Ross Beaty // Chairman
Twenty-five years ago, I founded Pan American Silver with a simple mission: to become the world’s best silver mining investment. I wanted to build a world-class mining company, providing solid returns to shareholders while creating value for all of our stakeholders. Our long history of building and operating mines throughout Latin America is a testament to our success in managing a sustainable business.
Everything we do as humans has an impact, and mining is no exception. However, these impacts can be minimized as much as possible with dedicated attention to the principles of sustainability. I am very proud of how Pan American Silver strives to do this at all of its operations. I recognize that the term “sustainable mining” is an oxymoron, in that mining is non-renewable. So, what does sustainable mining mean at Pan American Silver? It means recognizing where we need to mitigate the impacts of our operations and working to protect the ecosystem in and around our mining sites. It means ensuring safe and healthy workplaces for employees and contractors. It means partnering with our employees, contractors, communities and host governments to create long-term economic benefits. And it means creating the best possible conditions for a community to thrive after our mines close. I am very proud of how Pan American Silver strives to do this at all of our operations.
We always ask ourselves: how can we mine better? One way we achieve this is through honest and transparent dialogue. Communicating and working with our peers, communities, and the NGO community enables us to create better solutions from diverse views. Open dialogue also helps us understand emerging issues and develop tools and technologies to improve our business. In late 2016, we joined our peers in the Mining Association of Canada and began work on implementing the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) frameworks and protocols. Our participation in this process will help us implement leading social and environmental practices, as well as strengthen our health and safety programs.
Another ambitious commitment we made was joining the World Economic Forum’s Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders in 2017. This global network of board chairs and CEOs is leading the transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy. Mining operations are not immune to the impacts of climate change, or to the regulatory requirements of mitigation and adaptation. Our participation ensures that we are in dialogue with our peers, which makes us better prepared for the coming challenges and opportunities related to climate change. I also observe that silver plays an important role in the transition to a low-carbon economy. The largest single industrial use of silver today is in photovoltaic cells that produce solar energy, a profound part of the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
We continue to look to applying the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to shape our sustainability work. The 17 indicators enshrined in this framework are ambitious and comprehensive. They help ensure that we approach our work in a holistic fashion, aligned with identified global priorities, and that our efforts create lasting positive impacts in the places we operate.
A good company is one that rewards its shareholders. A great company is one that also looks after its employees, contractors, environment, countries, and communities where it works. I am very proud of our team’s sustainability achievements. It is the collective efforts of all of those who work at Pan American Silver that enable us to maintain our stellar reputation – as a great silver mining company and a great leader in sustainability.