter.
Since May's newsletter, the LME has reached a number of important milestones in its sustainability strategy. LMEpassport has continued with its monthly sustainability disclosure uploads and we are delighted that there are now 199 individual data disclosures on the platform. Please note, however, that in advance of LME Week announcements, there will not be a September 2022 data publication. The next update will be during LME Week, which begins on 24 October 2022.
On the responsible sourcing front, the first compliance deadline on 30 June 2022 saw 96% of our physically delivered brands list (441 brands) complete the first stage of compliance for the LME’s requirements.
This edition also features guest writer Carleigh Whitman, Director of Environment at Teck Resources Limited. Her Market Insight article "Nature Positive" touches on the role that the metals industry can play in supporting a nature-positive future.
At the beginning of September 2022, the LME published a new application form for additional certifications, metrics and standards to be added onto LMEpassport. This provides a straightforward route through which producers, certification bodies and methodology owners can apply for their standard or certification to be added to LMEpassport. Once on LMEpassport, producers meeting the requirements of that certification or standard can then disclose against it. The form can be downloaded from the LMEpassport sustainability disclosures webpage.
Since the most recent enhancements to LMEpassport in May 2022, the number of producers using the sustainability side of the platform has increased from 26 to 31, between them sharing over 199 individual data disclosures.
The LME Sustainability Team has been making big progress and plan to announce some exciting developments during LME Week - you can register for the Sustainability Afternoon on 24 October to hear more.
Access the full range of sustainability disclosures and metrics uploaded to LMEpassport
Find out more about LMEpassport
If you would like to get involved or discuss LMEpassport in more depth, please email the Sustainability Team.
With the LME’s first responsible sourcing deadline passing on 30 June 2022, we are pleased to see the response of the brand producers across all metal categories. A total of 96% of LME brands have submitted information to the LME in order to comply with the first responsible sourcing deadline, an outstanding result for a new initiative that spans nine metals and 55 countries. Those that were not able to comply have been suspended or delisted, though implementation of the LME’s responsible sourcing policy is not complete – in fact, it is just beginning. For more key statistics and insight, please tune in to the responsible sourcing update on 24 October 2022 during the LME Sustainability Afternoon.
In August 2022, the LME welcomed the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative’s (ASI) Performance Standard v3 and the Chinese Due Diligence Guidelines for Mineral Supply Chain (Second Edition) as Track A standards following their conditional approval. The ASI Performance Standard defines environmental, social and governance principles and criteria, with the aim of addressing sustainability issues in the aluminium value chain. Chinese Guidelines are a guiding document to prevent and mitigate adverse impacts, and make positive contributions to social welfare, environmental protection and economic development developed by the China Chamber of Commerce of Metals, Minerals & Chemicals Importers and Exporters (CCCMC).
Furthermore, the LME also approved the Responsible Minerals Initiative’s (RMI) ESG Standard as an equivalent certification programme for the ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 requirements. ISO 14001 sets requirements for an environmental management system and ISO 45001 sets expectations for occupational health and safety management systems. Since all brand producers will need to obtain these certifications or equivalent by 31 December 2023, the LME is pleased to provide options for equivalence.
To date, the LME has received 91 applications from partners including auditing firms, individual auditors, Track A standards and ISO equivalent certification programmes. Needless to say, the LME cannot reach the global metal value chains alone and we are grateful to our partners for their efforts.
View the responsible sourcing approved partners page
Charity updates from Zambia and the DRC
The LME has partnered with two organisations - The Impact Facility and Pact - which are working to reduce children working in mining in ways that would harm their health or threaten their safety.
Both projects have made outstanding progress in 2022 after slower starts due to COVID in 2021. The Impact Facility has nearly completed building refurbishment on two primary schools and one women’s vocational school near Kolwezi in the DRC during the school holidays. Meanwhile near Kitwe in Zambia, Pact has established 12 community-led WORTH groups (WORTH is a micro-banking program that empowers women), provided school uniforms and recreation equipment, supported 80 youths in vocational training, and reinvigorated the government’s child protection committees. Read our blog pages to get more in-depth updates from The Impact Facility and from Pact.
General sustainability updates
In September 2022, the Financial Times published an article written by the LME's Chief Sustainability Officer Georgina Hallett "Please consume metals sustainability data responsibly". The piece touches on the importance of having clear, concise and crucially comparable ESG data, noting that the sector still has much work to do in order to reach this point. The hope is, that LMEpassport will help to facilitate this journey to achieving better quality data and encourage transparency within the industry.
September’s Market Insight
This issue’s Market Insight comes from Carleigh Whitman of Teck Resources Limited. Teck is one of Canada’s leading mining companies with operations and projects in Canada, the US, Chile and Peru. Teck is committed to running its business sustainably, safeguarding the health and safety of its employees, and forging solid bonds with the communities in which they operate. They place a heavy focus on responsibly mining the metals and materials which are essential for the modern world and the global transition to a low-carbon economy. Teck has copper, lead and zinc brands listed at the LME and they have been pivotal players in helping to support LMEpassport and the LME’s responsible sourcing requirements.
Carleigh is a subject matter expert in conservation and rehabilitation, leading Teck’s work to achieve nature positive environmental impacts. Prior to her role as a dedicated environmental practitioner, Carleigh was a private-practice lawyer specialising in the intersection between corporate and environmental law. This unique set of experience and expertise has placed Carleigh at the forefront of the business’s efforts to become a source of environmental enrichment.
Nature at a Tipping Point
In the snow and scarce daylight that characterizes the city of Montreal in winter, world leaders will converge this December to shine light on the serious global challenge of nature loss and set new targets to be achieved by 2030. Biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse are currently ranked as one of the top threats humanity will face (PDF) this decade, and there are growing calls for the world to become both net zero and nature positive. We all have a part to play in addressing nature loss, and the mining industry is uniquely poised to make a significant contribution.
Beyond Direct Impact
For a responsible mining and metals industry, biodiversity conservation involves two baseline performance expectations: avoiding certain sensitive areas, and addressing risks and impacts to biodiversity. At Teck, these expectations have informed our practices for over a decade. But now, rapid decline in ecosystems’ health and interconnected climate change risks and impacts compel us to broaden our vision and shorten our timeframes for action.
During the COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference in 2021, a relatively new concept took center stage in discussions around nature and biodiversity conservation. The G7 endorsed a global approach to a “nature positive economy,” calling for a commitment to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030, from a 2020 baseline. In practice, this means that all sectors will need to work together to achieve a nature positive world. In response, thousands of businesses, including Teck, are making commitments and taking action to reverse the loss of nature.
Supporting a Nature Positive Future
In June 2022, Teck became the first mining company to set a goal to become nature positive, in line with this global call to action. For us, this means that by 2030, our conservation, protection and restoration of land and biodiversity will exceed the disturbance caused by our mining activities from a 2020 baseline. In doing so, we will conserve or rehabilitate at least three hectares for every one hectare affected by our mining activities. We are committed to working with local partners, communities and Indigenous Peoples to conserve and restore ecologically and culturally significant lands, and are taking action immediately in three focus areas:
- Nature positive decision making guided by Western science and Indigenous knowledge, including assessing the biodiversity impacts of our actions and avoiding or minimizing negative impacts where possible as part of our business and site planning
- Rehabilitation excellence to accelerate our pace of rehabilitation to ensure it is in progress for all eligible land impacted by mining at our operations by 2030
- Conservation, protection and restoration through partnerships such as those conserving 14,000 hectares that we have announced so far in 2022, equivalent to over 40% of Teck’s current mining footprint
The mining and metals sector provides resources essential to make life better, coupled with direct, intimate, and long-term connections to land, water, and people in every corner of the globe. These responsibilities and relationships bring with them the opportunity and obligation to demonstrate leadership in working to halt and reverse biodiversity loss.
As the days shorten and speed towards the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP 15 conference in Montreal, Teck is supporting a nature positive future by both doing our part and demonstrating how businesses can approach these public-private conversations on nature positive from a leadership position.
As our world faces the mounting challenge of nature loss, there has never been a more urgent time for all of us to take action. Every sector has a role we can play in halting and reversing nature loss, and making a better world for today and tomorrow.
Sustainability at the LME Metals Seminar
We are thrilled to announce that there will be a special sustainability afternoon at the LME Metals Seminar (14.00-16.30 GMT on 24 October 2022), where members of the LME Sustainability Team alongside industry experts will present updates on the LME’s work and discuss highlights and challenges in the metals industry's transition to sustainability. Registration for this session is now open and it is free to attend. We will also be hosting a panel earlier that day (12.45-13.30 GMT on 24 October 2022) which will look at the two ends of the supply chain – producers to consumers – to understanding differences and similarities in ESG perspectives and investigate compatibility of expectations and address key areas of debate such as making sense of ESG data and prioritisation.
View the agenda for LME Metals Seminar
Responsible Sourcing Auditing Summit
The LME and OECD are co-hosting an Auditing Summit in Paris from 2-3 February 2023. The purpose of the summit is to brainstorm solutions to the common auditing challenges our organisations face across the standards that are aligned to or working towards alignment to the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas. This summit intends to bring the standards and auditors together to articulate the challenges and workshop solutions. Beyond standard owners and auditors, the invitation is also being extended to organisations which have auditor experience and relevant metal associations.
To indicate your interest, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
In a nutshell – what’s coming up at the LME and how can I get involved?
Upcoming events and educational resources:
- 6 October 2022 – Assent Compliance webinar – responsible sourcing
- 20 October 2022 – Responsible Minerals Initiative Annual Conference
- 24-28 October – LME Week
- 24 October 2022 – LME Sustainability Afternoon
- 2-3 February 2023 – Auditing Summit in Paris (co-hosted by LME and OECD)
View the agenda for LME Metals Seminar
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