Research & Innovation 2015-16 - Page 105

Mapping mining to the SDGs:
a preliminary atlas
Although mining can affect all the United Nations (UN)
sustainable development goals (SDGs) either positively or
negatively, it has an extraordinary potential to contribute to their
achievement. UCT has participated in a global project: an atlas
that outlines key focus areas for the mining industry within
each of the 17 SDGS.
Mining can mobilise vast physical, technological
and financial resources. It also serves as a catalyst
to promote investment and innovation, and to
stimulate the creation of jobs that will contribute
towards the achievement of the SDGs and the
broader 2030 agenda.
In order to help all stakeholders in the international
mining sector navigate how to contribute towards
these SDGs, Mapping Mining to the sustainable
development goals: a preliminary atlas was
conceived as a joint project and developed by
the Columbia Centre on Sustainable Investment
(CCSI), the UN Sustainable Development Solutions
Network (SDSN), the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP) and the World Economic
Forum (WEF). A draft was issued for public
consultation in January 2016.
Having identified the opportunity, UCT has
launched an initiative to assess the extent to which
mining companies already contribute towards the
SDG objectives, in both quantitative and qualitative
terms. It will also identify ways in which the sector
should adapt and improve, by implementing new
operating procedures or methods, and embed the
SDGs more effectively in governance, management
systems, organisational culture and disclosure.
“The programme aims to inculcate this culture into
the future leaders in the industry, by building the
principles into every aspect of their engineering
and business education, in both undergraduate and
postgraduate course work and assignments,” says
Adjunct Professor Mike Solomon.
Professor Dee Bradshaw, DST/NRF SARChl Chair in
Mineral Beneficiation, initiated workshops hosted
at UCT to discuss the mining atlas, and submitted
their contribution and additions to the atlas. “Our
major contribution to the document,” she says,
“was the inclusion of
the recognition of the role
that universities and learning
institutions have as a source
of ideas and opportunities, and to
convene and coordinate education, research
and professional development that address mining
and the SDGs.”
Solomon and Bradshaw met the partners in New
York City in September 2015, and presented their
work on operationalising the SDGs for further
engagement and discussion of next steps.
Industry, innovation and infrastructure 100

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