The Responsible Mining Foundation was an independent research organisation based in Switzerland. The Foundation was established in November 2012 as a not-for-profit research organization, operating for the common good. Originally based in The Netherlands, it subsequently moved its domicile to Switzerland.
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 green energy, there is an urgent need to track and encourage responsible business conduct and responsible supply chains.
Inclusive approach reflects societies’ expectations
The Responsible Mining Foundation has 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 has done 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 minerals and metals companies.
Responsible Mining Index (RMI) Report
The Responsible Mining Index (RMI) Report was a biennial assessment of large globally-dispersed mining companies’ policies and practices on economic development, business conduct, lifecycle management, community wellbeing, working conditions and environmental responsibility – with gender and human rights issues integrated throughout the report.
Published in six languages, the RMI Report 2022 covered 40 companies including publicly-listed, state-owned and private companies. Together these companies represented between 25-30% of the global value of mining production, covered 55 producing and 19 home countries, and accounted for over 800 operating and 175 closed mine sites, with known tax jurisdictions in 130 countries.
What made the Responsible Mining Foundation unique?
▾ Research, data and publications were published free as a public good
▾ Independent – no funding from the minerals and metals industry
▾ Consulted directly with mining-affected communities in producing countries
▾ Included listed, private & state-owned companies
▾ Multi-issue: Economic, Environmental, Social and Governance Issues
▾ Mine-site level and corporate-wide focus
▾ Comprehensive geographic scope
▾ Promoted open data principles
▾ Emphasised leading practice & learning
▾ Complemented other existing initiatives (eg: UNGP, SDG, ILO, OECD, NRGI, EITI, PWYP etc).
In the interests of independence, the Foundation never accepted funding from the minerals and metals industry. The Foundation accepted funding from philanthropic and government sources who shared its values and aims.