Zimplats recognizes that the scale of its operational activities inevitably impact on the environment through land disturbance, resource consumption and pollution. Responsible environmental stewardship is essential in the management of environmental impacts and of our relationships with host communities, regulators and other stakeholders. Our strategic focus is to proactively prevent, mitigate, minimize and remediate environmental impacts on natural resources and the communities around our operations. We work in accordance with a certified environmental management system (ISO14001:2015) which is integrated into BMS. Regulators are important in our environmental management approach and we engage and work together in managing and monitoring environmental impacts and in complying with relevant regulations. Our strategic approach to managing environmental impact and conserving natural resources Our strategic approach to managing environmental impact and conserving natural resources revolves around three key areas: compliance obligations, resource management and mitigating impact.
Our environmental policy provides a framework for responsible and environmentally friendly exploration, mining and processing operations.
We are committed to complying with all applicable environmental laws, regulations and standards.
Zimplats establishes programmes to conserve natural resources, comply with applicable obligations and mitigate negative environmental impacts. Environmental management is integrated into all aspects of the business with the aim of achieving world-class environmental performance in a sustainable manner.
We are committed to retaining certified environmental management systems.
Environmental legislation continues to evolve. We align our environmental standards and practices accordingly and participate in environmental fora to keep abreast of future changes.
We align environmental communication with relevant stakeholders and communicate effectively on environmental issues at all operations.
All new employees receive environmental awareness training and environmental competency training is integrated into training manuals.
We extend environmental awareness into host communities through clean-up campaigns, training and creating awareness of topical environmental issues affecting the surrounding communities.
Our approach to climate change mitigation
The Government of Zimbabwe developed the National Climate Policy in 2016 to drive the country towards being climate-resilient and carbon neutral. The impacts of climate change on Zimbabwe are already being felt with increased variability in the seasonal distribution of rainfall, an increase in average temperatures, increased incidents of intense rainfall followed by long dry spells, late-onset and early cessation of rains.
The country experienced one of its worst climate change-induced disasters, tropical cyclone Idai in FY2019. Zimplats is progressively integrating climate change mitigation into core business and aligning processes with the climate change national policy and the Implats group-wide strategy and greenhouse gas (GHG) assessments with the aim of:
Reducing our carbon footprint as part of our voluntary commitment to mitigate climate change impacts
Identifying areas for mitigation and efficiencies
Reducing carbon emissions emanating from both direct (Scope 1) and indirect (Scope 2) GHG emissions
A group-wide strategy is in place to improve reporting on Scope 3 emissions. Our efforts in combating climate change are meant to support sustainable development goals, particularly SDG 13 relating to climate action.
PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT
Our management approach to the protection of the environment
Our environmental management approach is focused on conserving natural resources and mitigating environmental impacts of our mining and processing activities. We are committed to supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). We recognise that the sustainable development goals (SDGs) are essential pillars for sustainability. We have integrated applicable SDGs and targets into our environmental management system which is based on the requirements of ISO 14001:2015 standard. The integration has been done through incorporating key SDGs applicable to our activities into the environmental management system objectives, programmes and operating procedures. We have identified five key SDGs namely:
• SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation,
• SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy,
• SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production,
• SDG 13: Climate action
• SDG 15: Life on land.
We report against a comprehensive set of leading environmental performance indicators in line with the SDGs, the business management system policy and Implats group standards. Our environmental strategic thrust seeks to ensure full environmental compliance, promote water stewardship by minimising our impacts on shared water resources, responding to climate change, promoting responsible energy management, air quality management, land stewardship and waste management.