Bright Future for Mining Companies: Eden Asset Management and Digbee Lead ESG Standardization Efforts

April 12, 2024
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Eden Asset Management

ASX | TSX | AIM | LSE

By Jamie Hyland, MiningIR

Mining activities have profound impacts on the environment and communities, making the integration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations essential for sustainable operations. Eden Asset Management, a specialist ESG funds management and corporate advisory firm based in Perth, Western Australia, leads the way in embedding these principles into mining investments. As the Investment Manager of the Eden Global Natural Resources UCITS ESG Fund, Eden exemplifies how sustainable practices can be incorporated into the resources sector.

The Eden Global Natural Resources UCITS ESG Fund, classified as a “Light Green” fund under Article 8 of the EU’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), invests in equities across the metals, mining, energy, and agriculture sectors. These investments are carefully screened to ensure they meet specific ESG criteria, excluding companies involved in practices like thermal coal mining or those with poor labour standards.

In a significant move to strengthen their ESG capabilities, Eden Partners has welcomed Jamie Strauss as an ESG Advisor. Strauss, the founder, and CEO of Digbee Ltd., brings over three decades of experience in resource finance. His expertise will be invaluable as Eden seeks to deepen its ESG evaluation processes, particularly through the integration of Digbee’s ESG frameworks which are designed for the mining industry.

Jamie Strauss, CEO of Digbee Ltd.

Jamie Strauss’s commitment to enhancing the reputation of the mining sector is driven by his recognition of its crucial role in the global shift towards sustainability. With a career spanning over 30 years in mining finance and more than a decade as an independent director, Strauss has a well-founded perspective on the industry’s potential and its challenges. His creation of Digbee reflects this vision; the platform aims to standardize ESG practices across the sector with a set of frameworks that are not only tailored to mining’s specific needs but also designed to reduce risks and provide all stakeholders with a reliable method to monitor ESG commitments and achievements. This initiative by Strauss is a bold step towards aligning the mining sector more closely with the increasing demands for sustainable practices worldwide.

ESG financing refers to investments that consider environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and governance in decision-making processes. In the context of mining, this involves selecting investments that not only yield financial returns but also contribute positively to the environment and society. Eden’s strategy particularly reflects a commitment to sustainable mining practices, focusing on companies that adhere to high ESG standards.

Digbee is a platform that provides robust, impartial ESG due diligence and continuous ESG monitoring for the mining sector. It’s designed to help mining companies measure, manage, and disclose on ESG performance effectively. Digbee’s frameworks are future-looking and align to global standards, aiming to assist companies in aligning with sustainable mining practices. The service includes the “ESG Certified” emblem program, which highlights companies that have been independently assessed by Digbee​.

This collaboration between Eden Asset Management and Digbee is particularly crucial given the increasing regulatory focus on ESG practices across industries, including the mining sector. As ESG standards become more defined and widespread due to regulations like the EU’s SFDR, companies are expected to increasingly turn to specialized ESG services to ensure compliance and enhance their sustainability profiles.

Nicholas Boyd-Mathews, the Chief Investment Officer at Eden, said, “At Eden, our approach to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues transcends mere compliance. Our ESG investment strategy is deeply integrated into our core business philosophy—it’s about seizing opportunities that arise from the global transition towards sustainability. We actively engage in adapting to the evolving market dynamics propelled by worldwide sustainability efforts. By focusing on investments that meet ESG standards and harness the shift toward greener technologies and sustainable practices, we not only uphold ethical principles but also enhance our potential for superior financial returns. This proactive strategy is informed by our recognition that sustainability trends are redefining industry norms and consumer expectations, opening new pathways for growth and innovation in the resources sector. It is my view that companies with a strong culture of sustainability throughout the business are more likely to have lower risk and thus benefit from superior returns, hire talent more effectively and results in a lower cost of capital.”

Nicholas Boyd-Mathews, Chief Investment Officer
Nicholas Boyd-Mathews, Chief Investment Officer at Eden Asset Management

Eden’s approach involves a dual strategy of top-down and bottom-up analysis. This method allows them to screen potential investments for ESG compliance broadly and then delve into detailed evaluations of individual firms, particularly those in the natural resources’ domain where ESG factors can significantly impact operational viability and community relations.

Jamie Strauss also highlighted the synergy between Digbee’s frameworks and Eden’s investment philosophy: “By embedding rigorous ESG standards into investment process, we aim to not only mitigate risks but also to uncover investment opportunities that others might overlook.”

Jamie Strauss, Founder, CEO of Digbee Ltd.

The fund actively excludes investments in sectors and practices deemed unsustainable, such as fossil fuel extraction that does not meet their stringent ESG criteria. Moreover, Eden gives preference to projects that support the transition to a low-carbon economy, such as renewable energy initiatives, sustainable agriculture, and mining operations critical for producing materials necessary for green technologies.

Eden Asset Management’s leadership in integrating ESG principles into resource financing not only reflects a commitment to sustainable development but also positions the firm as a pioneer in responsible investing within the mining sector. Through strategic advisement from experts like Jamie Strauss and under the guidance of Nicholas Boyd-Mathews, Eden is set to continue influencing the industry towards more sustainable and ethically governed practices.

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Disclaimer
MiningIR hosts a variety of articles from a range of sources. Our content, while interesting, should not be considered as formal financial advice. Always seek professional guidance and consult a range of sources before investing.
James Hyland, MiningIR
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