The World Gold Council has published a report entitled Gold Mining’s Contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.Publication of this report coincides with the 75th session of the UN General Assembly and the SDG Business Forum. Terry Heymann, Chief Financial Officer at the World Gold Council said, “Responsible gold mining can lead to sustained social and economic development.” The report outlines how leading gold mining companies are making a significant contribution towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The report includes 39 case studies on how members of the World Gold Council are bringing about positive change across four thematic areas: global partnerships; social inclusion; economic development; and responsible operations, energy and the environment. Heymann added that the report provides a clear demonstration of the positive role that responsible gold mining operations can bring to their local communities and support delivery of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Examples of the commitments the gold mining industry has made towards sustainable strategies include:
- Global partnership: World Gold Council members are committed to playing their part in multi-stakeholder partnerships. Case studies showcase a wide-ranging malaria programme as well as partnerships that provide water education and medical supplies to communities.
- Social inclusion: WGC members are committed to improve social inclusion in the countries they operate it, highlighted in the report through the actions gold mining companies are taking to support a more gender inclusive workplace, opening opportunities for indigenous people and strengthening their human rights track-record.
- Economic development: WGC members support the socio-economic development of the communities in which their mines are located. This is highlighted in the report by a number of case studies which cover targeted investment in and creating direct and indirect jobs for locals, working with farmers to share their produce, bringing down mortality rates with nursing and midwifery training, strengthening public health systems and tackling infectious diseases such as malaria and TB and supporting education programmes.
- Responsible operations, energy and the environment: Gold mining companies have made significant strides in reducing energy and water use. This is highlighted in the report by showing energy efficiency programmes, increasing use of renewable energy as well as projects that look to minimise the volumes of water used at mine sites while also ensuring that local communities have access to clean water and sanitation.