We care for our planet and are committed minimising and mitigating pollution caused by our operations and to continually improving our environmental performance. Our environmental programmes are aligned to the Millennium Development Goals for environmental sustainability and global partnerships agreed to by the international community.
Our areas of focus, identified through an internal risk analysis and the engagement of stakeholders, are:
- Long-term security of energy and water supply at an affordable cost for current operations
- Managing risks and leveraging opportunities for our business in line with our climate change response strategy.
- Ensuring the Company’s ability to plan for and achieve closure that leaves communities with a sustainable end land use and an asset rather than a liability.
By its very nature, mining has an adverse impact on the natural environment. Our fundamental approach to environmental management is a precautionary one, based on a sound assessment of potential risks and their mitigation throughout the life cycle of our operations, from exploration to closure. We seek compliance as a minimum, with leading industry practice and continual improvement forming the basis of our approach.
Accountability for environmental management, including our response to climate change, resides ultimately with our Board (including our CEO), and is supported by management on both corporate and operational levels. Board members are in turn guided by the Board’s Safety and Sustainability Committee, to whom the Board has delegated this responsibility. Our Environmental Department ensures adherence to our Safety and Sustainability Policy through the implementation of programmes, systems and procedures.
The Lonmin Integrated Environmental Strategy for 2011 to 2014 supports the Safety and Sustainability Policy with the following key objectives and performance indicators:
- Maintaining our environmental programmes, with no directives or fines being issued; striving to ensure compliance with existing and new environmental legislation; continually improving on environmental maturity; and implementing uniform systems. Efficient resource use, consumption and alignment with strategic programmes and corporate targets relating to energy, water and waste management.
- Minimise environmental footprint, pollution, degradation and social liability by implementing measures to prevent or minimise environmental risks by, among other things, integrating short-, medium- and long-term closure planning within operational environmental plans.
- Overseeing sustainable material and product stewardship.
- Maintaining a good business and stakeholder standing by facilitating environmental integration within business, strengthening relationships with stakeholders and enhancing community wellness and development through the implementation of environmental community projects.
An Environmental Maturity Audit Protocol has been developed in alignment with Lonmin’s SHE Maturity Chart. The Protocol is being rolled-out to all business units in order to determine environmental maturity levels, culture change and ownership within the operations. Environmental maturity reflects the extent of ownership, improvement and environmental performance within the operations.
All of our operations seek to comply with applicable environmental legislative requirements to the extent described below. Our compliance and that of our contractors and lessees is monitored and audited regularly, along with our performance in terms of the objectives and targets set out in our strategies and plans. All our operations have maintained their ISO14001 certification.
Ours is an organisation willing to actively share learning experiences and contribute to policy and programme development at both national and international levels, as well as to the development of legislation. External environmental initiatives and programmes in which we actively participate include:
- The Chamber of Mines of South Africa’s Environmental Policy Committee and Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) to influence environmental policy and legislation. Lonmin representatives also serve on various Technical Working Groups of the Chambers of Mines’ Environmental Policy Committee.
- The Steering Committee for the Centre of Sustainability for Mining and Industry (CSMI) at the University of the Witwatersrand, which provides training and development for managers, practitioners and regulators.
- ICMM task forces on Climate Change, Socio-Economic Contribution, Resource Endowment, Materials Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship. Lonmin was integrally involved in the ICMM’s preparations for Rio+20. At COP17, Lonmin representatives participated in the CEO ‘fireside chat’ and made a presentation on Water Management and Adaptation Measures for Climate Change at the ICMM COP17 event Sustainable Development and Life Cycle Assessment Initiatives currently being undertaken by the International Platinum Association
- The National Business Initiative (NBI), a non-governmental organisation provides a platform for and facilitates co-operative partnerships, policy development and projects between government and industry. Current focus areas are climate change and energy management.
- Water policy and regional water resource management forums such as the Western Limb Producers’ Forum in the North West Province, the Olifants River Joint Water Forum in Limpopo Province, the Bojanala Platinum District Municipality Bulk Water Master Plan and Rand Water Services Forum.
- The National Association for Clean Air (NACA), as well as the North West Branch which is chaired by Lonmin.
- The North West Air Pollution Control Forum (NAPCOF), an industry-led forum that facilitates a collective response to government on air quality policy, legislation and strategic projects, as well as technical sessions.
- North West and Limpopo Air Quality Monitoring Groups led by the respective provincial departments to facilitate an air quality management plan for the Waterberg Priority Area.
- The Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa is a multi-disciplinary non-profit association, where Lonmin is represented. It is committed to supporting professional waste management practices; contributing to the improvement of waste management standards and legislation; supporting international, national and regional trends in best environmental practices; promoting the science and technology of waste management; and practising affordable cost-effective management of waste. Education and training in the realm of effective and efficient waste management is also a key focus
- The Gauteng Waste Management Forum, chaired by the Provincial Environmental Department, is held quarterly and aims to exchange ideas for managing waste and making a visible difference in the province; to encourage the implementation of developed plans; and to table and discuss draft Provincial Regulations and Projects.
The principles of environmental industry good practice that we wish to incorporate into our Company culture are communicated by means of annual induction and scheduled training of employees and contractors, which includes general environmental and legal training. Each operation also conducts site-specific environmental training. In 2012, Lonmin spent more than R298 million (US$37million) (2011: R169 million / US$21 million) on environmental management although this may be under-reported as many of our environmental activities are integrated into operating costs, and capital expenditure for infrastructure development within the operations.