Biodiversity loss. Soil contamination. Erosion. Pollution. Mining can have a major impact on the environment and local communities — not only where mines are located, but where mined materials are used. But the minerals mining produces are also critical to the energy transition and the fight against climate change.
Australia is one of the world’s biggest mining countries, and is at a crossroads in its development. It is the world’s biggest exporter of coal, particularly to its regional neighbours, and mining the fossil fuel is one of the enduring pillars of its economy. But Australia also wants to be the renewable energy superpower of Asia Pacific, and has the potential to be a hub for the minerals needed to make solar panels and wind turbines, and power the region’s transition to clean energy.
Can Australia be both the region’s renewables champion and king of coal? As the deadline nears for the Eco-Business A-List, an annual search for Asia Pacific’s most influential sustainability executives, it’s worth asking what steps Australia’s mining firms are taking to make environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues part of their operations, as pressure builds from activists and investors for miners to be more accountable for their considerable impact.
Joining the Eco-Business podcast to talk about the environmental and social impact of mining and the energy transition is Michael Salvatico, the Sydney-based Asia Pacific head of ESG business development for sustainability data and analytics firm Trucost, part of S&P.
Tune in as we talk about:
- Where Australia’s mining sector stands on sustainability
- Why Australia needs more — not less — mining
- The mining sector’s best and worst sustainability performers
- Australia’s opportunity to be a renewables super power
- Mining and the just transition
- What does the future of mining look like?
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