ERG has published its Sustainable Development Report for 2018. The document, which further aligns the company with international best practice and reporting standards, highlights a plethora of positive milestones achieved and demonstrates ERG’s approach to creating value for its stakeholders.
In 2018, we developed and started the implementation of our 2025 Strategy, which sets out ERG’s strategic priorities as we pursue the Vision of being “An international sustainable, socially responsible and efficient natural resources company”. To support this, we introduced the ERG Production System and the ERG Business System in Kazakhstan and established ERG Capital Projects, a dedicated company to support the effective execution of our projects. The Group also hosted a number of employee development programmes including ERG’s Young Leaders, League of Professionals and the Innovators’ Forum, which keep strengthening corporate culture across our entities in Kazakhstan. This is currently complemented by the Group’s Corporate Values, which set a foundation for further cultural workplace transformation.
Safety remains our top priority and, to that end, we reduced the lost time injury frequency rate among employees by 15.9% across the Group. We also achieved 13.2m consecutive LTI-free hours during the construction of Metalkol RTR in the DRC.
ERG commissioned Metalkol RTR and introduced the ERG Clean Cobalt Framework aimed at assuring responsible production and supply chain management. This included our continuous support of partnerships with Good Shepherd International Foundation and Pact’s “Children Out of Mining – Northern Kolwezi” programme in the DRC. To help support our Clean Cobalt Framework we began developing a pilot programme using the IBM Blockchain Platform at Metalkol RTR to enhance the traceability of cobalt.
We continued to implement projects to support the socio-economic development and wellbeing of our communities. In Kazakhstan, the STEM laboratories supported by ERG will provide benefits to over 9,000 pupils, and the Student Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Programme has been rolled out across the country with over 5,000 students taking part during 2018. In the DRC, we have launched a Sustainable Agricultural Programme in partnership with local communities. Other impactful community projects included our support of access to potable water in the DRC and Brazil.
As part of our commitment to the sustainable development of our host regions, in 2018 a new long-term Air Emissions Strategy was developed in Kazakhstan. In Brazil, the planned tailings dam at BAMIN was changed from an upstream to a downstream design, aligned with international best practice.
With a view to championing sustainability, our work continues to take a global focus through ERG’s involvement in strategic initiatives led by international organisations and other key stakeholders including the Global Battery Alliance, the Partnership Against Corruption Initiative (PACI) and China’s Belt and Road Initiative.