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Morrow Sodali presents at the Energy and Mines Australia Summit 2023

20 June 2023

Morrow Sodali presents at the Energy and Mines Australia Summit 2023

Recently, Morrow Sodali was invited to present to the Energy and Mines Australia Summit 2023 at Optus Stadium in Perth, Western Australia. Now in its 7th year, this annual event provides opportunities for miners to get the latest updates on the strategies and technologies for realising net-zero targets and to network with mining peers and global decarbonisation experts. This year’s expanded agenda offered in-depth coverage of the key areas of interest identified by miners as pivotal at this stage of the decarbonisation transition. 

The 2023 Summit featured 500 attendees, 85 speakers and 35 sponsors/exhibitors, with 33% of the country’s mining companies represented. Speakers included the Hon. Bill Johnston, Western Australia’s Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Energy and Industrial Relations; the Hon Reece Whitby, Minister for Environment, Climate Action, and Racing and Gaming; CEO’s from a range of mining companies; and senior mining, renewable energy, mine decarbonisation, OEM and finance experts. 

Senior Managing Director, Corporate Governance & Sustainability APAC, Justin Grogan was asked to present on the topic of: ‘What are mining investors thinking about ESG’. His presentation addressed the concepts of sustainability and ESG; introduced the ESG ecosystem and the various influences on mining investors, including the many ESG frameworks and standards, the ESG rating agencies, and the proxy advisors and ESG associations; and explored some of the current and emerging ESG trends that are influencing mining companies.

A key focus area of Mr Grogan’s presentation was Morrow Sodali’s ‘Voting Power and ESG Influence Analysis’ which can give investors insights that are very difficult, if not impossible, to gain in-house. These insights are based on Morrow Sodali’s deep knowledge of investors and what’s driving them. 

“Our analysis provides insights into which proxy advisors are most influential; what issues need to be addressed in the Governance Report, the Remuneration Report and in the Notice of Meeting; help prepare Board Chairs for engagement in the lead up to their AGM; and helps companies to engage with individual investors to avoid negative AGM outcomes such as a ‘strike’ on the Remuneration Report,” said Mr Grogan.  

“We can provide quantifiable evidence of which ESG associations, service providers and frameworks are driving investor decisions; help to educate Boards and Management about what is swaying investors and how their influence is evolving over time; support companies to better understand the motivations and drivers of their investor’s behaviour; support decisions about where to allocate limited time and effort when responding to ESG rating surveys; and frame the structure of their Sustainability Reports and help determine what information should be disclosed,” he said. 

Decarbonisation, electrification, renewables, hydrogen and ESG for mines were key themes of the Summit. Miners are seeking greater clarity around carbon emissions analytics and reporting to meet ESG and investor expectations. 

The presentation by Mr Grogan also highlighted some of the focus area that mining companies need to be aware, either now or in the future, including:  

“This is just a taste of the rapidly evolving ESG environment that miners are having to operate in. ESG is not going away and there is significant investor momentum driving debt and equity investors to be more responsible with their investments. This will have significant implications for energy and mining companies as investors insist on more disclosure, want to see more metrics reported, and demand the ability to measure companies against their targets. 

“ESG is no longer stand-alone, it’s an integral part of doing business. Ultimately, it means there will be more regulations, more reporting and disclosure, more scrutiny of the data and targets, more engagement with investors, and more costs. It will require more in-house sustainability resources and more consultants, which is where Morrow Sodali can help,” he said. 

Justin Grogan
Senior Managing Director, Corporate Governance & Sustainability APAC

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