The global resources industry is at a crossroads, balancing on the edge of significant change. KPMG’s 2023 global mining outlook report recently shed light on the sector’s confidence in delivering ambitious growth targets whilst simultaneously reducing carbon emissions. Technology and innovation, the catalysts for such transformation, were highlighted as areas of significant opportunity.
Call for rapid decarbonisation
Industry executives worldwide acknowledge the herculean task that lies ahead. Achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2040 or 2050 might seem far-off but is crucial now more than ever to integrate these objectives into strategic planning. Executives are convinced that reconciling ambitious growth and stringent carbon-reduction objectives in their operational models is the path forward.
The green revolution implies a dramatic surge in the demand for raw materials used in renewable energy infrastructure. However, metals and mining executives see this not as a challenge but an opportunity. Decarbonisation plans are viewed to be significant growth opportunities instead of mere operational costs.
Embracing innovation and technology
Over the next five years the focus lies in transforming operational carbon footprints through technology investments. This goal is seen to be a golden opportunity to embrace technological advancements and foster innovation, reflecting the sector’s confidence in fulfilling this objective.
Role of technology
Technology is seen to be the torchbearer of transformation. Nick Harridge, mining and metals leader at KPMG Australia, highlighted the role of technological advancements in shaping five-year demand projections. The spotlight is on breakthroughs in exploration and extraction technology, artificial intelligence, 5G networks and the ‘internet of things’.
Future projections and ESG goals
The mining and metals industry as a whole is confident about reconciling rapid output growth with sustainability goals. It can meet growing global demand without compromising its own environmental social governance (ESG) and net-zero objectives. Such determination to achieve net-zero objectives carries significant weight within an organisation and to external observers alike.
Striking a balance: The imminent challenge
The industry is globally wrestling with a multifaceted conundrum: Pivoting rapidly towards carbon-free solutions without further exacerbating environmental damage. Simultaneously, they are striving to develop strategies that align diverse interests of shareholders, workers, communities, consumers, governments and other stakeholders alike.
KPMG’s global mining outlook report lays bare this diversity, reflecting the industry’s genuine commitment to surmount challenges. The collective resolve to pivot towards a sustainable future is heartening, providing a blueprint for other industries grappling with similar issues. As the world steers towards a greener and more sustainable future the sector is setting an example, demonstrating reconciling growth with sustainability is possible.