A Strategic Response to Biodiversity Conservation – Rio Tinto

Categories: Community, Environment, Management Tags: , , , , ,

Rio Tinto has developed a strategic response to biodiversity conservation and management.

As a first step in developing a biodiversity strategy, partnerships were formed with leading conservation organisations. These relationships provided a conservation perspective on the opportunities and challenges raised by the mining process and were an essential part of designing how to proceed. A detailed survey of the level of awareness and management of biodiversity issues at all operations was carried out. A paper setting out a strong business case for developing a biodiversity strategy was put to senior management.

The development of the strategy was managed by a Rio Tinto steering group and supported by an external advisory panel.  The elements of the strategy have been developed to help corporate and operational staff improve biodiversity performance through:

  • Identification of biodiversity risks and opportunity
  • Development and implementation of biodiversity programmes
  • Recognition of synergies and challenges with sustainable communities programmes
  • Identification and development of strategic and operational partnerships, and,
  • Effective corporate assurance
The strategy provides a framework to bring together the interests and concerns of several groups, including indigenous landowners, affected communities, investors, employees, NGOs, regulators, scientific and finance communities. Outputs from the strategy include a Position Statement, guiding principles, a detailed guidance document and case studies.  As with the development of the strategy, the company’s biodiversity partner organisations are actively involved in implementation.  Both groups have membership drawn from conservation and development organisations as well as corporate and operational staff from Rio Tinto.


For a more detailed account of this case study please refer to ICMM’s Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity (p14)