- VRX Silica Limited (ASX:VRX) has announced its commitment to long-term, high-value ESG initiatives.
- The Company will publish its very first maiden Sustainability Report in 2021.
- The ESG initiatives taken by VRX reflect its commitment to minimising its environmental footprint and building sustainable outcomes for all shareholders.
Silica sand exploration player VRX Silica Limited (ASX:VRX) has announced its commitment to long-term, high-value ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) initiatives prior to the release of its FY21 Sustainability Report. The Company will publish its very first maiden Sustainability Report this year.
Underpinned by an international prospective customer base, VRX applauds the fact that investment capital is being redirected towards more responsible entities, and expectations of corporate behaviour are shifting. The Company highlighted that the sustainable investment tops US$35 trillion globally, incorporating two-year growth of 25 per cent across Australasia. This has changed the environment in which the Company operates to one with fresh priorities around biodiversity loss, climate risk, and more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated public health plus social challenges.
In these initial stages of VRX advancing its world-class silica sand projects, the Company can explore opportunities to curb its impact on the world in which it operates. The Company intends to drive positive outcomes and build resilience via its commitment to sustainable, long-term value creation for all stakeholders.
VRX to follow United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals
VRX will follow the goals and recommendations of the United Nations’ 17 SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and the WEF (World Economic Forum) Stakeholder Capitalism framework to map its progress and inform sustainability planning. The SDGs will enable the Company to customise its approach to best serve its shareholders.
The Company has taken a ‘think global, act local’ approach to choosing suitable frameworks, with the SDGs ensuring that VRX can play its part internationally while the WEF framework provides more granular detail on material topics.
The Company has engaged ESG specialist Futureproof Consulting to ensure that it can measure, assess, and communicate progress. The ESG specialist will also ensure proper data disclosures and framework alignment. With the support of Futureproof, the Company will monitor, measure and report on its sustainability progress. Futureproof helps companies adapt to the increasing demands of stakeholders and investors to implement and improve their reporting practices and ESG strategies.
Meanwhile, VRX stakeholders have been engaged in line with global best-practice, and a list of material ESG topics has been developed alongside a materiality matrix to prioritise the most crucial issues. The focus areas comprise health, safety and wellbeing, mine-site rehabilitation, endangered species, greenhouse gases, emissions, and business ethics.
VRX informed that it will delineate the actions its Board and Leadership Team are taking to contribute positively to the 17 SDGs and the way it will measure the meaningful progress being made towards them. The Company anticipates outlining these actions in the forthcoming Annual Report.
Embraces WEF framework
In coordination with the Big 4 accounting firms, the WEF identified a set of international, cross-industry baseline disclosures and ESG metrics for firms to use to evaluate their ESG performance and communicate this to their shareholders on a regular basis. These disclosures were drawn from existing voluntary standards, like SASB (Sustainability Accounting Standards Board), GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) and TCFD (Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures). This makes the framework an appropriate and logical starting point for the Company as it begins its ESG journey.
The adoption of the WEF framework by VRX has highlighted multiple ESG opportunities, including the integration of solar and battery capacity into power generation and a tailor-made VDT (Vegetation Direct Transfer) mining method. The Company has designed VDT for rapid regeneration via continuous rehabilitation that guarantees the best outcome for most of the native flora and fauna across its silica sand projects.
The ESG initiatives taken by VRX reflect its commitment to minimising its environmental footprint and building sustainable outcomes for all shareholders while focusing on its key development assets and the surrounding communities. VRX will regularly update stakeholders on its ESG progress and make sure the Company and its projects remain a responsible investment opportunity.
VRX shares closed the trading session at AU$0.225 on 25 August 2021.