ESG & Sustainability

Responsible sourcing of metals and minerals, while respecting the needs of surrounding communities and minimising environmental impacts, today requires more than a tick-box reporting or data gathering exercise. Hence, the PGM industry has embarked on incorporating Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices and solid sustainability initiatives into its long-term strategic planning and decision-making process.

ESG brings together all the environmental, social and governance compliance themes into a comprehensive framework that can help mining and fabricating companies to successfully find the balance between people, the environment, and profit. As a business approach, ESG presents many opportunities such as building resilience and creating certainty and trust within the organisation and the surrounding communities. It generates long-term value for companies by controlling risks and capitalising on opportunities created by environmental and socio-economic factors.

There is, however, often a communication gap between what companies are already doing and achieving on ESG and the perception of various stakeholders, including workers, surrounding communities, customers, government, and investors.

This is were the IPA as the global representation of the PGM value chain has a role to play: to assess, collate, and communicate ESG initiatives and achievements across the supply chain to various interested stakeholders, and to collaborately identify, discuss and address challenges and opportunities.

The PGM industry acknowledges the growing importance of eco-social stability to retain its licence to operate. Hence, our definition of "sustainability" expands beyond the traditional boundaries of safety, health and environment, to also consider the sustainability of the business as a whole, and especially, to include the widely adopted United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

SDG Mapping Project

Individual member companies all pursue their own sustainability strategies and consistently report their progress against the SDGs.

At the same time, the PGM industry, under the umbrella of the IPA, has undertaken a collaborative effort to map its joint contribution against several SDGs, and to develop a data-supported SDG-narrative in order to present an honest view to society and the growing ethical investor marketplace.

The comprehensiveness of the SDGs cuts across all aspects of business and therefore takes into account how core operations, supply chain, social investment, public advocacy, policy dialogue and partnerships contribute in positive or negative ways to the SDGs.

The results of this first mapping project is currently being internally reviewed and will soon be communicated to stakeholders.

Assessing the Life Cycle: New IPA LCA Study (2017 data)

In 2020, the PGM industry conducted a second industry-wide Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) based on 2017 production data and adapting to new reporting requirements. The study was reviewed according to ISO 14040 (2006) & 14044 (2006) and ISO/TS 14071 (2014) by and independent technical expert.

The LCA has been conducted on platinum, palladium, and rhodium, since these are the most relevant metals for application in catalytic converters, an application accounting for over 60% of demand in 2017.

More information on the second LCA study can be found under PGMs in the Life Cycle.