Norway Adopts Canada’s Towards Sustainable Mining Initiative

March 3, 2020

Norsk Bergindustri (Norwegian Mineral Industry), the national mining association in Norway, today announced that it will adopt the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative, a corporate social responsibility program developed by the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) to improve environmental and social practices in the mining industry. 

Norsk Bergindustri joins seven other mining associations around the world, including the third in Europe and the second in Scandinavia after FinnMin, in adopting TSM, an increasingly internationally recognized standard for responsible mining. Norsk Bergindustri, with MAC’s support, will tailor TSM‘s performance areas to reflect the unique aspects of its domestic mining sector and commits to TSM implementation over the next five years.

“For a long time, our industry has seen the need for good tools and methods for measuring environmental performance. We are very pleased that the Norwegian mineral industry is taking decisive steps to measure its environmental performance,” says Anita Hall, Secretary General of the Norwegian mining industry.

TSM is a corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme aimed at enhancing social practices in the mining industry. Photo Credit: Jeremy Reding

MAC and its members launched TSM in 2004 to enable mining companies to meet society’s needs for minerals, metals and energy products in the most socially, economically and environmentally responsible way. Implementation of the program is mandatory for all MAC members’ Canadian operations, but many voluntarily apply it to their international sites. 

“We feel privileged that Norway, globally renowned for its progressive leadership, has chosen TSM as the vehicle to drive environmental and social performance in its mining sector and are very proud of TSM‘s increasingly global reach. TSM adherents now include mining associations in eight countries on five continents,” said Pierre Gratton, MAC’s President and CEO.  “Exporting Canada’s expertise in environmental and social stewardship is one important way that we can contribute to responsible mining practices around the world. In efforts to encourage responsible mining globally, MAC freely shares TSM with any country interested in promoting mining sustainably and we are honoured to have Norway on board.”

TSM requires mining companies to annually assess their facilities’ performance across eight important areas, including energy use and GHG emissions management, Indigenous and community outreach, safety and health, and biodiversity conservation. The results are freely available to the public and are externally-verified every three years to confirm what has been reported is accurate. 

“Canada is pleased that Norway has adopted MAC’s TSM initiative—driving environmental and social stewardship in their country and around the world,” said Paul Lefebvre, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources. “Norway’s adoption of TSM is a true testament to the global leadership of the Canadian mining sector and MAC’s growing influence in promoting sustainable mining practices.”

To ensure TSM reflects the expectations of civil society and industry stakeholders, it was designed and continues to be shaped by an independent, multi-interest advisory panel. As part of its implementation, Norsk Bergindustri will implement a similar advisory body to provide this valuable oversight function. 

The mining industry is a major sector of Canada’s economy, contributing $97 billion to national GDP and responsible for 19 percent of Canada’s total domestic exports. Canada’s mining sector employs 626,000 people directly and indirectly across the country. The industry is proportionally the largest private sector employer of Indigenous peoples in Canada and a major customer of Indigenous-owned businesses.

About Norsk Bergindustri
Norsk Bergindustri is an industry association for companies that are looking for, extracting, managing or processing mineral resources in Norway, or who are otherwise connected to the mining industry.

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