Foundation

Closed in 2022 due to a lack of long-term independent co-funding, the Responsible Mining Foundation was an independent research organisation based in Switzerland, registered in the Canton de Vaud (CHE-232.974.628) as a not-for-profit organisation, operating for the common good.

RMF supported the view that extractives value chains should benefit the economies, improve the lives of peoples, and respect the environments of producing countries – while allowing companies to make a fair and viable return.

The Foundation therefore encouraged continuous improvement in responsible extractives by highlighting leading practice and transparently assessing the policies and practices of companies in extractives value chains on economic, environmental, social and governance issues. 

Impact of mining

The importance of responsible extractives cannot be underestimated. As a sector with large-scale and far-reaching potential, extractive industries can support the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), catalysing broad-based economic development and inter-generational benefits in many low- and middle-income resource-rich countries. However, extractive industries can also lead to disruptive and destructive outcomes for peoples and environments.

As consumers and taxpayers, we are all responsible for the persistence of extractives as an industry – without our lifestyle expectations and socio-economic and political choices, mining as an industry and the manufacturing supply chain would not exist. As global demand for mined commodities remains high and is likely to grow in the transition to lower-carbon energy, independent tracking of responsible business conduct and prevention of harm remains essential to the integrity of extractive supply chains.

For more information about the systemic tensions and contradictions around extractives, see our report “Closing the gaps…and accelerating progress on responsible mining”, published in June 2022.

Inclusive approach reflects societies’ expectations

The Responsible Mining Foundation complemented other international efforts by developing unique measurement tools, sharing powerful public-interest data and supporting informed and constructive engagement between all stakeholders. 

The RMF did this by publishing transparent assessments of company policies and practices, and engaging with a wide range of extractives-affected groups, and those with the power to influence continuous improvement in responsible extractives, including mining-affected communities, civil society, investors, stock exchanges, labour unions, hard commodity traders, refiners, manufacturers, academics, industry associations and mining companies themselves.

Based on wide-ranging regional consultations with mining-affected people and organisations, the RMF methodologies articulate what society can reasonably expect from companies in the extractive sector.

Funding

In the interests of credibility and independence, the Foundation only accepted funding from government and philanthropic sources, never accepting funding from the extractive industry.

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