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Newmont ranked mining industry’s overall leader in sustainability again

Newmont Mining Corporation, the parent company of Newmont Ghana Gold Limited (Ahafo Mine) and Newmont Golden Ridge Limited (Akyem Mine) has been ranked the mining industry’s overall leader in sustainability for the second consecutive time by the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI-World).

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This achievement also marks the tenth consecutive year Newmont has been included on the DJSI-World, making it the only mining company to have achieved this milestone.

Newmont was the first gold company named to the index in 2007, and has been included on the DJSI North America Index since 2006.

“Our company’s commitment to Newmont’s Sustainability and Responsibility values has contributed significantly to this recognition from the DJSI-World. We thank our employees and business partners for staying true to our purpose of creating value and improving lives through sustainable and responsible mining.” said Alwyn Pretorius, Newmont’s Regional Senior Vice President, Africa Operations.

He added: “These recognitions are further proof of our strong contribution to our host communities and Ghana.”

In addition to being ranked the overall industry leader in the mining sector, Newmont received the highest score (100th percentile) in a number of areas including Occupational Health and Safety, Risk and Crisis Management; Climate Strategy; Environmental Policy and Management Systems; Water-related Risks; Asset Closure Management; and Corporate Citizenship and Philanthropy.

The DJSI-World, one of the most highly regarded sustainability indices includes 316 global companies identified as leaders in the areas of sustainable economic, environmental and social performance.

Since it commenced operations in Ghana, Newmont has instituted a number of comprehensive social investment programmes in education, healthcare, infrastructure, human resource development, local content support and other sustainability initiatives at its Akyem and Ahafo operational areas.

Newmont Ghana’s strong performance in these areas contributed to Newmont’s second time recognition as the world’s leader in Dow Jones Sustainability World Index.

This year, Newmont Ghana’s Akyem mine was ranked the first among Ghana’s 100 most prestigious companies (Ghana Club 100) while its Ahafo mine was ranked 8th.

The Akyem Mine was also adjudged the Leader in the Petroleum and Mining Sector Rankings. Both mines have also been ISO14001 certified and indicate their adherence to the highest standards in environmental practice.

More information on Newmont Ghana’s safety, economic, environmental and social performance can be found in Newmont’s annual sustainability report, Beyond the Mine.
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Source: starrfmonline


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Africa has to go through its own industrial revolution

Capitalism is failing Africa. A relatively small number of entrepreneurs have prospered on the continent in the past decade, becoming the face of the “Africa Rising” narrative. But hundreds of millions more have remained poor and unemployed, and lacking electricity, good schools and access to adequate healthcare.

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The collective gross domestic product of the continent’s 54 nations is roughly $1.5tn — less than that of Brazil alone, at more than $2tn. Africa, with 70 per cent of the world’s strategic minerals, has about 2 per cent of world trade and 1 per cent of global manufacturing.

Capitalism has been the greatest creator of national wealth in world history, lifting billions out of poverty from Singapore to China, and from South Korea to Brazil. But Africa stands on the cusp of a lost opportunity because its leaders — and those who assess its progress in London, Paris and Washington — are wrongly fixated on the rise and fall of GDP and foreign investment flows, mostly into resource extraction industries and modern shopping malls.

They are in thrall to orthodoxies better suited for more mature economies. African countries need to focus on creating broad-based growth across sectors and social classes in order to promote jobs and labour productivity. This is what improves GDP per capita, which has remained stagnant at less than $3,000 in most African countries. Africa must stop counting malls and measure jobs and their productivity instead.

There is no shortcut to that outcome that can ignore building industrial economies based on manufacturing. African nations must reject the misleading notion that they can join the west by becoming post-industrial societies without having first been industrial ones.

Africa should be striving for self-sufficiency and to become part of the globalised production value chain. This requires the consistent development of skilled labour, linking innovation to industrial production, as well as investment — both domestic and foreign — in infrastructure and manufacturing.

Fossil power has turned out to be a mirage in countries such as Nigeria. They need to switch to a strategy based on renewable energy that is often quicker to install and is increasingly cost-effective.

If countries across Africa are to achieve inclusive economic growth on this basis, another shibboleth must be confronted: the one which decrees that for economies to prosper and grow, governments must get out of the way of business. On the contrary, governments must lead the way, with a firm hand on the wheel and by setting policy that creates an enabling environment for market-based growth that creates jobs.

They must also keep a careful eye on market actors with regulation and oversight that has wider social objectives in view. Markets must work for society and not the other way round. That, surely, is one of the lessons of the global financial crisis.

This is not an argument for a heavy-handed statist approach that would choke productivity and stifle competition. Nevertheless, a strategic role for governments remains essential. The question is whether African governments are capable of making the right policy choices. Ethiopia and Rwanda offer hopeful examples.

African countries need to remove incentives for systemic corruption if the proceeds of growth are to be widely shared. The Nigerian government under President Muhammadu Buhari has rightly withdrawn subsidies and deregulated the importation of refined petroleum products. Next, it should review its policy of maintaining an artificially fixed exchange rate, in the face of depressed income from crude oil. This has bred corrupt arbitrage in currency markets and hurt productivity.

Another key to manufacturing-based, inclusive growth is “smart protectionism” — temporary tariffs that would protect nascent industries from the cheap imports that have rendered African economies uncompetitive on the global stage. For developing countries, such as many of those in Africa, this can be achieved within the rules of the World Trade Organisation.

For capitalism to work for Africa, just as it has for China and much of east Asia, public policymakers must shake off the shackles of orthodoxy.

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South Africa: Environmental Affairs Investigates Solid Waste Technologies’ City Deep Facility

PRESS RELEASE

The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) can confirm that the Green Scorpions executed a search warrant at the Solid Waste Technologies’ City Deep, Johannesburg, processing facility on 31 August 2015.

The company has been prosecuted in the past for failure to comply with conditions of its permits as well as contraventions of the Waste Act. These contraventions took place in 2012 and the court convicted and sentenced the company to a fine of R200 000 on 30 April 2015.

The execution of the search warrant this week follows an inspection conducted by waste specialists from the DEA last week. The waste specialists noted serious concerns in relation to the manner in which anatomical and infectious waste was being stored. It was found that tonnes of healthcare risk waste (medical waste) was not being treated and/or stored properly, which is in contravention of the conditions of the waste management licence that was issued to Solid Waste Technologies.

The investigation and execution of the search warrant has also uncovered serious violations of the Waste Act by some of the major healthcare groups whose waste is being stored at the facility. Criminal charges against these healthcare groups are also being investigated, as the ultimate legal responsibility lies with the waste generators to ensure that the waste is treated and disposed of correctly.

Spokesperson for the Department Albi Modise said: “This criminal investigation further emphasises the Green Scorpions’ zero tolerance approach to unlawful activities as far as health care risk waste is concerned”.

Members of the public are also urged to report any environmental incidents and tip offs to the 24 hour toll free anonymous number 0800 205 005.

Source: allafrica


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R84bn smart city to encompass pervasive ICT

The coming months should see construction start in earnest on the R84 billion Chinese-driven “smart city” project, on Johannesburg’s East Rand, which will be completed over a 15-year period.

Anthony Diepenbroek, CEO of Zendai Development SA – the local arm of Hong Kong-based Shanghai Zendai Investments – says the “smart” concept for Modderfontein New City, as the development is known, is not limited to ICT services such as connectivity and fibre-to-the-home.

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 8.58.03 AM“Our vision is to develop a more digitally connected Modderfontein New City that will not only make connectivity commonplace, but enable residents to lead a quality life,” explains Diepenbroek.

“We envisage that once the new city begins to take shape, smart systems will not only provide world-class ICT infrastructure, but also enable efficient use of resources and provide services that are responsive to people’s needs. The smart city elements will be all pervasive and not limited to ICT functions – but also cover energy, healthcare, water, waste and education.”

He says the new city will embrace smart technology to aid in the administration of city services, as well as reduce congestion, pollution, and energy consumption through sustainable development practices.

“Modderfontein New City is expected to be the first smart city in the country with services and systems designed into the fabric of the built environment from the outset.”

Employment Boost

Zendai Development SA notes, once completed, the planned development is expected to infuse an additional employment boost in the Ekurhuleni metro, generating up to 200 000 white- and blue-collar jobs.

The company also expects the smart city development will create a significant amount of jobs and contribute billions of rands to the economy during the construction phase. According to an economic assessment, prepared by the Bureau for Economic Research (BER) in March last year, “there may be significant economy-wide benefits stemming from the Modderfontein development”.

The BER assessment – based on the 15-year development period and data supplied by the developers – indicates an annual contribution to the economy of R13.5 billion and the creation of more than 21 000 jobs a year.

Diepenbroek claims the project will see some of the biggest construction activity since the country hosted the soccer World Cup in 2010. “The model is skewed towards partnerships with local developers and/or the on-selling of parcels of land to independent developers. We expect the project to create significant downstream opportunities for even students in artisans’ institutes in the vicinity.”

He adds skills and knowledge transfer is an imperative to a project of any size. “Given the footprint of Modderfontein New City, we trust we will be able to run a robust knowledge transfer programme in project management and engineering, safety, sustainability, project controls and other specialties.”

Local Content

Diepenbroek also allays fears that skills for the construction of the smart city would be resourced mainly from China, meaning the local labour force would not benefit. “As an organisation, we will seek to attract and develop the right mix of skills to support the development. To ensure a flow of the right talent to grow the business over time, we will be looking at hiring both locally as well as globally to build our talent pipeline.

“We seek to make a direct and meaningful contribution to economic and social inclusion by employing local talent. If certain skills are not available in South Africa, we would look at the global pool for such skills. However, we will have a programme to ensure these skills are transferred to South Africans. As a business, we are committed to meeting the prescribed employment benchmarks.”

Diepenbroek points out the development will be managed by Zendai Development SA, which will ensure contracts awarded to suppliers – both local and international – will follow due process and comply with regulatory and local government requirements.

He further notes the technology components for the smart city development would be sourced both locally and internationally. “The city will be rendered ‘smart’ through a collection of technologies cutting across many industries – transportation and traffic management, energy, telecoms and IT, electronics and surveillance, etc.

“To manage this torrent of information on a project the size of Modderfontein New City – we will have to rely on both local, as well as international suppliers. No one firm can cover the entire industry chain, in our opinion.”

Environment Issues

The proposed development has also raised concerns among the Wetland Society of SA. According to environmental consultant and Wetland Society board member Paul Fairall, the extended seeps and wetland systems that straddle the Modderfonteinspruit are classified by Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development as irreplaceable.

Fairall says he will approach Zendai Development SA to discuss the company’s environmental impact assessment permits. However, Diepenbroek says all relevant clearances and regulatory approvals will be sought before any project starts. “Applications for environment clearances are sought on a project basis.

“These include detail related to wetlands, planned public/private open space, and the full spectrum of development parameters. All applications are subject to scrutiny and ultimately approval by the relevant authorities and departments therein.”

He points out Zendai Development SA previously planned and implemented projects such as Modderfontein Reserve and the rehabilitation and restoration of the Westlake wetland, in Modderfontein.

Source: IT Web


 

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