The world needs the mining sector for materials we depend on and it is integral that globally recognized standards like Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) be in place to ensure that the process of mining is being managed responsibly, from start to finish.
TSM, a made-in-Canada standard first developed by the Mining Association of Canada (MAC), was originally created in 2004 to drive performance improvement across a range of social and environmental issues where it mattered most — at the mine site level. The program has fostered a significant cultural shift across the sector, making it more inclusive and transparent. This focus on mine site performance makes TSM a go-to system for investors and manufacturers looking to invest in and purchase responsibly mined materials. TSM was the first mining sustainability standard in the world to require site-level assessments. Through TSM, eight critical aspects of social and environmental performance are evaluated, independently validated, and publicly reported against 30 distinct performance indicators.
TSM goes beyond principles and requires mining companies to annually assess, publicly report and verify their performance at the facility level. Performance is evaluated across a set of detailed environmental and social performance standards, including tailings management, climate change, water stewardship, Indigenous and community relationships, safety and health, biodiversity conservation, crisis management and preventing child and forced labour.
External oversight is an important component of TSM and the standard is overseen by a national independent Community of Interest Advisory Panel, comprised of representatives from Indigenous communities, environmental organizations, labour representatives, finance, local mining communities, social and faith-based organizations and academia.
The public, investors, customers and stakeholders are more focused on sustainable practices in the mining industry than ever before, and TSM brings confidence that the minerals and metals essential for the items we use every day are being mined responsibly. In fact, recent polling has found that upon learning about Canada’s leadership in sustainable mining via TSM, 88% believe it is a good idea for government to support Canadian companies that adhere to such standards in their efforts to win in export markets and to attract investment to Canada.
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