Mineral Resources Limited (ASX: MIN) today provided its annual sustainability report for the financial year ended 30 June 2020.
In his letter to shareholders company chair, Peter Wade, said:
The past year has been extraordinary. Not only have we seen the worst bush fires in modern history, we’ve also seen the unprecedented impacts of COVID-19 on economies and communities around the world.
MRL’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been exceptional and I am extraordinarily proud of the achievements of the entire MRL team. As the COVID-19 outbreak began, MRL’s primary focus was the safety and wellbeing of the 3,100 men and women who make up the MRL workforce, their families and the community of which we are a part. From the outset, MRL quickly adapted to all government guidelines, introducing new communication technologies and supporting the physical and mental health of our people.
To maintain safe and reliable operations and limit the impact of COVID-19 on the Western Australian economy, MRL established a gold-standard PCR COVID-19 screening operation and offered the service to all West Australian resource companies. To date, MRL’s screening operations have screened more than 50,000 resource sector workers.
MRL made significant strides across all areas of sustainability this year. A Sustainability Policy, supported by a Human Rights Policy, an Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy and a Supplier Code of Conduct were developed. A cross-functional Sustainability Working Group was established to support and advise the business on the management and monitoring of key sustainability topics. These efforts are reflected in the 2020 Sustainability Report, which describes how MRL is managing and performing against our material sustainability topics.
Safety remains a core focus for the company. During FY20, we retained our excellent record for our Lost-Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) and reduced our Total Recordable Injury Frequency rate (TRIFR). The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic brought with it an increase focus on mental health and wellbeing and, in response and amongst other initiatives, we appointed a full-time psychologist to develop our mental health strategy.
MRL is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace and, during FY20, the Board approved an overall female representation target aligned with industry. Improved diversity brings many benefits, including positive impacts on organisational culture and reputation, employee attraction and retention, as well as enhanced internal, customer and stakeholder relationships.
During FY20, MRL continued to promote a culture of ethical corporate behaviour and implemented a Code of Conduct and Business Integrity e-learning training programme and a Whistleblowing service, MinRes Integrity Assist. We made great strides in understanding our risk exposure and obligations under the Modern Slavery Act, 2018 (Cth) through the development of a screening programme to identify, assess and monitor the risks associated with modern slavery in the business and supply chain. During the year, MRL requested 35 potentially high-risk suppliers to complete the Modern Slavery Self-Assessment Questionnaire. We will continue to identify potentially high-risk suppliers and engage in modern slavery risk identification, assessment and monitoring activities.
In response to a growing expectation from our investors and stakeholders to understand and manage the climate-related risks and opportunities that affect our business, MRL elected to align our climate-related disclosures with the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and made significant progress in implementing those recommendations. During the year, we undertook a formal process to identify and assess MRL’s climate-related risks and opportunities.
MRL’s efforts to replace diesel with gas, LNG & solar are starting to reflect in the carbon intensity per tonne of total material moved, which has seen a 19 per cent decrease between FY19 and FY20.
With the events we have seen around the world this year, MRL’s social licence to operate and our relationships with communities and stakeholders are as important as ever.
During the year, MRL increased our community contributions by 30 per cent, supporting initiatives to improve health and wellbeing, education and employment opportunities for those who need it most. At the same time, we understand the importance of proactive engagement with our Traditional Owners. Our approach is to identify areas of significance in consultation with the Traditional Owners, design and locate activities to avoid damaging identified areas, and seek agreement when disturbance is unavoidable. We are also focussed on increasing Indigenous participation in the business through our apprentice and trainee programmes as well as through Indigenous business opportunities.
FY20 has been an extraordinary year for all involved with MRL. I sincerely thank my fellow Directors for their efforts and dedication. On behalf of the Board, I also extend my gratitude to our Managing Director, Chris Ellison, and his leadership team for delivering such a tremendous outcome in a year that wasn’t without its challenges but illustrated the strength and resilience of our business and our people.