VRX commits to long-term ESG and sustainability goals
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VRX is committing to a series of ESG initiatives as investment capital is increasingly being redirected towards more responsible and sustainable entities.
According to the Global Sustainable Review 2020, sustainable investment had reached US$35.3 trillion at the start of 2020 in five major markets while coal and petroleum companies have been facing increasingly hostile shareholders with the former finding it harder to secure financing.
VRX Silica (ASX:VRX), which will soon release its first-ever sustainability report, noted that sustainable investing has transformed the environment in which it operates to one with new priorities around climate risk, biodiversity loss and, more recently, COVID-19 and its associated public health and social challenges.
The company added that in these early stages of developing its silica sand projects, it could investigate opportunities to limit its impact on the world in which it operates.
It committed to following the recommendations and goals of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the World Economic Forum (WEF) Stakeholder Capitalism framework to inform sustainability planning and map its progress.
“As the world moves towards a low-carbon future, VRX is committed to operating our business to the highest standards of ESG performance,” managing director Bruce Maluish said.
“Our ESG program will identify new opportunities, reduce risk and promote efficiencies across our projects, particularly in support of potential glass production in Western Australia.
“Importantly, our ESG program is the right approach to take as VRX charts a path to play our role in a cleaner world. The release of our maiden Sustainability Report this year will therefore mark a significant first step.”
VRX has taken a ‘think global, act local’ approach to selecting appropriate frameworks, with the SDGs ensuring that the company can play its part globally while the WEF framework offers more granular detail on material topics.
It has engaged ESG specialist Futureproof Consulting to ensure appropriate data disclosures and framework alignment are communicated.
The company has also prioritised mine site rehabilitation, health, safety and wellbeing, endangered species, emissions and greenhouse gases and business ethics as the most critical issues to focus on.
It will outline actions taken to make a positive contribution to the 17 SDGs and the way to measure the meaningful progress being made towards them.
The SGDs promote action in areas that are critical to ending poverty, protecting the environment and improving the prosperity of all people through economic, social and technological progress.
VRX added that the WEF has already identified a set of global, cross-industry baseline disclosures and ESG metrics for companies to use to analyse their ESG performance and communicate this to their stakeholders on a regular basis.
This has already highlighted a number of ESG opportunities including the integration of solar and battery capacity into power generation and a purpose-built Vegetation Direct Transfer (VDT) mining method.
VDT has been designed by VRX for rapid regeneration through continuous rehabilitation that ensures the best outcome for the vast majority of native flora and fauna across the company’s silica sand projects.
This article was developed in collaboration with VRX Silica, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.