Launch: Gold Mining’s Contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals

The World Gold Council has long supported a position that responsible gold mining can support sustained socio-economic development for the communities and countries that host gold mining operations. Today, we are launching a report which sets out examples of how members of the World Gold Council are already supporting progress against the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, Gold Mining’s Contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Gold plays an indispensable role in advancing society and supporting the global economy. This gold comes from mining operations which themselves also play an important role in supporting social and economic development.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals were adopted by all UN member states in 2015; and they officially came into effect at the start of 2016. The target is that all goals have been achieved by 2030 as part of the Agenda for Sustainable Development, and while progress has been made, there remain significant gaps.

The SDGs are a roadmap to a better, more sustainable future. They were specifically designed to confront some of the most pressing global challenges of our time - poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, conflict and social injustice. The Covid-19 pandemic this year further stresses the importance of meeting the SDG target.

At the World Gold Council, our member companies are committed to support meaningful progress towards social and economic development and recognise that everyone is impacted by the challenges that the SDGs are designed to address. Our members, the world’s leading gold mining companies, are not new to the concept of sustainability or responsible mining – this has been a long-standing foundation of their business practices. This new report sets out examples of how members are already supporting progress against the SDGs.The report shows how the gold mining industry is contributing across nearly all of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Given the breadth of countries where gold mining occurs, the industry is well-placed to make a significant contribution to achieve these global goals.In this new report we look at four key pillars: Global partnerships (SDG 17), Social inclusion (SDG 5,10,16), Economic development (SDG 1,2,3,4,8,9) and Responsible operations, energy and the environment (SDG 6,7,12,13,15). In addition to this we cover three spotlight topics: artisanal and small-scale mining, Covid-19 and gold in technology.

I am proud to launch this report one year after the Responsible Gold Mining Principles which set out an overarching framework as to what constitutes responsible gold mining. When we developed the Responsible Gold Mining Principles, we realised that implementing the RGMPs led to strong alignment with the SDGs. As such, companies implementing the RGMPs will also be contributing to sustained social and economic development in line with the SDGs.