Enduring Value – The Australian Minerals Industry Framework for Sustainable Development
Enduring Value puts the minerals industry’s commitment to sustainable development into practice. In the mining and metals sector sustainable development means that minerals projects should be safe, financially profitable, technically appropriate and environmentally and socially responsible.
Based on the International Council on Mining and Metals’ 10 Principles of Sustainable Development, the original Enduring Value framework established the industry’s leadership on responsible resource development. This revised version of the framework is the result of a wide-ranging review and ensures that Enduring Value remains relevant to mining operations and the expectations of our stakeholders.
The Enduring Value framework drives continuous improvement of the industry’s performance on the social, safety and environmental aspects of its activities in three ways:
- It is a condition of membership of the MCA that companies accept the principles of Enduring Value
- It assists the industry to operate in a manner that is attuned to the expectations of the community and which seeks to maximise the long-term benefits to society that can be achieved through the effective management of Australia’s natural resources
- It provides practical guidance to companies on how to translate the ten principles of Enduring Value into practices that support their sustainable development goals.
Enduring Value was developed by the minerals industry and launched in 2006 as an articulation of the industry’s commitment to sustainable development. Since its adoption by MCA member companies it has been recognised internationally as a leading industry model. The influence of the Enduring Value framework is evident in a wide range of legislation, tools and guidance materials applicable to extractive industries in Australia and the region.
In 2012 the MCA Board of Directors initiated a review of Enduring Value. This provided an opportunity to bring it up-to-date with global initiatives in the areas of human rights and materials stewardship. It also allowed for the framework to be simplified, reflecting the extent to which the principles of sustainable development have been integrated into company practices.
Through the review process the MCA engaged with industry and external stakeholders to test the relevance, focus and approach of the Enduring Value framework. This affirmed its value as a tool for continuous improvement in sustainability over and above legislative requirements. The revised framework builds on that strength by providing clearer direction as to what constitutes effective implementation of the Enduring Value principles.
Key features of the revised Enduring Value framework
The revised Enduring Value:
- Continues to align with the ICMM’s 10 Principles of Sustainable Development
- Translates each principle into defined actions
- Identifies a set of indicators for each principle that should be evident across companies that operate in accordance with Enduring Value
- Relies on verifiable outcomes rather than compliance with process to assess whether practices are consistent with the principles
- Supports continued excellence in public reporting on performance in the areas of health and safety, environment and community benefit
- Assists the industry to operate in a manner that is attuned to the expectations of the community.
Enduring Value Principles
At the heart of Enduring Value is the relationship between the mining industry and its many stakeholders – employees, shareholders, communities and governments. The Enduring Value principles recognise that these groups have rights and interests that need to be reflected in the ways that MCA members carry out their business.
The 10 Enduring Value principles encourage MCA members to consider how the decisions they make and the practices they implement align with these interests and broader sustainable development goals. The principles include the fundamentals of ethical governance, sound risk management and transparent engagement as well as individual principles relating to health and safety, employee rights, community development and environmental management.