What does 14 trillion dollars or so buy you these days?
A lot of influence in the mining industry.
That’s what the Investor Mining and Tailings Safety Initiative has tied up in funds invested in mining.
They are a group of investors including institutions like the Church of England having an increasingly strong influence on company policy said head of the University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute, Professor Rick Valenta.
It’s prompted the development of a strong will towards ‘group performance’ in lowering the footprint of mining said Professor Valenta.
“I think all of the major companies say and sincerely believe that the only way forward for them is to become, or to continue to work towards, being the most responsible operators that they can be from the standpoint of social performance, from the standpoint of environmental, from every standpoint from competition for water and energy and all of those things,” he said.
“There’s not a single company out there, of the major companies anyway, who wouldn’t say; ‘We absolutely understand that we need to perform and probably continue to increase and improve our performance in those areas.’
“So, on the messaging side of things and on the belief side of things, there’s 100 per cent, or nearly 100 per cent, buy in.”
It was a similar scenario with building a safety culture 20 years ago which was now a fixture, said Professor Valenta.
“If you went to the CEO of a company (then), and said; ‘Do you believe in all of your people being safe?’ They would say, ‘Absolutely, yes, I believe that we shouldn’t have any injuries at all. Our people should be safe.’
“But then if you said, ‘Do you believe that you have all the systems and procedures and performance in place to make sure that happens?’ I think people would look back at that time and say; ‘No, we didn’t. We were well short of where we should have been.’
“And I’m thinking 20 years’ time, companies or people who were in these major companies, they’re going to look back at now and say; ‘Our beliefs were absolutely right and our messaging is absolutely right and thank God we then took the actions necessary to make sure that our performance matched our belief and messaging.”
Or thank the shareholder.