Canadian Lawyer

June 2022

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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36 www.canadianlawyermag.com FEATURE MINING Legal departments take the lead in sustainability efforts amid pressure from shareholders and regulators, writes Lucy Saddleton Mining companies ramp up ESG efforts AS MINING companies are under increasing pressure from investors, regulators, and other stakeholders to demonstrate their envi- ronmental, social, and governance efforts, legal departments are spearheading sustain- ability initiatives and often taking the lead in public disclosures. "In 2021, we also saw a rise in shareholders of companies bringing forward environmental and social proposals," says Leanne Krawchuk, corporate M&A securities, construction and mining partner at Dentons Canada LLP. "Board members or entire boards are going to be replaced by shareholders if they are not committed to becoming ESG astute." Some of the more significant ESG concerns for mining companies this year include limiting water use, purchasing power from renewable energy providers, and partnering with Indigenous peoples. "There's an opportunity for mining compa- nies to partner with Indigenous peoples in close proximity to the mine site who can also benefit from developing solar or wind infrastructure," says Krawchuk. "You can have economic recon- ciliation with Indigenous peoples by owning those assets together." As senior vice-president, risk, ESG, general counsel, and corporate secretary at Capstone Mining Corporation in Vancouver, Wendy King oversees ESG strateg y governance. She will focus on developing Capstone's climate change strategy this year and preparing a sustainability report. "Given the more recent significant focus by investors and boards and the evolving expectations of employees, customers, communities, and other stakeholders, we restarted our formal reporting in 2020 and have devoted resources and time to our ESG strategy development, reporting and strengthening our culture of innovation and "It really requires a top-down tone of importance to create an organization- wide culture of ESG-based thinking" Wendy King, Capstone Mining Corp.

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