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ESG measuring and reporting: fact or fiction?

Sustainable Mining 2021

7th International Congress on Environment and Social Responsibility in Mining

Norman Gridley (VP Americas, Satarla) and Sarah Gordon (CEO, Satarla), provided a presentation to the 2021 Sustainable Mining Conference on the challenges associated with ESG Reporting in the Mining Sector; ESG measuring and reporting: fact or fiction?.

This conference, held in South America every two years, attracts professionals from around the world. The Satarla presentation, given to the online conference, addressed how and why ESG standards are changing, what are some of the current day problems in ESG reporting, and what are some of the practical solutions to address this problem which can assist companies, investors, customers and communities.

The slides and factsheets of how to implement this approach can be viewed and downloaded here, and the 20 minute recording can be watched below.

If you or your company are interested in discussing any of the topics raised, please feel free to reach out to us:


The plethora of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting standards and supporting measurements pertaining to different components of the extractives industries has expanded significantly over the past three years. Investors, customers, governments, and operators all need to prove that they are operating responsibly. Societal expectations regarding responsible sourcing and ability to enact a sustainable energy transfer to a greener future further drive this. However, does our measurement and reporting of ESG reflect reality or is it just “green washing”?

It is far easier to report on the presence of a data collection method (e.g. inspections; audits; data measurement tools such as a thermometer) or guidance programme (e.g. procedures; workforce training; alarms sounding), than it is to ascertain the true impact of an initiative. Unfortunately, the majority of ESG standards focus on the easier aspects rather than the questions that delve into the true potential impact and action being delivered by an organisation.

How do we improve this to ensure that ESG reporting is fact rather than fiction?

From an operator’s perspective:

  1. Identify the impact focused questions posed by the most relevant standards to you. These will allow you to share the status and plans for your material ESG risks and issues (both positive and negative).

  2. Provide monitoring data and updates on where you are carrying out true action, rather than confirming that you still have your procedures in place.

From a regulator / investor / customer / society perspective:

  1. When formulating your questionnaires and audits, only ask for data that will give you real insight to the potential impact of an operation’s activities.

  2. Use independent datasets to monitor an operation (e.g. satellite derived optical and gas emissions datasets). This will allow you to verify what the operation is telling you as well as ask insightful questions.

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