Mining and the SDGs: how to address the materiality mismatch?
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Most of the largest mining companies in the world now mention the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their sustainability reporting. It is encouraging to see such take-up by one of the few sectors that can claim strong linkages with all 17 of the SDGs. However, much of the SDG-related reporting is superficial and cosmetic and, worryingly, there is virtually no public reporting by companies on the negative impacts they can have on achievement of the SDGs. While there is no evidence that companies are deliberately misrepresenting their influence on the SDGs, accusations of ‘SDG-washing’ may persist while reporting remains unbalanced. And beyond reporting, there is limited evidence that large-scale mining companies are taking practical measures that will contribute to the achievement of the SDGs.