De Beers, Sibanye-Stillwater snag top two spots in Alva Q1 ESG rankings

Operations in Bowen Basin

DE BEERS took the top spot in environmental, sustainability, and governance (ESG) rankings compiled by the UK’s Alva, an organisation that assigns scores based on publicly available content from social media to NGO research.

The unit of Anglo American snagged the top spot in the first quarter from gold heavyweight Newmont Corporation due to an increased focus on equality and sustainability, said Bloomberg News.

The report showed the mining industry as a whole lifted its ESG rating amid a string of greenhouse-gas pledges, which offset water management and waste concerns, the newswire said.

Sibanye-Stillwater, a gold and platinum group metals company scored the second-highest in Alva’s ratings report and showed the biggest improvement from the previous quarter due to its partnership with Johnson Matthey, to find more efficient uses of critical metals used in batteries.

Companies around the world, particularly raw-material producers, are stepping up sustainability efforts amid heightened scrutiny by the general public and investors. ESG and value-focused exchange-traded funds recorded net inflows of $89bn in 2020, almost three times 2019 levels, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.

Vale SA scored the lowest despite reaching a settlement with Brazilian authorities over a 2019 dam disaster, said Bloomberg News.

Vale’s result “… is a combination of greater visibility around the original negative story and then dissenting voices on the settlement itself,” said Alastair Pickering, co-founder and chief strategy officer at Alva.