Abridged sustainability review

 

The following section covers key highlights of the Group’s sustainable development
review for the year.

Introduction

To create and sustain business value we need to be able to:

     Build positive relationships with our key stakeholders  
     Understand and mitigate our business risks  
     Understand our material sustainability business drivers  
     Create opportunities where possible in each one of these spheres  

Engaging with stakeholders

Implats has a range of stakeholders who either have a direct interest in the organisation or are affected by its activities. Various structures are in place to facilitate dialogue with both internal and external stakeholders.

During the year under review a process was put in place to identify and to prioritise those stakeholders that are significantly impacted by our business activities and those who also have influence over the long-term viability of the Group. This process was undertaken by the Sustainable Development department with final approval and endorsement of the findings by the Executive Committee (EXCOM).

While the Group recognises that all stakeholders are important, the outcome of the review process identified key strategic relationships with the following stakeholders:

The material issues raised by these and other stakeholders during the year under review are available in the Sustainable Development Report.

Approach and accountability for Sustainable Development

The Group has established operational committees, forums and structures that report to the EXCOM, and to the Board directly or through various Board sub-committees. These committees are tasked with implementing strategic imperatives, identifying material issues relevant to that discipline, mitigating such risks, and where relevant bringing these to the attention of the EXCOM and ultimately to the Board.

Sustainability objectives form part of the key performance indicators of management and the executives. The Sustainable Development Forum is responsible for ensuring the implementation of strategies relating to sustainability, overseeing the overall performance of the Group’s non-financial indicators and lending support to the Board’s Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) Committee, Transformation Forum and the Audit and Risk Committee through the EXCOM. The Sustainable Development Forum consists of Group executives from each discipline who provide input and review performance on a quarterly basis.

Details of the Board sub-committees are discussed under the Governance section in this report.

Accountability
 

Our sustainability footprint

South Africa produces approximately 75% of the world’s platinum, with Implats being the second largest producer in the world. The Group thus has the potential to have a significant impact on global PGM markets, which underlines the importance of ensuring the business is sustainable over the long term.

Mining is a highly complex and technical process that involves the extraction and processing of non-renewable natural resources which can impact on the environment in a number of ways. By its very nature mining presents significant and often complex sustainability challenges, which are fundamental to the long-term success of the business.

The Group’s impact and risk assessments span the entire mining value chain, from exploration to the final sale of product, taking into account all environmental, health, safety, social and financial impacts. While Implats does not control the products it produces throughout their lifecycle, it continuously ensures the safe delivery and recycling of some material from spent catalysts and other redundant industrial products.

Our impact relates to:
  • Environmental issues – The protection of ecosystems and managing the impact on surrounding communities through proactive water, air, noise, land and waste management
  • Social issues – That arise as a consequence of the Group’s operating activities and the sourcing of labour both locally and from various provinces and countries. Despite the measures that are put in place to preserve human life, the risk of mining can negatively affect our employees, their families and the communities from which they come, through the loss or injury of a family member or bread winner
  • Economically – Through the loss of income through mining activities on land that would otherwise be available for subsistence farming or other sources of alternate income.
The positive contributions made by the mining industry include:
  • Employment and job creation
  • The contribution of mining to the economic development of host communities and areas from which labour is drawn
  • Social upliftment programmes and infrastructure development in the form of schools, clinics, and roads
  • Working with government to ensure delivery to communities
  • The use of our metals in technological advancements and emission control
  • Establishment of family housing and access to finance to secure homes
  • Contribution to the fiscus through the payment of taxes.

Our approach to managing these sustainability issues begins with the business strategic risk analysis.