The Challenge of Contributing to Strategic Industries for Human Development
SQM’s Sustainability Aspiration and Plan are focused on the Sustainable Development Goals posed by the United Nations and consist of concrete goals in different areas, along with international certification processes with high standards of transparency and reportability that work to ensure compliance with commitments undertaken.
Contributing to sustainable production in line with the aspirations of nearby communities, customers, employees and different interest groups is part of the challenges and commitments taken on by SQM and expressed in a robust Sustainability Aspiration that aims to implement high standards of transparency and public reportability focused on environmental protection, social responsibility and sustainable operations.
“Our commitment to sustainability is based on three pillars: Solutions for Human Progress, Our People and Our Environment. This roadmap that guides our Company translates into challenging our operating practices to reduce environmental impact; expanding dialogue and building close, respectful relationships with surrounding communities; and achieving a high standard of transparency in all we do. We understand that our efforts do not stop here and will continue our work on environmental protection, social responsibility and corporate governance,” emphasized Pablo Pisani, Director of Communications, Sustainability and Public Affairs at SQM.
Within its industry, the Company has made several commitments to “A Better Environment”, including: cutting brine extraction in half by 2030, which began with a 20% reduction in November of 2020; reducing consumption of continental water by 65% by 2040, starting with 40% by 2030; and being carbon neutral in all its products by 2040 and in lithium, potassium chloride and iodine by 2030.
In the area of “Solutions for Human Progress”, and in its role as an important player in the world’s sustainable development with significant market share in key industries for human development, SQM commits to manufacture its products with high safety standards using environmentally friendly production processes. The products in SQM’s business lines are used in applications that contribute to the development of industries that improve quality of life for people around the world: health, food, technology, renewable energy and sustainable mobility.
In the area of “Our People”, the mining company guarantees safe, inclusive working conditions through its operations while participating in local economies and the sustainable development of neighboring communities.
In order to report on its advances in sustainable management with greater transparency, SQM measures and certifies its annual sustainability report using the methodology developed by the Global Reporting Initiative, GRI. In late 2020, S&P Dow Jones Indices announced the results of its assessment process. The Company qualified for both the DJSI Chile Index and the DJSI MILA Pacific Alliance.
Moreover, in September 2020 it began a self-assessment of a responsible mining standard through the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) at its Salar de Atacama operations, the first step towards certification under this rigorous international certification in sustainable mining. IRMA measures improvements in employee health and safety, human rights, community involvement, pollution control, rights of indigenous peoples and corporate transparency with tax payments to governments, among other requirements.
The Company also joined the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) assessment process. The CDP is an international, non-profit organization that helps companies and cities disclose the environmental impact related to greenhouse gases, water use and consumption and biodiversity. Similarly, it unveiled its Human Rights Policy, a milestone that manifests its commitment to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights within the UN’s “Protection, Respect and Remedy” framework.
The challenges and commitments surrounding sustainable production and responsible operations are aligned with SQM’s four corporate values: Sustainability, Safety, Integrity and Excellence. Thus, the Company is moving forward to implement a series of initiatives that aim to guarantee its full and absolute commitment to the environment and the comprehensive and sustainable development of its operations and everyone involved in them in any way.