Supported by the Netherlands government, the Responsible Mining Foundation has come up with a new index which helps us compare corporate performance in this sector

The index was launched earlier this month in Geneva. It assesses the policies and practices of 30 of the world’s leading mining corporations in more than 40 countries, using six different performance criteria: impact on economic development, business conduct, lifecycle management, community wellbeing, labour conditions, and environmental responsibility.

Anglo American comes out on top on three of these yardsticks (economic development, lifecycle management and community wellbeing). Many of the companies considered have operations in Peru.

While the index says that some companies have taken positive actions in trying to limit corruption and stem the creation of climate-warming gases, most have done little to curb negative social impacts in the communities affected by their operations. Good policy often does not translate into improved performance on the ground.

The Foundation hopes that the new index will provide solid information which will facilitate transparency and communication between the corporate world and other stakeholders. It plans to update the index every two years.