For an industry accustomed to volatility, the mining and metals sector has faced many challenges and uncertainties over the past couple of years. Global markets remain weak following the global financial crisis, commodity prices have fallen, and shareholders are pushing for leaner operations and greater returns on investment.
At the same time, the stakeholder landscape for mining and metals companies is becoming increasingly diverse, with growing expectations for companies to operate in a responsible and sustainable manner. But what defines “sustainability”? How can the mining and metals sector shape the agenda on this issue rather than react to it? Taking bold actions will enable the sector to differentiate itself from other industries, find new opportunities for growth and initiate a new platform for engagement with stakeholders.
Against this backdrop, the World Economic Forum introduces this scoping paper to launch the first phase of a new initiative: Mining and Metals in a Sustainable World 2050. The paper describes the potential role and contribution of the mining and metals sector, and outlines the key drivers and trends that will shape its value chain in a sustainable world. The initiative aims to create guidance, processes and frameworks to support the industry’s transition to that world.
The development of this paper involved extensive outreach and dialogue with members of the private sector, academic community, civil society and multilateral organizations from around the world. The Forum is extremely grateful to the many stakeholders for their input and support, and looks forward to continuing the dialogue with them as this work develops.
In particular, the Forum would like to thank:
- The Sustainable World 2050 Advisory Group: Britt Banks, Stephen D’Esposito, Elaine Dorward-King, Jan Klawitter, Tara Polzer, Lisa Sachs, Marcio Senne de Moraes and Sonia Thimmiah.
- Industry Partners from the Mining & Metals Industry, and in particular the chief executive officers who served on the Forum’s Mining & Metals Steering Board in 2013: Kumar M. Birla, Nicholas A. Curtis, Gary J. Goldberg, Ivan Glasenberg, Roland Junck, Klaus Kleinfeld (Chair), Donald Lindsay and Mark Cutifani.
- Members of the Global Agenda Council on Responsible Mineral Resources Management: Anthony Andrews, Britt Banks, Edwin Basson, Beatriz Boza, David Clarke, Stephen D’Esposito, Obiageli Katryn Ezekwesili, R. Anthony Hodge (Chair), Jiao Jian, Janet Kong, Huguette Labelle, Anna Littleboy, Bruce McKenney, Henry Medina, Ligia Noronha, Antonio A.M. Pedro, Michael H. Solomon and Puntsag Tsagaan.
The Forum also extends thanks to Accenture, which served as project Knowledge Partner for this paper, and in particular to Olivia Reynolds, who worked as Project Manager in 2013.
World Economic Forum Mining & Metals team