In preparation for our inaugural ESG and Sustainability Report, we conducted a comprehensive materiality assessment; an analysis and validation process to define the topics of greatest interest to our stakeholders and substantively impact our business.
Working with an independent consultant, our corporate sustainability team conducted a peer and industry benchmarking review of sustainability topics that are common to the mining industry. We assessed international standards and guidelines, such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) topic-specific disclosures and the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) Sustainable Development Framework. The ICMM framework also served as a proxy for emerging industry trends and issues. We considered investor ratings services (i.e., Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS)) to incorporate investor input into the assessment.
We visited our three producing mines and conducted interviews with senior operations management to determine key sustainability issues, risks, and opportunities.
We categorized the list of topics following the general guidance of the GRI’s topic-specific disclosures, and then applied a weighted scoring system based on our enterprise risk management (ERM) system as well as our peer and industry benchmarking results. Senior corporate and operations management were then surveyed to rank the various topics in importance.
The report is written for our key stakeholders, including but not limited to:
- our employees and their families
- the people of the communities in which we operate
- our shareholders, business partners, and service providers
- legislators, regulators and government officials
Refining Materiality for 2019
For our second report, we revisited the materiality process, as was promised in 2018:
|2018 Commitment||2019 Progress|
|Include development sites in materiality surveys to increase
external stakeholder input
|Achieved. Development projects completed surveys|
|Develop a community survey and integrate it with existing community consultation||Achieved. 100+ surveys completed at sites and development projects|
|Engage local staff to conduct the survey to encourage local ownership of process||Achieved. Surveys were completed internally by SSR mining local staff|
|Develop training materials for company personnel||Achieved|
|Meet investor expectations for SASB disclosures||Report scope expanded to include SASB requirements
GRI framework maintained to retain year-on-year comparability
2019’s assessment added extensive stakeholder engagement to the desktop-based internal analysis and peer review. Identified topics were validated through stakeholder interviews and surveys at both operation and development projects, followed by a validation session with the SSR Sustainability Steering Committee.
The table below provides a visual representation of the assessed topics.
- Top Material Focus Areas are considered material for our company and form the key sections of this report
- Subtopics for each key material focus area have been identified and ranked in priority from largest to smallest significance.
- Subtopics of highest and medium significance are addressed in disclosures throughout the report and flagged in a watch-list for future review and consideration
- Subtopics ranked ‘lowest’ in our ranking process were determined to be of lower relevance to our operations. As they may be important in some contexts, we will continue to monitor their significance
2019 Materiality Assessment Topics Ranked
|Top Material Focus Area||Highest Significance||Medium Significance||Lowest Significance|
Anti-corruption and bribery
|Transparency in government payments
Security practices (low in 2018)
|Health & Safety||Health & Safety|
|Economic Performance||Production & Cost Guidance|
|People||Employees and people development
|Diversity and inclusion1|
Waste management (medium in 2018)
Permitting and compliance
Energy and GHG emissions
|Communities||Community / stakeholder engagement
Community economic development
Supply chain management
1) Diversity & Inclusion is included under Employees and People Development
SASB and GRI standards
This report takes guidance from the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). SASB sets internationally-respected financial reporting standards with specific classifications for major industries and sectors, including mining. The GRI Standards are global standards for sustainability reporting, with industry-specific programs that represent the global best practice for reporting on a range of economic, environmental and social impacts.
We believe that these reporting guidelines help us to maintain a high standard of transparency, clarity and comparability, and demonstrate our commitment to transparent reporting, especially in those categories that are most important to our stakeholders.
An index of GRI and SASB topics is at the end of this report.