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Mining ESG focused on diversity, climate, supply chain transparency, and Indigenous relationships – Lexpert

Oct 23, 2023

Supply chain transparency, climate change, diversity, quality disclosure, and relationships with Indigenous groups continue to dominate the ESG conversation in the mining sector.

Leanne Krawchuk, Canada co-chair and global lead for the mining group at Dentons LLP, says proxy season – the time between April and June when most publicly traded companies host their annual general meeting – provides valuable insights for mining companies managing their ESG profile.

She says the discussions reveal prevailing shareholder expectations. “Gender diversity has been a key focus of shareholder activists, and I think that continues to be front and centre.”

This year, Krawchuk says shareholders consistently raised board-member term length and “over-boarding,” where board members serve on so many boards they cannot devote sufficient attention to the business and its ESG performance. The 2023 proxy season also saw more commentary on using compensation to drive ESG-metric performance by tying executive pay to specific key performance indicators concerning diversity, climate change, human rights, and supply chains. Krawchuk, who practises in Edmonton, adds that racial diversity was “quite a focus” this year.

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