MAC is helping to build capacity within the global mining industry by sharing its expertise in sustainable mining practices.
One of the most effective ways MAC and its members have been doing this is by freely sharing the Towards Sustainable Mining® (TSM®) initiative with mining associations in other countries that are seeking tools to improve the environmental and social performance of their mining industries.
Launched in 2004, the TSM initiative is a world-recognized sustainability standard that measures mining facilities’ performance related to environmental stewardship, community engagement and energy efficiency. Participation in TSM is mandatory for MAC members’ Canadian operations and is proactively applied by several of our members internationally.
As part of TSM, members report on the performance of their mine sites every year, and every three years this performance undergoes third-party verification. TSM is backed by best practice guidance, and is overseen by a Community of Interest Advisory Panel that advises and continually shapes the program.
Global interest in TSM is growing at a rapid pace. Since 2015, it has spread beyond Canada to nine other countries on six continents. Additionally, many other countries have expressed interest in the program and are exploring adoption.
While each jurisdiction has the ability to tailor its performance areas so that they reflect the unique aspects of their domestic mining sector, there are seven core components that must be implemented when adopting TSM. This helps to ensure that the program is implemented to the same high standard as it is applied in Canada.
Core Components of TSM
- Guiding Principles: Associations must commit to a set of Guiding Principles that reflect the environmental and social goals of the industry and its communities of interest.
- Performance Indicators: Associations must implement performance indicators to measure success in adhering to those Guiding Principles.
- Facility-Level Reporting: Associations must have measures that track progress against the performance indicators at the facility level, where the mining activity takes place.
- Independent Verification: Associations must implement an appropriate framework for independent verification of performance to ensure that reported self-assessed results accurately reflect performance.
- Public Disclosure of Facility-Level Reporting: A mechanism must facilitate the public reporting of facility-level performance results.
- Condition of Membership: TSM must be a condition of membership in the implementing association.
- Community of Interest Advisory Body: Associations must ensure that an advisory body, representing challenging interests and a broad spectrum of societal perspectives, is in place.
Throughout the implementation of TSM, mining associations must work in conjunction with their Community of Interest Advisory Body.