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Environmental Services

Environmental Services

Whether because of market pressure, for compliance reasons or awareness, minerals sector actors increasingly need to adopt environmentally-smart practices.

Our suite of environmental services caters to private-sector companies at all stages of the supply chain, as well as to the public and third sectors. Our expertise is rooted in our own practices and in over 15 years’ experience successfully working with global clients in shaping policies that work for the planet.

We draw from our long-standing commitment to improve environmental performance along mineral value chains, to identify ways to help biodiversity and ecosystems thrive, and to pivot the minerals sector towards being a worthy part of the green economy of tomorrow.

We can work with you to:

Identify and understand an issue

  • Research and knowledge management on mining, minerals and the environment: we offer bespoke research and data analysis services, providing clients in the public, private and third sectors with the primary and secondary data needed to inform decisions, strategies and policies. Most recently, Levin Sources worked for the World Bank, FFI and SGAB to develop a set of principles to reduce the impacts of mining in forests (Forest Smart Mining Principles).
  • Innovation: we identify gaps and work with innovators and change-makers to pilot, prove and promote new solutions to environmental challenges in the minerals sector. This includes piloting new approaches to environmental management by ASM, financial solutions for environmental innovations, the creation and promotion of toolkits and guidance to make environmental management easier, and incubation and/or participation in multistakeholder forums and initiatives, like Responsible Steel’s Working Groups for Greenhouse Gases and Raw Materials, the World Bank’s Climate-Smart Mining Facility or the Cambridge Business and BIodiversity Group, where we help adjust the landscape of incentives in the policy arena to reduce the footprint of the mining sector.

Help address punctual issues

  • Restoration and rehabilitation of old mined sites: we help our clients capitalise on both the commercial and environmental opportunity offered by converting environmental liabilities such as legacy tailings or open pits into a positive asset for communities and the world-at-large. From vision and strategic planning to restoration or rehabilitation plan design to monitoring implementation, we bring in the right local and international partners to make your project a success. Our team helped to develop the Frugal Rehabilitation Methodology, which provides demonstrated technical guidance to restore ASM degraded lands affordably.
  • Containment and exit strategies: we help conservation organisations engage in constructive dialogue with ASM mining illegally in protected areas to chart a road map for mitigating their impacts. This includes a human rights-based approach to containing and exiting ASM from no-go zones.

Providing you with the tools and knowledge to integrate environmental processes and policies

  • Environmental Management Systems for SMEs. We help SMEs in the minerals sector write pragmatic environmental policies that are easy to operationalise and report on, but can have a real impact for the environment. This is part of our broader offering to help SMEs contribute to achieving the SDGs through continuous improvement in their operations, supply chains and sectoral influence.
  • Carbon Accounting for Mineral Sector Service Providers. We help mineral service providers measure and report on their carbon footprints and develop plans for decarbonisation and offsetting, and management of their carbon debt.
  • Supply chain mapping and managing advice: we support policy makers and companies by mapping the supply chains of minerals involved in the transition to the so-called green economy, and identifying opportunities for mitigating risk and maximising opportunities to advance achievement of the environment-based SDGs. Green power is not green if the hardware to generate it constitutes minerals that have wrought environmental damage in their extraction, processing, and manufacture.
  • Environmental Profit & Loss Accounting: Levin Sources has used Kering’s EP&L tool to judge the environmental impacts of ASM of a range of minerals. We can apply this methodology to specific deposits in order to establish a baseline of environmental performance and help set realistic improvement targets and monitor their achievement over time.
  • Training and capacity building: we prepare environmentally-focused training programmes and materials to build the capacity, knowledge and will of upstream actors working in and around artisanal and small-scale mines. We seek alternatives to the more socially and environmentally damaging practices in ASM and promote them to those intrinsically involved. By encouraging better, more sustainable practices, a potential barrier to sector formalisation is removed. We also prepare training programmes and materials to build the capacity of downstream teams so that they are better prepared to manage environmental issues related to ASM in the future.
  • Amplification and influence: we are engaged in a number of projects, events and conferences that enhance public understanding of issues related to mining and the environment, and discuss strategy, commitments and pathways to reduce environmental impacts due to mining activities. We use our industry status to raise awareness of these initiatives and of best practices adopted by our clients amongst our stakeholders.

Moreover, Levin Sources has developed some environmental impact-focused tools and methodologies that can be tailored to the clients’ needs. These tools include:

  • The ASM-PACE methodological toolkit: This allows practitioners to determine whether ASM is taking place in a protected area or critical ecosystem, its environmental impacts, the stakeholders involved and the incentives that drive environmental destruction. The tool is also built to catalogue social and economic impacts, ASM economic contributors, the incentives that drive engagement in the sector, and the stakeholders involved.
  • The GIFF Project Financial Flows Mapping Tool: The Follow the Money Handbook can be used by diverse stakeholders, including protected area managers, to unpack the ways in which (illicit) financial flows contribute to negative environmental and social impacts in order to inform strategies for managing illegal or informal ASM. The tool also serves to examine the commercial and political economy interests in the ASM sector and the protection economies that allow illegal ASM to continue with impunity.
  • The Frugal Rehabilitation Methodology: A methodological tool for undertaking rehabilitation and restoration of lands degraded by ASM that ensures land undergoes both technical and biological rehabilitation, with a focus on restoring native vegetations.

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