Why is a Good Sustainability Strategy so Crucial?

Paul Fisher

By Paul Fisher
LBMA Chairman

LBMA has recently published its three-year Sustainability and Responsible Sourcing Strategy, specifically targeting climate issues and the UN Sustainable Development goals.

This strategy is in alignment with the Industry Sustainability Declaration, which was jointly launched in Lisbon in 2022. Paul Fisher (LBMA Chairman) explores just why it’s so crucial for LBMA – and any other organisation – to have a strategy pertaining to its sustainability goals:

Sustainability in all its dimensions is essential for the future of the global economy. It is a vital part of any modern business strategy for firms, and therefore critical to LBMA as an industry association which is responsible for setting and maintaining standards in the markets for gold and silver and for promoting market solutions to common problems.

Short-term business pressures can be overwhelming, with important decisions often having to be made in a short space of time, with lasting consequences. A sustainability strategy should derive from a long-term view that helps frame and guide those critical decisions. A good sustainability strategy creates more valuable business opportunities than it does constraints or costs.

For the precious metals industry, it would be easy to fall into the trap of being seen as part of the problem of unsustainability. Some people will just see environmental damage from physical mining, high energy usage, pollution and – outside the legitimate market – illegal activities that make these worse, and even add new dimensions such as the abuse of workers and the financing of criminality.

But the industry should be – and should be seen as – part of the solution. Taking the lead on responsible mining is crucial, including the provision of social welfare in many instances, as well as demonstrating environmental care, switching to renewable energy across the supply chain, aiming to become net zero on greenhouse gas emissions, promoting and facilitating recycling as part of the circular economy, and engaging with authorities to help squeeze out the illicit sector.


Scope of Ambition

LBMA must be ambitious in helping to drive a sustainable industry, but it cannot deliver that on its own. All actors from ‘rock to ring’, including government and other official bodies, must play their part. That is why, with the support of many other industry associations, LBMA has helped create and promote the Gold Industry Declaration of Responsibility and Sustainability Principles. It is why LBMA has been pursuing initiatives with International Bullion Centres on artisanal mining, and why it continues to develop and enhance the mandatory Responsible Sourcing Guidance.

The new sustainability strategy that LBMA is publishing for the first time outlines the scope of our ambition, our willingness to partner with both member firms and like-minded industry associations and others, and our intent to deliver on our promises with leadership, integrity and transparency. This is not some vague commitment – the
strategy has specific deliverables to which LBMA can be held accountable for.

The LBMA Sustainability Strategy is being launched because it is the right thing to do, for the sake of the planet and for the sake of our industry and because it is
in the best long-term interests of our members.

You can read the Sustainability and Responsible Sourcing Strategy on the publications page on the LBMA website.

Paul Fisher

By Paul Fisher
LBMA Chairman