Demand for Sustainability Professionals on the Rise – mining and minerals industry incorporates sustainable development into mine operations

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Allen and York, a leading international sustainability recruitment consultancy has announced the opening up of huge opportunities for sustainability professionals. The recently completed Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development (MMSD) project will go a long way in ensuring more environmentally friendly mining with the right professionals hired for the job.

Mining companies also need to invest in managing the social and environmental impact of the business. This has led to an increased demand for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Social Impact Assessment (SIA) professionals.

Allen and York, a leading international sustainability recruitment consultancy has announced the opening up of huge opportunities for sustainability professionals. The recently completed Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development (MMSD) project will go a long way in ensuring more environmentally friendly mining with the right professionals hired for the job.

A consortium of mining and minerals industry companies commissioned the two-year study to understand how they could improve the mining and minerals sector’s contribution to sustainable development. This initiative is part of the industry’s ongoing campaign to move towards a more permanently sustainable model. The transition will be achieved through adoption of technical innovations and developments in mine processing, and recruitment of environmental and sustainability professionals. The latter initiative has led to a huge spurt in the number of sustainability job opportunities across the mining industry including in energy, environmental management, and water management.

Vicky Kenrick at Allen and York says in a recent article, “Mining companies need to effectively manage local environmental and community relations. Failure to do so generally results in serious disruption, ranging from project delays and shutdowns to irreparable business losses. Now, the scenario is slowly changing. The mining and mineral industry realizes that in addition to adopting sustainable mining practices, they also need to invest in managing the social and environmental impact of the business. This has led to an increased demand for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Social Impact Assessment (SIA) professionals.”

Today, it is mandatory to have an EIA license in order to proceed with a mining project. EIA processes provide the local community an opportunity to engage in discussions with the industry and influence the decisions that would impact their lives. By involving them in discussions during the initial stages, EIA professionals can ensure that all issues are addressed at the planning stage itself. SIA professionals play a critical role in helping the affected communities resettle in their new surroundings as smoothly as possible. Their expertise is critical at this stage as the affected communities are likely to feel especially vulnerable during the initial period. SIA professionals take on the onus of maintaining good relationships with local authorities and enabling local communities to play a role in the decision making process. This is done while ensuring simultaneously that the overall agenda takes social responsibilities into consideration.

Says Kenrick, “No one can deny that mining has an environmental and social impact on the local community. This could be in the form of loss of habitat during the exploratory stage, the cultural impact due to the influx of business entities into that area, displacement through land acquisition, or impact of mining pits on ecologically sensitive areas. The onus of limiting its impact rests on EIA and SIA professionals. They have to ensure that all potential health risks including contact with hazardous chemicals in waste and water are managed effectively and do not adversely affect the local community or the environment.”

Demand for the world’s mineral resources is growing at a rapid rate. In such circumstances it will be difficult to avoid exploring critical habitats. This opens up challenging opportunities for the sustainability professional, but also the possibility of reducing its negative consequences and its impact on planet earth. More details can be found at http://www.pollutionsolutions-online.com/articles/water-wastewater/17/vicky_kenrick/exploring_sustainability_in_mining/1194/.

About Allen & York

Allen & York is a leading international recruitment company serving the sustainability industry. The company specializes in the environmental, renewable energy, and mining and resources sectors. It has pioneered recruitment within the sustainability industry and has over 18 years experience in offering quality driven services to clients seeking professional recruitment solutions. The firm combines its specialist knowledge and its collaborative and bespoke methodology to meet immediate requirements, as well as develop longer-term relationships which add real value to strategic hiring requirements and succession planning.

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Rob Parker
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