Mining Indaba, an annual conference held in February in Cape Town, South Africa, attracts investors, mining companies, governments and other stakeholders from across the globe to convene and discuss factors advancing and hindering the development of mining assets in Africa.

Every year, ERM hosts an exclusive client event on the first morning of the Mining Indaba proceedings, before the opening plenary session, focused on sustainability topics in the mining sector.

This year, we convened a group of senior leaders in the mining sector to engage on how companies can maximize the impact of their social and sustainability programs and drive shared value through the use of data. The following panellists shared their views and experiences on the topic:

  • Tom Butler, CEO, ICMM
  • Mzila Mthenjane, Executive Head: Stakeholder Affairs, Exxaro
  • Sven Lunsche, Head of Corporate Affairs, Gold Fields
  • Deon Wessels, Social Performance Technical Community Lead, ERM

It’s clear that there is renewed impetus for the private sector to contribute to societal sustainable development and demonstrate impact, especially against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). However, delivering and assessing shared value programmes whilst managing stakeholder expectations remains a challenge for many companies.

Impact is about change and achieving outcomes – and not simply tracking inputs and outputs tied to stakeholder and corporate social investment programs. Ensuring a sustainable impact requires a robust understanding of social trends and challenges on the one hand, while also evaluating the company’s contributions to the desired outcomes.

Mining is one of ERM’s most important sectors, and we have attended the Mining Indaba for many years. The work that we do for the range of clients we work with in Africa and around the world, we have accumulated a wealth of experience and knowledge on the challenges and opportunities facing the industry. As a result, we believe we can play an active part in these debates by sharing some of our thinking.