RPMGlobal has bolstered its in-house Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) capabilities after announcing the appointment of Luke Stephens – Principal Social Specialist, to the company’s consulting and advisory division.

As a mining social performance professional with more than 20 years’ of international experience, Mr Stephens has a strong track record in social licence, community relations, social performance, multi-stakeholder partnerships, grievance management, government and donor relations.

Prior to joining RPMGlobal, Mr Stephens was the Principal Closure and Sustainability Specialist for Afrique Gold and worked with Newcrest Mining as Superintendent for Social Performance. He also spent numerous years with aid and humanitarian agency Concern Worldwide. Since 1998, he has implemented best-practice community programmes in mining and alongside local communities across Africa, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and South-East Asia.

Philippe Baudry, RPMGlobal’s Executive General Manager – Advisory Services, said the strategic appointment reflected the company’s increased investment in ESG capabilities.

“Environmental, social and governance matters are now at the top of the corporate agenda which is being reflected in increased demand for our environmental and social due diligence expertise,” he said.

“We are certainly witnessing more mining companies investing in building sustainable ESG opportunities that create positive outcomes and mitigate project risk with the demand from investors for transparency in these critical areas of project development only increasing.

“This new appointment is a valuable addition to our expanding ESG team and Luke’s combined skillset will prove invaluable to RPMGlobal as we continue to expand our offerings and drive positive impact for global mining communities and their investors.”

With more than 50 years’ experience delivering premier consulting and advisory services to the global mining industry, RPMGlobal is uniquely placed to integrate environmental and social advisory services assessments and planning to the broader mining value chain in a practical and pragmatic way.

The company’s ESG division specialises in environmental and social due diligence evaluations and audits of mining projects located throughout the world with projects completed in Australia, the Americas, Africa, Asia Turkey, Russia and the CIS countries.

RPMGlobal’s growing ESG team has significant experience in advising its Clients in how to bring projects up to IFC-PS and Equator Principle 4 requirements, as well as in the laws and regulations applicable in most mining jurisdictions with expertise spanning environmental and social action plans, social license, community engagement, local consultation, land acquisition, compliance with regional and national regulations, grievance redress and management.

Commenting on his appointment, Denver-based Mr Stephens said he was delighted to join RPMGlobal’s expanding ESG team and the mission of helping global mining companies create long-lasting social and environmental outcomes.

“To join a growing and talented team of professionals at a company which is a leader in the ESG field is a fantastic opportunity and it’s exciting to come on board at such a pivotal time of growth for this division at RPMGlobal,” he said.

The importance of robust ESG practices was highlighted in the Global Sustainable Investment Review 2018 report which noted that global sustainable investment now topped $30 trillion – up by 68% since 2014.

Mr Baudry said he was confident the company’s well-regarded reputation in providing leading ESG assessments and evaluations to the mining industry and its financiers would be further elevated in light of this new appointment.

“RPMGlobal prides itself in providing high-quality ESG services that lead to improved financial, environmental and social outcomes for our mining customers and its pleasing to be expanding the team with highly credentialed appointments alongside our commitment,” he concluded.