Eurasian Resources Group (ERG), a leading diversified natural resources group, has announced the release of its Sustainable Development Report for 2017, which reflects the Group’s efforts to embed sustainability and integrates a corporate level materiality assessment and new business strategy framework.
The Report brings the Group into closer alignment with international best practice and standards in reporting while the internal materiality assessment supported ERG’s identification and understanding of its most important sustainability issues. The Report for 2017 also began to consider ERG’s new business strategy and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Commenting on the publication of the Report, Benedikt Sobotka, CEO of Eurasian Resources Group, said: “ERG is fully committed to being a sustainable and responsible business and we are proud of the progress we have made. The theme of our 2017 Sustainable Development Report – Embedding Sustainability – reflects ERG’s journey to achieve integrated sustainability across all areas of our business to ensure we generate sustained, shared benefits for all stakeholders over the long-term.”
Preparing the business for Industry 4.0, facilitating innovations and improving operational efficiency continued to be a cornerstone of ERG’s sustainability activities throughout 2017. In practice, this included:
• The development of ERG’s Smart Mine project in the Republic of Kazakhstan
• Multiple operational efficiency initiatives delivering savings of more than US$100 million
• ERG’s second Innovators’ Forum for employees on Industry 4.0 and idea-generation, which involved international experts and government officials.
Another highlight for the Group in 2017 was the establishment of the ERG Academy in Kazakhstan to develop a common corporate culture and equip employees with the skills to apply transformation in practice.
In 2017, ERG helped to found and launch the Global Battery Alliance, a World Economic Forum initiative, which initiated a collaboration to drive a sustainable value chain for lithium-ion batteries to power the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Under this innovative framework for the whole industry, the Group collaborated with other leading companies, international organisations and NGOs, such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the African Development Bank.
Some other key sustainability initiatives are listed below:
• Further advanced growth and renewal projects enabling the business to be well-positioned for the future whilst supporting the global ‘Green Economy’ through the production of ferroalloys, cobalt, copper and aluminium
• Completed the implementation of SAP® in Kazakhstan and launched a performance management system for ERG Africa
• Continued participation in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) by developing close cooperation with Chinese institutions and partners
• Strengthened compliance management through a number of initiatives including the roll out of a new Compliance Strategy and further development of the third party due diligence processes
• Initiated the development of a chain of custody aligned with OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Supply Chains for Metalkol RTR, its flagship cobalt and copper project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Helping their people thrive
• Introduced a new corporate safety improvement programme in Kazakhstan to support the Group’s Zero Harm vision
• Implemented a new Safety, Health, Environment and Communities management system in Africa aligned with International Finance Corporation Performance Standards
• Achieved over seven million consecutive injury-free hours at Metalkol RTR within the construction phase
Socio-economic development and wellbeing
• Contributed US$111 million in CSI (Community Social Investment) in ERG’s operating regions
• Continued to improve the quality of life of both local communities and employees through,for example, the Tugan Zher programme in Kazakhstan in partnership with local authorities, and education initiatives in the DRC
• Implemented strategic initiatives to support the future of local communities and their sustainability, e.g. through the establishment of the Student Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Programme, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) labs and support of other innovative businesses in Kazakhstan
• Completed Participatory Rural Appraisals in 11 local communities in the DRC to identify their needs, develop action plans and empower them in their own sustainable development
• Supported community development initiatives focused on helping children out of artisanal and small-scale mining in the DRC: ERG pledged more than US$1 million to support a three-year partnership with the Good Shepherd International Foundation in the Kolwezi area near Metalkol RTR
• Implemented initiatives to improve air emissions performance in the Pavlodar region in Kazakhstan, such as the analysis taking into account the international practice and the launch of an advanced filtration technology application programme
• Reduced energy consumption in Kazakhstan by over 3,000 terajoules whilst generating cost savings of over US$7 million through energy efficiency initiatives
• Carried out energy audits at Boss Mining, Frontier Mine and Chambishi Metals as part of a five-year energy efficiency programme at ERG Africa.