The health of land and water ecosystems around the world is increasingly at risk, making environmental stewardship paramount.1 Responsible environmental management creates value for the communities near mining operations as well as for our stakeholders and shareholders. Meeting or exceeding environmental standards contributes to support for mining, for recruitment and retention of employees and, on the global stage, helps to meet the objectives of several UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Due to the physical disturbance of the land, generation of air- and water-based emissions, use of resources and associated production processes, mining has the potential to adversely impact the environment. Many of these impacts can be mitigated or avoided through proper management and recognition of the interrelated nature of environmental issues, the cumulative nature of many environmental impacts and the need to look at impacts across the mining life cycle and value chain.
We work in highly regulated jurisdictions with stringent and rigorously applied environmental legislation, which also makes environmental management a key compliance issue. Changes in environmental laws may have a material effect on our operations, both in terms of effort required to receive permits and in terms of investments required to achieve and maintain compliance.
In 2019, we continued to make progress in several aspects of environmental management, including Water Stewardship, Climate Change and Energy Use, Biodiversity and Reclamation, Air Quality and in Waste Management. We met our target of having zero significant environmental incidents in 2019.