Photo: Pekka Suomela

Published February 3, 2015

Bringing Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) to Finland

Over 70 stakeholders of the Finnish mining industry are now one step closer to knowing how to use TSM to drive performance improvements and build stronger relationships with stakeholders.

Over 70 stakeholders in the Finnish mining industry are now one step closer to knowing how to use TSM (Towards Sustainable Mining) to drive performance improvements and build stronger relationships with stakeholders.

At the request of the Finnish Network for Sustainable Mining, we had an opportunity to provide in-depth training to a broad range of Finnish stakeholders on what TSM means in practice, building from a decade of experience implementing the programme in Canada. Participants included environmental NGOs, industry, government, academia and other land users. We were struck by the high level of interest and the detailed questions posed during each session. It was clear that participants were envisioning how this programme could be applied within Finland to improve management and performance in critical environmental and social areas.

As participants learned more about TSM, including the programme’s emphasis on transparency and credibility, they seemed to grow more comfortable with it. By the end of the sessions, the focus had moved onto how Finland could most effectively tailor the programme for implementation in the Nordic context. Participants suggested that the next steps should include:

  • reviewing and customising the self-assessment tools (called protocols) to ensure that defined levels of “good performance” go beyond compliance with Finnish and European regulations and address key issues important to stakeholders (including biodiversity, water, and engagement with key rights’ holders such as the Sami people and reindeer herders);
  • translating the tools and all key TSM materials into Finnish;
  • liaising with Sweden and Norway (who have also expressed interest in TSM) to consider common elements of a Nordic approach;
  • developing a clear scope of application and a realistically staged implementation plan.

We look forward to drawing from our experience implementing TSM in Canada to support Finland along its journey to customise and adopt TSM. Kiitos to Sitra for hosting us and to all of the participants for their active engagement!

Background: What is Towards Sustainable Mining?

TSM is a set of tools and indicators to drive performance and ensure that key mining risks such as tailings, biodiversity, community outreach and safety and health, are managed responsibly at each mining site. Transparency is built into the programme through external verification and public reporting and the programme is guided by input from an external, independent multi-stakeholder advisory panel to ensure credibility. TSM is a programme by the Mining Association of Canada (MAC).

Writers

Stephanie Meyer is the President of Stratos Inc. She has worked with MAC since 2001 and was instrumental in the design and implementation of TSM in Canada. She can be reached at smeyer@stratos-sts.com.


Jane Porter is a Sustainability Consultant at Stratos Inc. who works closely with MAC’s Community of Interest Advisory Panel. She can be reached at jporter@stratos-sts.com.

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