Effective integrated frameworks for assessing mining sustainability
- 117 Downloads
The objectives of this research are to review existing methods used for assessing mining sustainability, analyze the limited prior research that has evaluated the methods, and identify key characteristics that would constitute an enhanced sustainability framework that would serve to improve sustainability reporting in the mining industry. Five of the most relevant frameworks were selected for comparison in this analysis, and the results show that there are many commonalities among the five, as well as some disparities. In addition, relevant components are missing from all five. An enhanced evaluation system and framework were created to provide a more holistic, comprehensive method for sustainability assessment and reporting. The proposed framework has five components that build from and encompass the twelve evaluation characteristics used in the analysis. The components include Foundation, Focus, Breadth, Quality Assurance, and Relevance. The enhanced framework promotes a comprehensive, location-specific reporting approach with a concise set of well-defined indicators. Built into the framework is quality assurance, as well as a defined method to use information from sustainability reports to inform decisions. The framework incorporates human health and socioeconomic aspects via initiatives such as community-engaged research, economic valuations, and community-initiated environmental monitoring.
KeywordsSustainability Mining Indicators Environmental impact
The authors would like to thank the Arizona International Human–Environment Observatory (OHMI), the French CNRS Institute of Ecology and Environment (INEE), the CNRS Institute of the Social Sciences (INSHS), the Center for Environmentally Sustainable Mining (CESM), the NIEHS Superfund Program (P42 ES04940), and the Water, Environmental, and Energy Solutions (WEES) Program of The University of Arizona for financial support to this project. We also thank Dr. Franck Poupeau for his support of the project.
- Bonney, R., Ballard, H., Jordan, R., McCallie, E., Phillips, T., Shirk, J., et al. (2009). Public participation in scientific research: Defining the field and assessing its potential for informal science education. Washington, DC: Center Advancement Informal Science Education (CAISE).Google Scholar
- EPA Office of Research and Development. (2011). A framework for sustainability indicators at the EPA. Washington, D.C.: National Academies.Google Scholar
- Government Accountability Office (GAO). (2013). Hazardous waste cleanup: Observations on states’ role, liabilities at DOD and hardrock mining sites, and litigation issues. Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives, Wednesday, May 22, 2013. GAO-13-633T, United States Government Accountability Office, 441 G St. N.W. Washington, DC 20548.Google Scholar
- GRI (Global Reporting Initiative). (2010). Sustainability reporting guidelines & mining and metals sector supplement. https://www.globalreporting.org/resourcelibrary/G3-English-Mining-and-Metals-Sector-Supplement.pdf. Accessed 2014.
- International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM). (2014). Sustainable development framework. https://www.icmm.com/website/publications/pdfs/commitments/revised-2015_icmm-principles.pdf. Accessed 2018.
- International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). (1992). Business strategies for sustainable development. Winnipeg, Canada: IISD.Google Scholar
- International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). (2003). Out of respect—The Tahltan, mining and the seven questions to sustainability. British Columbia: IISD Dease Lake.Google Scholar
- IISD. (2012). Compendium: A global directory to indicator initiatives. International Institute for Sustainable Development. https://www.iisd.org/library/compendium-sustainable-development-indicator-initiatives. Accessed 2014.
- IISD and OECD. (2010). BellagioSTAMP: SusTainability assessment and measurement principles. Winnipeg, Canada: International Institute for Sustainable Development and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.Google Scholar
- MAC. (2014). Towards Sustainable Mining Progress Report 2014. Mining Association of Canada, MAC.Google Scholar
- Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. (2005). Ecosystems and human well-being; opportunities and challenges for business and industry. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute.Google Scholar
- MMSD. (2002). Seven Questions of Sustainability: How to Assess the Contributions of Mining and Mineral Activities. MMSD, WBCSD, Manitoba: IISD.Google Scholar
- NCP (2008) InVEST: Integrated valuation of ecosystem services and tradeoffs. Natural Captial Project.org. https://www.naturalcapitalproject.org/invest/#what-isinvest. Accessed 2015.
- Ramirez-Andreotta, M. D., Brusseau, M. L., Artiola, J. F., Maier, R. M., & Gandolfi, A. J. (2015). Building a co-created citizen science program with gardeners neighboring a superfund site: The gardenroots case study. International Public Health Journal, 7(1), 139–153.Google Scholar
- Ramirez-Andreotta, M. D., Brusseau, M. L., Beamer, P., & Maier, R. M. (2013). Home gardening near a mining site in an arsenic-endemic region of Arizona: Assessing arsenic exposure dose and risk via ingestion of home garden vegetables, soils, and water. Science of the Total Environment, 454, 373–382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- US Department of Energy (DOE). (2014). The water energy Nexus: Challenges and opportunities. DOE/EPSA-0002. https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/07/f17/Water%20Energy%20Nexus%20Full%20Report%20July%202014.pdf. Accessed 2 July 2014.
- World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED). (1987). Our common future. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- World Health Organization (WHO). (2015). Using economic valuation methods for environment and health assessment. http://www.who.int/heli/economics/valmethods/en/. Accessed 2015.