An analysis of Placer Dome's sustainability policy and its effects on the ground.
Published: July 1, 1999
By: Krista Dahlberg
From the Foreword:
Too often, mining companies want to discuss sustainability only in terms of how to mine, not whether to mine. For any sustainability policy to be complete it must address the issues of where and when it is appropriate or not to mine.
While there are both theoretical and practical challenges to achieving sustainability in a sector that produces non-renewable resources and vast quantities of waste, Placer Dome s sustainability initiative is, nonetheless, an important endeavor. If successful, it will lead to real on-the-ground environmental and social benefits.
It is in the interest of NGOs working on environmental, social, economic and human rights issues to encourage Placer Dome and other mining companies to work towards practicing greater environmental and social sustainability in both where they mine and how they mine. In practice, such a policy should lead to the protection of ecologically significant areas, better environmental practice, improved mitigation of long-term environmental impacts, and greater economic and social benefits to the surrounding communities.