Mining companies with strong Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) performance are in a position to reap the benefits of the competitive advantages ESG can deliver, including commanding higher prices for materials.
Our roundtable of leading industry thinkers examines some of the key trends and initiatives that are pulling industrial minerals mining towards a more sustainable future, the drivers behind them, and how companies can harness the power of technology and data to propel them down the path towards high performance in ESG, more sustainable operations, and a certain future.
1 hr 5 min
<v ->With a particular focus</v>
on the Industrial Minerals Sector
Clearly the adoption of ESG policies is increasingly
important to the global investment community stakeholders
So, but to what extent are ESG policies
actually being implemented?
Where are they today in practice
and how does this affect different parts of mining?
Particularly as I said, industrial minerals,
are there different parts of ESG that are more
or less important?
So today we’re going to sort of focus around four themes.
The first is what is the reality of ESG in industrial
How serious is it?
And number two,
why did companies who score highly on ESG
seemed to outperform the market?
Thirdly would explore right,
and high technology and data can contribute to ESG.
And finally, we’ll have a little look at standards.
So very grateful to be joined today by this August panel.
I’ll just do a quick round table introduction.
So first of all, or welcome to Craig Guthrie,
who is the editor of mining magazine
with the focus on Europe, middle east and Africa,
Craig, good morning and welcome.
<v ->We’re in Colin,</v>
<v ->Let Carrol who has worked for a long time in this area,</v>
focus on as managing director and applied intelligence
mining lead at Accenture with over 20 years ago.
So, Liv good morning and welcome.
Dr. Colin Church, team we’re going to put the doctor in front
of Colin otherwise we’ll get confused with this Colin.
So Colin I believe you’ve done a lot of work
for government and policies
worked for the C R I W M professional body for resources
and waste management.
Currently, you’re the CEO of industrial
sorry the Institute of minerals,
materials and mining
that was in the wrong order, excuse me,
who is a group geology and mining director
for Lhoist based in Belgium.
who’s got a background in engineering construction
is currently group sustainability vice president
at Emeris in Paris.
And then from secret, we’re joined by James Edwards.
Who’s a geologist with plenty of field experience
and is now moved to the dark side here in sequence
few years ago, with a particular focus on the industrial
minerals sector around Europe,
middle Eastern Africa.
And finally Dr. Thomas Krome,
who is in Denmark despite the accent
and Thomas looks after our environmental segment
slash vertical from a global perspective.
So, it’s open to you all.
Tiny bit of housekeeping,
this session is being recorded.
So just be aware of that,
the mute unmute button, so please, obviously,
as you will respect people who are speaking
and if there’s any background noise dogs, cats,
doorbells, please, please go on mute.
But of course, remember when you’re speaking to unmute
and behind the curtain, we have Jess and Claire
keeping everything going.
So any glitches whatsoever, just put your hand up
and I’m sure they will dive in and sort of that.
So if we’re all sat comfortably coffee in hand,
we will begin.
So first question for the panel today,
ESG has been on the agenda for a long time.
Why are we still talking about it today
and what has caused the heightened focus?
and Colin, if I could go to you first
for your perspective.
<v ->Sure, I guess there,</v>
are a bunch of different things that have come together,
from my perspective as to why we’re still talking
about it, perhaps more at the moment than, other times.
First of all, I think it’s been highlighted
by some of the unfortunate errors
that have triggered interest in this.
I mean, everyday dam failure would be an absolute classic
but there have been a number of other things
in the recent past, either environmental or for example,
some incidents in Australia around sacred sites.
And I think that’s really raised the profile
beyond the mining industry of the importance,
of worrying about these things.
And I think that’s one element of it.
I think a second element is people are just about starting
to recognize beyond again, the mining industry,
how absolutely fundamental mining and extractive industries
are not only to the current society,
but also the society that we’re all aiming towards
a low carbon and reasonable source efficiency, oddly
the amounts of minerals and metals,
we’re going to have to extract in order to deliver
the technology that’s going to deliver us
that low carbon and resource efficient society
is massive and people don’t want it to be done in a bad way.
You know, if you are VM and Liv
if you were a member of extinction rebellion, for example,
and you think that we really need to make these move,
you don’t want to do it at the cost of child labor
in one country or serious environments damaged
So I think some incidents and in that general concern,
growing concern and awareness of the importance
of the role of mining and how it links
into the, the future gender.
Those were the two that I would highlight.
<v ->Thank you very much indeed for that goal.</v>
And so if I could follow that one up then,
so with those two points, really in mind,
the you know, sort of clearly there’s been accidents
and things that have highlighted it
and the importance of mining to the future,
if I could go right into sort of Rainer or Leah
from your perspective,
how does that play out into your particular area?
And what I’m interested in is,
has that led to a renewed focus
and has that led to resourcing implications around roles,
for example Claire perhaps?
<v ->Sure, no.</v>
I definitely think that,
those two points highlighted,
have contributed to
a shift in the way and the importance
in the perception of ESG within our company.
I think there’s maybe a third element I would add
is just generally growing expectation from customers
and local authorities.
That mean that we also need to continue to improve
And I think that
companies have really realized,
and again, as you already mentioned, you know,
there’s a long history of understanding
that our operations need to be managed in a certain way,
but companies have realized that there’s,
an important differentiation factor in terms of risk
management and in terms of also commercial management
so that they need to have the ESG elements fully embedded
into their processes.
And if you want to fully embed all of these ESG considerations
into your processes yeah,
that does mean a shift in, in the way you’re,
you’re staffing them.
If it’s not a nice to have,
and it’s more of a must have,
then you need to have the teams with the competencies
to manage it.
And that means sometimes competencies or partnerships
on subject where maybe we were not sufficiently staffed
in the past.
I think for example, management of biodiversity,
it’s a different set of skills and expertise
and scientific knowledge that we wouldn’t necessarily,
you know, 20 years ago had on staff.
So that impacts your environmental teams
being able to perform life cycle assessments.
That’s a different competency that again,
we may not have had in the past,
but we need to equip ourselves to have.
So as each one of these ESG themes is put forward
more into the agenda,
it definitely affect how we integrated into our processes
and how we staff our central and or our business functions
or our teams on site to address them.
<v ->Yeah, thank you very much, indeed.</v>
We’re going to come back to that point
in a second, but Craig,
I’d just like to sort of flick round to yourself
from your perspective as the journalist on the panel.
what’s your reading of how the perception
across the industry has changed
over the recent couple of years?
Is it a threat or is it actually an opportunity?
<v ->I would say it’s evolved from a threat to an opportunity.</v>
I think truly ESG has moved on from being
just about say investor pressure,
which is what it was born out of, perhaps at the start,
but now companies are starting to tackle it
in operationalization of the, the processes
that they need to take on at a very highest level.
I think for me as a journalist,
I see ESG becoming as big a part of the value chain
I’ll say processing or exploration.
And I think this field is only going to grow.
I think the key thing as call it a lidded too,
is avoiding perhaps gaining a terminal image
when that’s been associated with fossil fuels
and getting the message out there to people
that we really are going to be an essential part
of the transition.
Thank you very much, indeed.
And sort of,
Liv how can sort of circle back round to yourself
from your perspective where you sit with Accenture,
what’s your sort of view on where ESG is today,
right opportunity and why it’s so important
and just, what are you picking up from your perspective?
it’s said to go back to the drivers
and Craig just mentioned the investor pressure.
One, I would certainly add is that the impetus
to bring ESG into all elements of the business.
And if we could umbrella that almost as sustainability
woven throughout, has certainly come from increased pressure
and action taken by the institution investors.
And that’s really been in the last 24, 36 months
that we have seen a significant increase in that.
And that is one of the key drivers as to why
the mining companies have,
mineral companies have really started to embrace this.
How about going back to your question,
how that plays out in the,
every piece of work we do with our clients,
whether it’s a strategy around autonomous operations
or solving for a specific issue in a mining operation,
there’s an element of sustainability and an ESG involved,
and that’s actually factored into the design of processes
as well as the solutions themselves to enable it.
It’s really all about enabling the right data capture
that then generates the necessary insights
for you to pull these leavers to positively impact ESG.
And our clients certainly are,
are not seeing it as a threat
they’re wholly embracing it to Leah’s point
about the consumer push or consumer pull, really
the consumers are much more aware
They want mining products to come from sources
that are not infringing on human rights
that are mined sustainably with renewable energies.
And that is then,
we are seeing our clients
embrace that as an opportunity
because there’s as Leah thing also mentioned,
there’s a differentiator there that’s possible.
If you are capturing the right data,
you can prove the provenance and you can demonstrate
that your products are meeting ESG
appropriately ESG standards or green and sustainable.
<v ->Lev thanks you very much, indeed.</v>
I’m sure this could be a days conversation
in and of itself,
thank you very much for those points.
I think there’s quite a few that we will come back
to and pick up.
We’ll move on now to the second question,
if we may,
and this really is around business performance
or getting into the sort of, you know,
rubber hits the road here, what’s the actual impact.
So looking at industrial minerals,
the nature of industrial minerals means that more often
there no quarries and operations are closer to urban areas,
does this place a bigger or lesser emphasis
on certain elements or ESG
and their importance to the business?
And Rainer you’ll forgive me if I sort of start off
with you on that one.
<v ->Okay, I hope I understood everything well.</v>
So looking specifically at our minds,
I think these aspects
are born because we simply don’t see the acceptance anymore
in the population to expand our operations
or even to make refills.
It’s almost impossible.
We are operating across the globe
about 60 to 70 mining operations.
And when I look at the recent years, greenfield,
were started in the U S and that’s much easier
than in Europe and in Europe, we are in central Europe
we were able to do that
when we go to countries like Germany or France or Belgium,
these things are
simply not accepted by the people
So the focus on this on sustainability
and we cluster,
we organizers in three pillars,
what we call people, planet and profit
and the pillar covering the mines
is on the planet.
there we have a specific focus on resource valorization,
and this is,
this is not completely new to us
because we are a family owned company.
we had a high focus on listings.
And the way we mentioned across the group
is that we are,
that we are using the know how we,
we collected in some regions specifically in Western Europe,
that we try to spread it out in the other regions
by creating a subtle organization,
which is looking at this aspect.
<v ->At Rainer, thank you very much, indeed.</v>
So I think the short answer is, yes,
this is very important
<v ->It is.</v>
<v ->And if I could pick up on one point,</v>
so you mentioned about a central organization
to ensure that your best practice.
So are you now employing roles today,
particularly, and specifically for ESG projects
and work that you wouldn’t have done five, 10 years?
<v ->Yes, of course.</v>
Yeah, we have since a few years,
sustainability officer in our company
and he’s, the center of this organization.
And when I say centralize organization,
it means, in fact, it’s some metrics.
So we are using the resources from each of the regions
we have to, for these topics across the group.
<v ->Rainer thank you very much, indeed.</v>
So on that point then if we sort of take that back to points
made before by Craig and Colin and others.
So do you now see,
as the company that you’re with,
do you see ESG as a source of advantage business advantage?
Does it differentiate you from competitors?
Does it help you appeal to investors and communities
Is it a source of business advantage?
<v ->Do you want any one of us to take that</v>
or do you have the one in.
<v ->Okay just go ahead.</v>
Yes, actually, yes.
<v ->I don’t mind it.</v>
I think, yes,
I think there are multiple studies that, you know,
that demonstrate that there are commercial advantages
for well managing a range of ESG topics,
be it from, you know, even the diversity angle
or any of the environmental angles.
And I think there are several reasons for that.
I think even if we are,
the panelists are making a very clear point
that it’s moving from a threat to an opportunity,
clearly managing ESG topics still enables
you to anticipate and better manage risks.
And in some cases growing risks.
So understanding that you need to have,
a very forward looking
and robust management of risks,
for example, you know, climate scenario analysis.
So you can anticipate that and integrate
it into your business.
It brings some commercial advantages,
I think, without a doubt,
there’s some reputational benefits associated
with that to speak to the point of, you know,
we have a challenge of not in my backyard
kind of situation ,
we find ourselves in and being able to demonstrate
that you have a strong, solid
and being able to engage with your local communities,
your local stakeholders, and be able to prove
what you do has has definite
sort of commercial benefits.
I think it’s a very important lever for engagement
with our employees.
They want to be proud for, you know,
the companies that they they work in.
And I think that it’s very linked also to innovation.
I mean, being able to drive your organization
towards solving existing challenges
through an ESG lens
is definitely a way to demonstrate the leadership,
and differentiate ourselves from others.
So to make the short answer, yes.
<v ->A raft of benefits, actually,</v>
there are probably in a, sort of, as much about reputation
as much about employee engagement
actually, and you mentioned innovation as well.
So actually this is driving fresh thinking, use solutions,
new ways of doing things.
And Liv if I could go around to you on,
on that point from again,
from your broad perspective in Accenture,
how do you see these,
the importance of the business performance panning out
is the other,
some areas more its reputation and attracting stakeholders
more important than the end consumer,
or are you seeing the advantages that Leah
has talked about being broadly ubiquitous across
all the different groups?
<v ->That’s a really interesting question.</v>
And what we have seen is a distinct shift
across the industry, no matter what the commodity,
a distinct shift from focusing on delivering value
to shareholders, to delivering value for all stakeholders
and all stakeholders is now a ginormous,
all encompassing group of people
that includes the Leah rightly mentioned.
I was pleased to hear you say about employees
actually wanting to work for a company
that is extracting mineral responsibly.
And that is super critical to attracting the right skills
to the industry that we need going forward.
And one of the main drivers of how,
just how important has become is the generational change
and the younger generations actually being less,
I’ll try and put this kind of less interested in mining
and less respectful of the importance of mining,
and really wanting to work for companies
that are responsibly carrying out business
and the younger generations will certainly call out
companies if they feel they’re not behaving responsibly,
they’re not shy of doing that.
They’ve grown up as digital natives.
So they’re very vocal on social media.
So that’s a really key stakeholder
that has to be factored in because the mining industry,
the minerals industry,
is already suffering from a skill shortage.
And that will only grow as we need to expand
the skills range, including new things
like data scientists and data engineers,
AI specialists, et cetera,
more biodiversity specialists,
more climate change specialists,
but they I’ve forgotten exactly what the question was,
but the, the how it,
in terms of.
<v ->The engagement is critical.</v>
And, and ESG is a core part of why we need to engage
with the stakeholders,
that there were so many business advantages,
because there are so many negatives
if we don’t get it right as an industry.
Now, if you can’t,
you don’t have an effective ESG or sustainability program
with clear actions that you are then proving
that you are walking the talk, not just putting,
these great plans, but actually nothing ever happens.
You have to be able to prove that you have achieved that
then your cost of capital is going to go up.
if you don’t,
if you aren’t operating in the right way
and not seem to be responsible,
you won’t attract the right skillset.
If you aren’t effectively engaging with your stakeholders,
your community stakeholders,
and that’s a two way engagement.
So that’s really shifted from the mining company
or minerals company, informing the local stakeholders
to actually working in collaboration
with the local stakeholders.
So if you aren’t doing that,
you’re going to come up against a lot of resistance
and difficulties in developing and running your operation
so that there are, and then of course,
you’ve got the governments and the NGOs
and all the other stakeholders that need to be engaged
there are lots of benefits to engaging appropriately
with stakeholders and weaving ESG throughout the business.
<v ->Thank you very much.</v>
Sorry if the question is a little bit vague,
but I think you answered it and very fully,
so thank you very much,
some really interesting points coming out now.
So I’m calling Dr. Kohler.
She said, otherwise, we’ll get confused
if I could take that back to yourself again,
from your perspective, from where you said,
I’m interested in a couple of things.
So I think Leah and Rainer and Liv
have made the point that this is now pretty ubiquitous.
It covers stakeholders at the investor side,
it’s now covers in employees.
It covers your reputation to customers, and it’s everywhere.
Do you see any pockets of resistance?
Have you, are you,
are there any parts of the industry
which are further ahead or lagging behind?
Do you see any resistance to any of the,
or is what’s been spoken about
not just ubiquitous across the stakeholders,
but ubiquitous in implementation
by industry wide
or are there some laggards?
<v ->Yeah, so I think just before I do that,</v>
I just want to add to everything you said before,
which I completely agree with,
but there is another thing that I think is worth
bearing in mind, a lot of studies in the UK,
just not in mining, but just generally looking
at the performance of companies
have noticed a really strong correlation between performance
on health and safety, environmental rules and profitability.
And I think there’s another point
which underpins everything.
If you’re good at managing your company,
you’re good at managing your company for ESG,
for health and safety and for profit.
And I think, that’s why in many respects
for an investor looking at ESG, it’s a good marker.
If you’re successful at ESG,
you’re probably a well managed company.
In terms of outs and such like,
I think you can look at things
like the responsible mining foundations,
RMI the index, looking at individual assets, for example,
and get a sense there of companies.
I think the picture is mixed.
Don’t think I’m going to make a bit of an assertion,
but I don’t think there’s a clear cut difference
between privately held and publicly held
dodging mining companies.
But the caveat on that is,
of course we don’t have as much data about the privately
So I have to be a bit cautious in saying that
and some of them are really good
and some of them are not so good.
And I think the same would be true
of mid-size and (indistinct) for, I think,
where there’s a real problem.
And you might absolutely understand why is in art design
on small mining where basically
they just don’t have my point earlier.
They don’t have the management capacity
to think about some of these issues.
It’s not, they don’t necessarily want to,
it’s just, they haven’t got the capacity to do it.
And so I think one of the huge challenges for the sector
as a whole is how do we get those organizations up
to a minimum standard?
And I think that’s a huge challenge
that we all really ought to be working on coming.
I mean, I’m a chief executive of a membership organization,
so I’m going to say this onsite,
but I think one of the absolutely key elements
of that is the standard of professionalism
of individuals working in those spaces
because professional mining engineers,
and all the rest of it,
we talked about working all of those companies,
big, middle and small.
They are in a sense, a common theme.
And the more that we can do to make sure
that they have the professional competencies
necessary to act in this space, the more that will help.
<v ->Thank you very much, indeed.</v>
Rainer if I could circle, sorry.
Rainer do you want to.
<v ->Yes, I just would like to comment on Colin’s staples.</v>
As I mentioned,
I worked for a private company and where I don’t agree,
you know, I’m a specialist for,
I’m heading geology and mining team
since almost three decades now.
And I think what is the difference?
And I experienced that when I hired
experts from other business, is that sustainability.
So the long-term aspect was always and focus.
We have minimizing waste.
So we already talked 20 years ago about a zero waste
concept in our company.
And then it simply because,
we try to utilize the reserves as good as we can.
We don’t like to downgrade the use of our stone.
if we can make a chemical product out of a stone,
we don’t want to make aggregates out of it
because it doesn’t make the profit.
So a lot of these elements I think are driven
by the fact that we are family owned
and the family wants to secure the company
for the next generations.
That’s the way they are thinking.
For example when we make plans, long-term migrants,
we never look at a net present value is for example,
like in other companies
an aspect what is difficult for us in all the discussion
is a time factor.
Because as you know, in our business,
we are huge CO2 producer.
It’s due to our process we have in place.
And, I look at our planet pillar,
one of the challenge we have is to lower the ambitions.
That simply requires a lot of technology,
which is not available today.
And so, our research department is working on that together
with university that’s on,
but it needs time to get that under control,
to reduce infected CO2 emissions.
That’s what we want to,
it’s the same as energy.
Energy is a little bit simpler for us because,
there are a big sources,
of alternative green energies for processes,
but it’s also a bit depending
where we are in which countries we are in,
in Brazil, it’s coming already,
since he has to operate part of our clans with sword,
what is not possible in other,
or in Spain, we do that,
was the rays,
from the olive oil production
we can operate cancer.
So we have this kind of things,
but it’s a long process and these are challenges
I would this and this will cost a lot of money,
to reduce the CO2.
And this is the STA problem according to this,
also going, maybe in,
what you mentioned
is I asked myself and we had the biggest
live producer of the world,
but I asked myself if small family producers
can handle this in the future.
I think it will change the structure of our industry.
<v ->Rainer, thank you very much, indeed.</v>
A lot of really good points.
They’re very interesting.
Can I come back to you,
on two quick points
as you are, where you are and you go where you go
and you have all these investments, et cetera,
going back to the employee question.
What is your experience of hiring employees
in this current world?
Are they upfront with their questions
about your foreman’s
about your ESG plans?
Are they tuned into that?
But surprisingly a lot or a little, what was the sort of,
what are you detecting from bringing new talent
into the business and where are on that awareness spectrum?
<v ->I’ll take it from my part.</v>
Yeah, absolutely tuned into that.
And maybe going back to the part of what Colin
and we both Colin’s sort of, alluded to,
I think it’s a bit heterogynous.
I think that we have also has Liv mentioned
that a generational factor, but not only that,
certainly people who are starting off their careers
in various functions
are asking, the HR teams during the interview,
a lot more questions about ESG topics.
We see that,
through the interview feedback
and also through the request of the HR teams,
to be more trained on how to respond to all
of these types of questions that they weren’t seeing
in the past.
But I do think there’s a different element
from country to country.
There are certain countries that I think that the topic
of sustainability or VAGD is a little bit more
on the forefront.
And that influences, I think the types of questions
we see in interviews
and I think it also the job market, you know,
how tight the job market is and how much competition
there is for a label sort of changes
the demands that a potential employee will put on in,
in the recruitment process.
But that, I think also speaks to your former question
as well, Colin, about, you know,
different levels of maturity and gaps.
I think that we have different countries
and different markets where sustainability,
has a stronger pole.
And I think that that affects it in many ways,
both in terms of standards and performance
and the legislations, but also in terms
of the future and current employees
in engagement and sort of expectations
on in terms of sustainability.
<v ->Yeah, thank you very much, indeed.</v>
Thank you all very much for that.
that’s another huge topic that we literally scratched the
surface on, but I’ve read some really interesting points
We’re going to flip gears slightly now,
but picking up on some of the points mentioned,
we’ll move into sort of technology now in digital
data was mentioned right at the start.
So let’s pick the spotlight on digital
and Rainer thank you very much for the perfect segue.
Digital transformation takes time to yield results.
How do you see the industry building the case
for significant investments, digital technology,
whatever it is,
and where the immediate payback NPVIRR
is not there.
And Rainer the very obvious place to go is yourself,
but I’m going to pause for that for a second.
If I actually just flip around to sequent now,
and I actually asked them just to sort of perhaps change,
you’d like to lead off on that question,
because I think it would be very nice to sort of flip back
to the point Rainer made earlier, but first and foremost,
James, what’s your perspective on that from sequence
<v ->Thanks, Colin.</v>
Yeah, I think, I mean,
digital transformation is always an interesting,
conversation to have I think,
but one of the angles to look at maybe as to why digital
transformation projects can become so expensive
in the first place and why you see delays
in these things being implemented.
And I think sometimes it might be the added complexity
of trying to develop custom solutions.
Other times it could be because the foundations
of good data management have kind of been skipped
over in the urgency to get to that new
kind of big shiny solution.
And I think it’s becoming more incumbent
on software providers,
such as sequence to work with industry partners,
to share that burden of innovation.
And we need to kind of help de-risk
that value proposition of change.
So, you know, the primary role of safe for leaders
such as Emeris the industry is to extract the resources,
to keep the global economy moving whilst also respecting
their responsibilities to the environment in the communities
So again, it’s, we, as that support and industry
need to be developing the that support that goal.
And we need to ensure that where there is investments
being made it’s in those proven technologies.
You know, I suppose, to build the case,
if you have to build a case for significant investment
where the usual measures of value, don’t initially stand up,
we need to build that trust.
We need to be able to trust and develop a culture
that kind of embraces that change through
probably through the successful execution of initiatives
that present, I suppose, what you could call easy wins.
And I think there’s still plenty of opportunities
out there in the current environment
that fit this criteria, where,
you know, you can, there’s the low hanging fruit,
if you will.
And you know, the majority of those, again,
revolve around a focus on great data management
and reducing that uncertainty in the business.
And I’ll see from a geology groups perspective,
but, you know,
where’s the greatest uncertainty in any minus supply chain.
And it’s always at the front end of that resource,
the uncertainty and a resource.
If you can reduce it,
there is going to add the greatest value
to the rest of your minus supply chain.
So obviously in our role is quite interesting
because we get to see a lot of different customers
that we work with.
And we consistently see that huge benefit that customers
are gaining through maximizing the value of the information
Now, whether that’s improving security, access speed,
or clarity of data,
having those robust solutions in place
that data at the center of any conversation
will always lead to a better result.
So, I mean, we’ve got examples from case studies.
We’ve done a recent one with wholesome
where they demonstrated how better use of their resource
data led to from an environmental benefit
led to a reduction in waste material by 150,000 tons a year
and on to operate and savings over $3 million a year.
And it’s, I think it’s those kinds of successes
that we can then use to develop further business cases
or simply provide confidence that further innovation
and development where the payback
is probably not as immediately clear,
and it will, then hold true for where a dollar value
is not the primary motivation.
So if you take the example again,
from a geography perspective of being able to minimize
contaminant material before it ends up in the plant,
or somewhere on waste dumps, you know,
efficient management of that material significantly
reduces the risk of future liabilities
for companies, communities, environment.
But if we can’t, you know, if we can’t measure,
monitor and track that material, which all requires again,
robust data management,
then we’re not going to be able to prove
the ongoing benefit.
So yeah, I guess in summary,
like software providers need to continue to step up
and support industry partners.
You know, we need to continue to develop the solutions
that are in line with their business needs.
I mean, it’s to make the case for larger investment
in innovation and change by demonstrating the value
of getting the basic things right.
And we need that robust data management in place
so we can measure and articulate the value
of those initiatives that may evolve over years.
<v ->James, thank you very much in that.</v>
I’m going to pick up particularly on, that data point.
So, you know, clearly digital transformation
in as an electrical, you know, sort of trucks,
you know, sort of really renewed olive oil
power you’re focusing on the area that you’ve mentioned
about the data and the core analysis of that data.
Rainer if I could come to yourself,
how do you approach
where it’s not based on NPV,
what is the culture?
What have you had to change in your business
to be able to make those longer term investments
in the areas that James has been talking about
where the traditional IRR and NVP business case
is out the window,
what have you had to change within your business
to be able to do that?
<v ->Well, at first,</v>
this is really an interesting question.
I personally, I believe in the benefits,
of the digitalization and I say believe
because I also struggle to prove it.
And that’s really an, it’s an issue
also in our company,
because when I asked
I have to show the case
even if we are long-term minded, we have to do that.
And what we did,
what I did like three years ago,
I started to analyze one of our mining operational,
what data are available.
And the result of that is what we have a lot of data.
And I think James knows that,
in a weak point of
is the data hosting.
So the data are not sitting on one platform
or in one system.
So it’s not available to everybody,
that’s why we are trying to find a platform
where we can integrate the data.
And we don’t want to replace all our systems.
That would be a huge project,
but we would like to integrate the data
so that it is visible maybe in one dashboard or so,
which could be modified to the function
of who’s using the dashboard.
That’s what we believe.
That’s the next step.
After this analyze, we looked at the gaps we have,
and we are trying now to fill the gaps in data gathering.
And this is where we were,
where it requires some investments
that this is not for free.
And that’s where the that’s my current discussion
with the management,
if we should spend money in this field or not.
But I, again, I personally believe in it
because looking at the general trends in the industry,
all the companies made money with their data.
And wait, I think I strongly believe
that we have to utilize our data in a better way
to what James we’re stating.
And this fits also, I think,
in this discussion that the knowledge,
of the depth of the detail knowledge,
and I think it’s a foundation,
to manage the deposit in a sustainable way.
What I told you that we try to minimize waste,
and we only can minimize waste when we know
where do we have a potential to blend
where and what’s, the best sequencing in the mine plan,
to enable us to blend and these things.
And for that I think
we need it this is a basis,
but this is already existing
since in most of our operations,
not everywhere, but most of our operation.
<v ->Rainer thank you very much indeed.</v>
Let me see if I can come around to yourself.
So you look after clearly, not just across mining,
but can you have a broader back to the cross environment
perhaps lends itself to a little bit,
bit of a longer term investment profile,
and that’s sort of what we’re looking at.
James what’s your perspective in digital transformation
in regard to the conversation?
<v ->I think that both James and Rainer</v>
or point out the biggest challenge
and that is the access to the information, right?
It’s becoming easier and easier to collect the information
and all the customers we talk to in every segment,
you know, be it mining or infrastructure or environment
are getting inundated in data today.
But the data inevitably sits in different systems
and architectures and places and platforms
and all of those right.
And as a software provider, they own this on us and our,
and our colleague businesses to become less siloed
and only, you know, walled gardens.
I use the analogy, walled gardens a lot, right.
We need to move away from walled gardens
and to open data standards
and processes so that it isn’t, you know,
a new for, you know,
every time some company needs a system, right.
That you can, you know, pick an old windows added,
you know, it’s plug and play.
And I see the industry,
unfortunately slowly moving in that direction.
You know, they’re not all software vendors
are like sequence and believe in a very open environment.
But, you know, my view is that, you know,
our industry needs to be better at providing open systems
so that it makes it easier for everyone to get access
to data because it facilitates many things.
You know, it facilitates that an operator
of a bucket loader at a site can actually see
after the blast,
which material is which right.
You can do that today.
And it facilitates that all the different stakeholders
can get a better insight and comment on, you know,
on a proposed mine expansion.
It’s all of those things that it can facilitate
if all those hurdles in between, on the data connectivity
are you know, either lowered or removed.
<v ->Thank you very much indeed.</v>
I’m going to flick Rainer or Craig, from your perspective,
sitting in a sort of, you know,
looking in this industry,
what is your perspective on the digital transformation
paradigm across the industry?
How are you seeing, what are you picking up?
Is it ubiquitous?
Is it helping have people embraced it
or is there still hesitation?
<v ->Well, I think,</v>
as Rainer alluded
to it can be seen as,
as a moonshot really sometimes when you’re,
tackling processes and technologies
that have been in place for decades.
But I think that if you look for example,
at how the power of battery has evolved,
just even in the past five years,
they couldn’t power anything 10 years ago.
And we look for what can be achieved by technology.
I think that it’s really important that perhaps companies
focus on specific goals at the start,
the pathways to more ESG friendly technologies
and all, they then look at new technologies,
but I think they need to keep a broad mind
when it comes to exploring experimental
and you opening areas.
I think that’s particularly important
because for many companies,
the processes haven’t been formulated yet
of how they’re actually going to tackle using technology
to ESG goals.
The management mindset needs to see it as important
as productivity, really,
for the longevity of the company and the wider industry.
And then if the metrics set at the start are wrong,
then everything could be wrong that they had done
at the end of the road.
So I think that when considering new technologies
change management, it’s critical in terms of clashes.
There may be clashes with the engineering side
of businesses, but comes back to this license to operate.
And sustainability depends on getting
those data processes right.
And basically incentivize everyone to play their own part.
<v ->Great, thank you very much, indeed.</v>
Some really interesting points there
we’re going to dwell on digital,
just a couple more points.
Picking up on that point that you’ve made Craig
about mindset and aligning stakeholders
and having the right metrics.
Leah, if I could come around to you,
what’s your experience of that?
So, you know, sort of digital transformation,
great you know, software,
but people have different mindsets,
people have different motivations.
What is your experience of that sort of human aspect
of digital transformation
and making sure that the stakeholders
are lined up with a clear set of metrics
of what we’re trying to achieve versus a high level
that’s just transformed.
What’s your experience?
<v ->Oh, that’s a very tough question.</v>
You’ve, asked a Colin,
I’ll take it maybe in two parts.
I think that one is changed management,
of people, as in any type of transformation,
you have to make sure that, if you have different mindsets
and you’re talking about sort of almost a cultural shift
inside your organization,
even if it’s driven by some digital elements
that needs to be properly accompanied and managed,
it means, you know, giving people different tools
that are or asking them to give in different data
into a new system.
And you need to, I think sufficiently
anticipate making sure that they understand why,
and they understand how they’re going to need
to be reporting and what they’re going to be reporting
in and when it’s for.
so that means the different types of training
So I think that’s the first element,
but I think I’m going to kind of come back
to part of the original question was about,
you know, the importance of digital transformation.
And I think it’s so key because I think one of the main
drivers from all of the stakeholders
that we talked about in the beginning is about transparency.
It’s about being able to show
that we are responsible operators,
and we can only do that if we can have a degree
of transparency that is supported by data.
And so supported by data speaks to all of the points
that correct a mine right now,
I mentioned about the integration of these data systems
in a way that the people can manage,
but transparency also means being able to show
kind of not only where we are
in terms of our operations,
but where we’re going into the future.
So that’s also driven by data.
That’s also driven by these digital tools.
So again, to come back to what I said at the beginning
it’s life cycle assessments, those are really driven
by new data’s new databases that need to connect
to different systems.
It means integrating
an internal carbon price, for example,
into a CapEx process to sort of speak to about
Rainer said, you know, about being able to valorize
the ESG component in,
the way we assess products and all of those data-driven
elements have a human element behind
because these are new.
Well, they’re not new as in just yesterday,
but they’re often new additions to an existing process.
And we need to make sure that we’re sufficiently
clear about the why,
how they’re linked to our group strategy going forward,
why we need this metric and how each individual
sort of data provider is contributing to a larger picture.
Otherwise we’re probably going to fall into,
the pitfall of, you know, poorly reported data,
or, you know, not understanding why this,
there’s data integration and this digital transformation
is so important for achieving the ESG
driven ambition now that we might have.
<v ->Leah, thank you very much, indeed.</v>
And final question on digital.
Liv if I could come back to your vantage point
what would your advice be to companies
looking to start accelerate down
the digital transformation track?
<v ->Great question.</v>
And I’m going to pick up on what a number of people
have said here.
First of all, don’t focus on digital.
In fact, we don’t call it digital transformation
in Accenture anymore at all,
we call it data-driven transformation
and we’ve even, we had five divisions of Accenture,
one of which was Accenture digital,
which 18 months ago now disappeared because digital
is a given it’s written through everything.
And one of the difficulties of realizing
value from digital transformation
when it first became a high priority,
six, seven, eight years ago was the fact
that it was very technology led
not purpose and data led.
And to pick up on James’s point
about saying the foundations of data management
and often skipped over,
because it was a case of looking at these digital
technologies and thinking, well, this is fantastic.
Where can we implement it rather than looking
at the business and the business need
and understanding where your risks are
and where the value opportunity is,
and then examining, okay, bearing in mind those focus areas,
what data do we need to understand the current situation?
So you need that situation awareness and the baseline
to know where you’re starting from,
what conditions you’re starting with,
and then what insights do we need to generate
and what data capabilities do we need to enable
in order to be able to solve
for those in what the relevant time horizon.
And that’s really key because also at the very beginning
of the whole digital transformation piece,
the mindset was let’s digitize everything.
That’s how all data, all days is equal.
All data should be digitized and it should all be
in one massive place.
And in fact, that’s not the case.
You need to be strategic about it,
and you need to look up for that particular business need
not operating in silos.
It’s very important to,
not look at things in isolation, to,
to factor in dependencies and constraints of other segments
of the value chain or other processes that may be impacted,
excuse the helicopter, going overhead.
It is very important to be strategic about it.
So what is the business need?
It was based on risk and value opportunity.
What data do you need to actually understand
the conditions and situate,
I give you that situation awareness,
what insights could you generate to solve for that?
And therefore, how,
what technology do you need to implement,
or expand or develop in to enable
that solving of whatever the business need is.
And that’s the approach we take very much.
<v ->Liv thank you very much indeed.</v>
We’ve got five minutes left,
so we’re going to flick onto the final topic
and I actually would change the sort of tone on this.
Hopefully I’ll get a very specific question.
I just like to go around everyone
and get your surgeon succinct, answer on this one.
And we’re going to pick up on that point, data.
So the final sort of theme is standards.
So you’ve talked about integration,
you’ve talked about transparency
and Liv you’ve made a wonderful point of,
don’t talk about digital.
It’s all about data.
So we’re in the world of data.
So the question to all of you is how important
are our standards, data standards,
and how far does in that
we’d like to start Liv.
Should we start with you?
<v ->Do you mean standard specific CSG</v>
or standards around data,
<v ->I guess, standards around data,</v>
generally that play into ESG,
but standards around data.
<v ->The standards that you, it depends.</v>
It depends on each individual company really,
as to what data’s done, that you might put into place,
what data models you might develop.
It depends on the area of the business,
the function, the discipline,
it is important to have standards,
but I think it was Leah that mentioned the importance,
of enabling we’ve got impacts of different geographies.
And within a company you’re going to have nuances
between the different geographies in terms of the data
that they need.
Obviously, a lot of overlaps in many disciplines,
but the data that they need
and also the data that they have access to.
And there may be some restrictions around that.
So data standards,
there’s an element that can be company-wide,
but actually you need to allow for the nuances
you need to allow for the nuances of different stages
of a project life cycle or different segments
of the value chain?
<v ->Okay, Liv thank you very much.</v>
<v ->Leah over to you.</v>
<v ->Yeah, no, I would, I would almost take it</v>
probably similar, but any other way around,
I think if there was a greater harmonization
of some ESG standards across
it would certainly facilitate data management.
I think the real challenge we face is we are bombarded
by a multiplicity of standards for different markets,
for different segments of our industry,
and then different geographies as Liv mentioned.
And if there was like, there is in,
in finance a little bit more of a consensus
on ESG standards that would simplify considerably
the data standard or the data management element,
we would need, again, as Liv
said, some room for adjustment,
but it would be a much simpler ecosystem
than the one we’re facing now.
And I think that’s the call you hear from all sustainability
professionals, in any cases,
the quest for a little bit more of a harmonization
in standards internationally.
<v ->Thank you very much.</v>
<v ->I think it’s data standardization is extremely important,</v>
especially for a, for a company which
has operation many different countries.
This is one,
precondition for me to,
to talk the same language.
You know, if,
if we cannot exchange data and things getting
And the practical example of that when,
when I look at the last a decade or maybe last 15 years,
how much time we spent in data preparation and just to
present, you know, we are really,
I think my experts,
I spent at least one third of the time, not in the field,
but to create PowerPoints
just to report.
And I think this is not directly ESG
but the data standardization is the precondition
to work with dashboards, to work with standard information,
which are easier to understand an easier to come
to communicate, but also to understand by the management,
if we report.
And, then the other aspect of course,
is exchange of information between the different systems.
We see that, for example, in the,
in the moment we are looking at, at our fleet data,
and of course we don’t have homogeneous fleets,
we have all
kind of producers and our operations.
And also there it’s would be nice if,
if they would agree on one standard.
And I know that there are efforts to do that
so that we, that we can utilize the data very well.
I think it’s, it’s very important,
and re we have a high focus on that in the moment.
<v ->Rainer, thank you very much, indeed.</v>
I’m conscious we’re over the RSO.
So Craig grind to yourself for a quick assigned bite
<v ->Yeah, very quickly.</v>
I would just say that in my view,
the data standards feed into wider standards, essentially.
I think for example,
the tailing standards have been a success
and you see initiatives like the Corporal Mark,
Caldwell Traceability initiatives are making great inroads.
I think these are important as customers become more aware
of the source of their metals
and legislation’s implemented and those things,
but it also comes back to data transparency
and stake holder collaboration, as we mentioned,
because I feel that this data will need to be,
and these standards will need to be in place to facilitate
all the automation and electrification initiatives
and the automation of ESG metrics.
But I also feel that ESG
is really just at the start of this journey in mining.
So I think there’s a lot of road left there.
<v ->Great, thank you very much, indeed.</v>
And Colin, we’re coming to you for the final word.
I’ll just jump quickly to Thomas and James,
a quick sound bite from Thomas and James
in regard to standards and data.
<v ->I say that the sequence has always supported standards.</v>
I mean, we were implementable in divine design
for example, the OMS standard,
but, you know, standards,
you know, would save societies just so much time
and effort and money and you know,
and many of the challenges have been talked about,
just using the data and moving it along
are due to the lack of standards
as well as failed software projects.
So I think standards are always good.
It makes life easier and more efficient.
It’s ESG it felt really
<v ->Yeah, probably just to add to that.</v>
I mean, I think there’s two points to that.
One is that again, it’s on software providers,
such as ourselves to design the, as you said,
the open platforms that can take different data formats.
So we’re not locking ourselves down to one particular thing.
So to make it as open as possible.
And the other point has made earlier about how do we raise
the entire industry?
So how do we bring up those, this smaller producers?
And I think it’s again important for the larger companies
to set those standards and that makes easier for others
So whether that is data or ESG standards,
if we ca lead then we can bring everybody
else up with that.
<v ->James, thank you very much indeed.</v>
Dr. Colin final word.
<v ->I agree with everything.</v>
Everyone has to set the additional aspect
I’d put onto it,
which we sort of tickled if you like,
is the importance of data standards for the supply chain.
I think Craig was particularly mentioning this,
but, you know,
a bunch of my members specialize in lifecycle analysis.
If the only data you’ve got is from niobium mining
in Brazil, for example, that’s the data you have to use,
and that may not be representative of niobium
mining anywhere else.
And if that data is either not available or available
in a very weird kind of way at data standards,
you’ve got a real problem with understanding
the impact of the whole supply chain.
And I think that’s becoming much more of interest
to the downstream user of the things that our industries
So I agree with everything else,
but also data standards to enable that supply chain
transparency to work properly.
<v ->Colin, thank you very much, indeed.</v>
We are three minutes over the time, my apologies,
and I’m afraid that’s all we have time for today.
Thank you all for the perspectives, some brilliant points.
So it’s very clear that ESG is ubiquitous across
stakeholders, not just from employees but customers,
but to investors as well.
Interesting point around how ESG can be a proxy
for good management and a metric for that.
So I think that’s an interesting point
at the core of digital transformation are humans
and change management.
So Leah has some really interesting points there,
and I think what’s come out from the beginning
of this conversation and we finish on it
is it’s not digital it’s data
and everything that goes with that transparency
So lots of really interesting points.
I just like to extend a sequence deep,
thanks to all of you for taking the time.
Craig, Colin, Liv, Leah and Rainer.
Thank you all very much.
A delight to meet with you.
Thank you for taking the time.
Thank you for making yourselves available.
Your views have been hugely, hugely valuable to the session.
So thank you all very much.
And I hope I haven’t chewed into too much
of the next meeting.
Thank you all very much, indeed.
<v ->Great you welcome..</v>
<v ->Thank you.</v>
<v ->Thank you.</v>