ESG for mining industry: How to achieve low-carbon growth in a mineral-hungry world

The global shift towards cleaner energy and innovative technologies is driving up the demand for critical minerals such as nickel, chrome, lithium, gold, platinum and copper. However, mining organisations must also consider the impact of their operations on the environment and society, as these factors are crucial to maintaining their social license to operate.

The shift towards responsible mining is not only a strategic imperative but also an ethical obligation towards the planet and its inhabitants.

In addition, contractors in the mining sector are facing heightened expectations from their clients to ensure operational competitiveness while delivering sustainable value. Embracing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles is no longer just a choice but a necessity for the mining industry. As the demand for critical minerals soars in a rapidly evolving world, companies must prioritize sustainable practices to secure their future. By integrating ESG criteria into their operations, mining organizations can not only meet regulatory requirements but also enhance their reputation and long-term viability.

Join Karien Erasmus, an associate director in RSM’s ESG and Climate Services, as she discusses the complex issues the mining sector faces. Explore how mining companies can balance the need for increased mineral production with the imperative of taking meaningful climate action.

Driving Change: ESG for Mining Industry Transformation

In this video, RSM Associate Director Karien Erasmus of ESG and Climate Services discusses how the mining sector can balance increasing demand for production with climate action. Don't miss this opportunity to learn from an expert in the field of climate change and sustainability. Watch the video now!


I'm Karien Erasmus. I'm an associate director in RSM’s ESG and Climate Services. I've been working in the climate change and sustainability space basically all my career, really focusing on climate change for the last ten years.

Mining is an interesting sector in the sense that we cannot uncouple mining from this transformation. Minerals such as nickel, chrome, lithium, gold, platinum and copper. These play an enormous role in the energy transition and in the development of new technologies.

However, having said that, the need for increased production doesn't preclude operational best practice and continuing to drive operational efficiencies. From a technology perspective in terms of efficiencies, should be built in and should be part of how we try and meet this increased demand.

Very often we look at climate change separate from job creation, from societal development, from your social license to operate. Climate change cannot be separated from these issues.esg services for mining

So mining particularly in developing economies where job creation, where infrastructure, health care, where those are such major issues, climate change is integrated into how those different elements play out within developing economies. Let's take physical climate impacts as an example. Floods, droughts. These elements can create conditions for increased vector borne diseases, which immediately places significant pressure on already pressurised health care systems. In many of these countries, mining companies provide immense support from a health care perspective, again illustrating that climate and climate impacts cannot be uncoupled from your social license to operate.

Contractors are increasingly asked as part of supply chain and procurement commitments to provide targets, emission targets, water related targets. This is because there's a sudden and a continued focus on supply chains.esg mining help

Major companies, large corporations, are breaking down their own commitments and looking at what's happening across the space of their service providers. In this regard, it's very important to understand what your impact is, understand what the issues are, where you could contribute meaningfully and set targets which are appropriate to your organisation, which are appropriate to the service that you provide to your clients.

Communicate that transparently and in doing so, you'd be able to meet the procurement requirements, but also contribute to your client's climate or sustainability commitments.