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ESG skills for busy mining professionals

Metal Tech News - May 29, 2024

The Responsible Mining Academy provides online solutions to the ESG competency gap delivered for and by industry experts.

The global mining space has been tasked with rapidly evolving to meet the collective demands of ambitious carbon-zero pledges by governments and industry leaders around the world, alongside the sustainability expectations of investors, customers, and an increasingly savvy public.

By understanding a mining concern's influence on sustainability-related issues of climate change, biodiversity, and the broad spectrum of social responsibility, the needs of both shareholders and stakeholders can be successfully navigated by company leadership.

To address this rapidly changing landscape, the Responsible Mining Academy (RMA) has arrived on the scene with online educational offerings of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria proposed to "cut through the noise" and educate mining industry directors, executives and specialists with current, industry-focused training on a self-paced, flexible schedule for the working professional.

"There are new standards, new guidance, new research, new findings, new expectations emerging all the time. And what we're hearing a lot from the companies that we work with is that it's nearly impossible to keep up with the onslaught of information," said Rachel Dekker, RMA co-founder and instructor. "Increasingly, companies are trying to meet obligations, performance expectations, disclosure expectations."

Heavy industry, technology, transportation, and the global energy transition have all intersected to place mining at a pivotal juncture. A wide selection of newly vital minerals is needed, alongside increased production of more traditional mined materials like copper. Meanwhile, stakeholders across these value chains are deeply concerned with how, as well as how much resource extraction is possible.

Where to begin

Information and standards are changing rapidly, along with the skills essential to navigate today's sustainability landscape and business concerns that directly impact a company's performance, risk management, and access to capital.

"Many mining professionals are feeling ill-equipped to meet their sustainability and ESG responsibilities. They don't know where to focus, they don't know where to find quality support," said Elizabeth Freele, RMA co-founder and instructor. "We're practitioners first, we have lived and breathed ESG across the mining lifecycle. We work with mining companies from the field to the boardroom to help them navigate this rapidly changing landscape of ESG."

The instructors – industry professionals themselves – offer curated learning options briefly covering specific topics as well as in-depth offerings tailored specifically for busy industry professionals and executives for immediate and effective impact on the conduct of their business.

ESG in a nutshell

Environmental factors include resource usage, waste handling, and efforts to combat climate change and reduce carbon emissions. By incorporating sustainable approaches, companies can mitigate their ecological impacts.

Social responsibility is defined as impact on employees, communities, and stakeholders in a company's administration of fair labor practices, employee well-being, human rights issues, and strong community engagement through meaningful relationships and contributions.

Strong governance is demonstrated through visible corporate leadership, companies that conduct themselves with honesty and transparency, demonstrating proficiency in risk management, conscientiousness of stakeholder welfare, and proactive decision-making.

Learning from practitioners

RMA's on-demand, self-paced courses are designed to address real challenges faced by mining companies of all sizes across the entire minerals production life cycle and value chain. They are taught by industry leaders with extensive hands-on experience, building an actionable knowledge base on evolving trends, research, and data, both current and practical.

Courses cover on-demand essentials and deeper-dive spotlight courses geared to close the competency gap and build skills needed to advance careers in responsible mining and lead from the front with integrity.

Responsible Mining Academy

RMA instructors have been featured in over a dozen articles and conferences.

The academy emphasizes that its educator pool comes straight from the field and board room, having scaled up from in-person workshops to a universally accessible online platform.

"The more we were asked to come and do tailored senior leadership, board, or general management workshops, the more we realized that the demand was too great to ignore," said Freele.

All RMA courses provide a formal certificate of completion and digital credentials, which are accepted as professional development and continuing education credits. The academy is working towards accreditation, and is actively open to collaborating with specific industry associations and certification programs in order to help students achieve the necessary professional development requirements.

The current and growing selection of courses is powered by Sympact Advisory, a mining-focused sustainability and ESG think tank.


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