Responsible Mining 101: Connecting corporate strategy to operational execution

A closer look at how the mining industry is adapting to sustainable practices and the crucial role of environmental intelligence in driving responsible mining initiatives. 


5 min

TAGS Mining

Change is a complex process, especially in industries like mining that pose a significant environmental impact. Acknowledging the need for sustainable practices, leading mining companies are reevaluating their approaches to make the connection between corporate strategy and execution at ground operations.

However, according to stats in our white paper, there’s an acknowledged shortage of people with deep domain expertise in resources to act as ‘safe pair of hands’.  

We asked Envirosuite CEO Jason Cooper to shed some light on the disconnect between corporate strategy and operational execution in the mining industry and here’s what he had to say:

Jason is a highly regarded and well-respected industry leader with more than 20 years of experience in the technology sector in executive roles in both multi-national and start-up environments. He’s a passionate believer in the role technology plays in enabling responsible mining.

Bridging the expertise gap and finding a ‘safe pair of hands’ 

The shift towards sustainability in mining requires specialised leadership. Today ‘Chief Sustainability Officers’ and ‘Heads of Responsible Mining’ are increasingly sought after, reflecting a growing recognition of the need for environmental stewardship skills at the executive level. However, there is a noticeable shortage of individuals with deep domain expertise in resources, creating a challenge in finding a 'safe pair of hands' to lead these initiatives.

While sourcing executives from adjacent industries is an option, an alternative strategy gaining momentum is leveraging software with a proven track record in empowering environmental intelligence and stewardship use cases. This approach enables mining companies to bridge the expertise gap and accelerate their journey towards responsible practices.

Eliminating the ‘black box’ between corporate and ground operations

Once a sustainability strategy leaves the corporate headquarters, its execution becomes a critical aspect that cannot be treated as a 'black box.' The manner in which operational teams implement commitments matters significantly and leaving them to navigate the finer details independently is no longer a viable approach.

We asked Matt Scholl his thoughts on current constraints when it comes to implementing Responsible Mining strategies. Here’s what he had to say:

Matt Scholl is a well-regarded senior manager and thought leader with more than 20 years of experience in environmental science and technology. He has guided the implementation of effective solutions at some of the most environmentally constrained mining operations in Australia, North and South America and Northern Europe.

For corporate teams setting strategy and direction, the message is clear: setting targets and making commitments is not enough. Effective and measurable action is crucial for turning promises into reality. According to the Responsible Mining Index, 90% of the challenge lies in how operations behave day-to-day. Outsourcing such a significant portion of a task without proper direction and oversight is not considered a sustainable approach.

The role of environmental intelligence platforms like Omnis 

Corporate responsibility extends beyond setting goals; it involves providing operations with the tools needed to define an action plan, measure its effectiveness, and integrate measurement data into sustainability and SDG/ESG reporting.

Exciting times ahead for the mining industry with data-driven decisions

Understanding that leadership by itself is not enough and miners need robust support structures to implement environmental stewardship and Responsible Mining initiatives effectively. Environmental intelligence platforms are emerging as key players in providing the necessary support for sustainable practices.

Under this model, actions become explainable, and a two-way visibility between head office and operations is established. This visibility allows for data-informed decision-making and continuous adjustments. It ensures that corporate commitments are not just lip service but are backed by an effective action plan.

Download: Free white paper on Responsible Mining 

Envirosuite understands the importance efficient and sustainable mines play in society. It is essential for the mining companies to break through data silos, build social license to operate and demonstrate responsible mining practices. 

Today’s mining operators remain focused on staying within imposed limits in order to avoid costly stoppages. Despite these measures, a variety of challenges at a mine site can hinder efficiency and lead to a constant struggle of balancing productivity targets against compliance thresholds.

Learn more about how the leading mining companies are bridging sustainability commitments and delivering results in our latest white paper “Extracting a better future”.  

Take me to the Responsible Mining white paper.