San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
UCL ISR Seminar Series
Mining’s contribution to sustainable development through the value
chain of minerals and metals
Ben Davies: Manager, Materials Stewardship –
International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM)
Abstract: If the mining and metals sector is to contribute successfully to sustainable development it must adopt principles and practices which address the entire life cycle of the materials we produce.
Beyond the mine our industry is tied to value chains and life cycles that we are part of, but do not always control. The sustainability of our operations is advanced by helping to manage these full life cycles. This means partnering with others to influence the aspects we cannot control directly and ensuring we play our part in providing information that can flow along the value chain as required. Put simply, it means metals and mining companies producing materials in a responsible manner and then working with others, beyond the mine site or factory gate, to ensure that they are managed properly to create maximum societal value.
Two key dynamics influence how we approach this I practice – the expectations and behaviour of our customer sectors, and the regulatory policy environment against which the value chains function. These dynamics are increasingly complementary and are in important drivers for a mining and metals company in today’s business environment as they help to maintain access to markets and present opportunities for new ways of operating and innovation.
Ultimately, any progress must be founded on a sense of shared responsibility for the resources we use and the materials we create. This integrated approach which lies at the heart of what ICMM members term materials stewardship. Placing this in the context of the provision of raw materials – the core business of many members – we define material stewardship as “the responsible provision of materials and supervision of material flows towards the creation of maximum societal value and minimum impact on man and the environment”.
ICMM engages in the external policy debate and assists its members in defining good practices in materials stewardship – a range of activities that can be undertaken to ensure that all parties – from mining and metals companies, product designers and users to regulators, the recycling industry and NGOs work collectively toward the responsible use of metal and mineral resources.
Biography: Ben Davies has worked with ICMM since 2004 and has a background in physical science having obtained his PhD for research in metallurgy and materials science.
Working within ICMM's Materials Stewardship work program, Ben’s primary responsibilities are in the fields of chemicals management and sustainable consumption and production. This work seeks to address the issue of the ‘sustainability footprint’ of materials throughout the supply chain. The aim is to foster efficient industry practice, responsible application of materials and external regulation that is based on sound science.
Ben is actively involved within the industry developing guidance to ensure that companies have the necessary resources to meet their commitments as ICMM members. It also requires engagement in the international policy arena where Ben regularly represents the sector at the United Nations and OECD as well as with national governments, IGOs and NGOs.
When & Where
UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources
The UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources was established as an academic department in 2011. It is a cross-disciplinary institute set up to carry out research, teaching and enterprise work in the research theme of sustainable use of resources and the environment and to bring together capabilities from across UCL. In 2012 we were re-located within the Bartlett, UCL’s Faculty of the Built Environment, and have developed a close relationship with UCL-Energy, with which we undertake joint projects, and share research tools and approaches.