With sustainable Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) outcomes emerging as critical to the success of mining companies, RPMGlobal's integrated technology and advisory offering are helping companies navigate the increasingly complex ESG agenda.
Amid a renewed focus on performance and transparency concerning ESG, companies are prioritising the proactive management of their ESG agenda to achieve sustainable outcomes and maintain strong stakeholder relationships.
PwC's Mine 2021 report highlighted the value of embedding ESG strategy into the core of a business, identifying that companies with higher ESG ratings outperformed the broader market during the height of the pandemic, and over the longer term.
With ESG considerations becoming fundamental to operational success, RPMGlobal Chief Executive Officer Richard Mathews called on the mining industry to seize the ESG opportunity.
"In order for the industry to pivot towards a more sustainable future and position for future growth, companies need a sound ESG action plan which requires integrating ESG into everyday business decisions," he said.
"At RPMGlobal, we are embracing the new normal which is increasingly focused on helping our global client base lower their carbon footprint and capturing ESG opportunities through our deep domain expertise and innovative technology."
Supporting mining clients with their ESG needs
While ESG, like safety, has long been a focus for the sector, the pressing requirement for miners to tackle all aspects of ESG in their day-to-day business operations has been the most significant shift in the industry over the past year.
A myriad of factors have contributed to the shift, including the ratification of the Paris Accord and the expectation for companies to set greenhouse and decarbonisation targets.
Furthermore, shareholders and institutional investors are demanding companies' place more emphasis on ESG practices. Looking ahead, there will likely be the need to report on ESG as part of public filings on various stock exchanges.
While there is much work that needs to happen to decarbonise mining and achieve net-zero targets, Mathews said RPMGlobal was well positioned to advance the industry towards a more sustainable future.
"As technology leaders and specialists in providing expert advice to the global mining industry, our fit-for-purpose technology and mining-focused ESG expertise ensures organisations can make the right decisions at every stage of their ESG journey," he said.
As part of RPMGlobal's efforts to help its client's transition towards a more sustainable way of operating, the company purchased Australian ESG services company Nitro Solutions in June 2021. This expanded its integrated ESG services offering to include environmental impact assessments, operational environmental management, and strategic environmental governance support.
The company's plans to build out its dedicated ESG advisory team and accelerate the delivery of these critical services to the industry show no signs of slowing down following the recent acquisition of Perth-headquartered environmental consultancy firm Blueprint Environmental Strategies in September.
The acquisition significantly bolsters RPMGlobal's in-house ESG capabilities, providing the company with added experience to deliver specialised ESG services to mining clients, particularly in the Western Australian market.
"Sustainable ESG outcomes have become critical to the success of mining companies and we are excited to be supporting the industry's quest to meet decarbonisation, governance and social license to operate requirements while also helping our clients navigate the increasingly complex ESG agenda," he said.
Combining technology and deep domain expertise to meet the industry's ESG needs
When it comes to helping client's transition to a more sustainable way of operating, RPMGlobal's unique competitive edge rests in its holistic offering—integrating mining-focused ESG capabilities with its growing suite of ESG technology capabilities.
Mathews said the team was focused on developing and integrating this unique capability into the suite of its mining specific software solutions to assist in the provision of practical and pragmatic solutions for its clients.
This kicked off at the start of 2021 with the addition of electric vehicle support for RPMGlobal's simulation platforms, allowing trade-offs between diesel, hybrid or all-electric haulage scenarios.
This functionality provides users with environmental disturbance capability for scheduling and reporting purposes concerning the disturbance of habitat areas, or any other matters of environmental significance across the life of the mine as well as shorter-term timeframes.
With hydrogen now viewed as having an important role to play in the industry's bid to decarbonise through the integration of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, the next step for RPMGlobal's haulage simulation platforms will be the introduction of hydrogen vehicle technology to the mix. Foundation work has already started on the offering, with completion planned for later this calendar year.
Against a backdrop of increasing focus and scrutiny from shareholders on organisations' ESG credentials, Mathews said it was important to develop solutions that mitigate risk and add value for the industry in this space.
"We are passionate about playing a key role in guiding customers through the current and emerging challenges being faced by the industry worldwide," he said.
"Our intention is to develop a world-class ESG technology stack that builds on the expertise of our advisory division, and we are looking forward to the continued expansion of our ESG solution offering alongside our commitment to helping our customers establish and address their growing ESG compliance and reporting requirements."