Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) is critical to the success of mining and oil and gas companies. However, it is hindered by the proliferation of multiple rating schemes and the amount and complexity of ESG data.
ONYEN Corporation has created a software solution to simplify this process.
Founder and CEO, Laurie Clark, got the idea for ONYEN when the CEO of a gold exploration company expressed frustration on how complicated, time-consuming and costly ESG reporting had become. This company’s lawyer offered to do the reporting for a fee of C$50,000 to C$100,000.
Clark, an experienced financial and technology entrepreneur, researched the market and confirmed that resource companies collect data from geographically dispersed operations and collate it with reference to a plethora of standards bodies, stakeholders, and investors that increasingly request they be kept informed.
While large resource companies have budgets to create in-house solutions, smaller companies do not. Now in full operation, ONYEN appears to incorporate a winning combination of features according to the comments of some of the platform’s early adopters.
“ONYEN has examined different reporting standards, identified the overlap and packaged the reporting into a simple, easy to use platform. In a short time, we have been able to complete all the required information and now are in the position to generate a 2020 report that addresses numerous ESG reporting standards,” said Catherine Stretch, VP corporate affairs at Troilus Gold.
Ani Markova, CEO, Investor View Advisory agrees. “Often, sustainability work and positive environmental and social achievements are poorly disclosed, which leads to a perception gap in the capital markets reflected in valuation discounts. Reputational risk has a real impact to the availability and cost of capital and can be severely jeopardized if corporate behaviours are not aligned with stakeholders’ interests. With more than $100 trillion of asset owners seeking appropriate ESG stewardship, closing the perception gap can only bring new investments in the mining industry,” said Markova.
Dr. Mark Thorpe, SVP of ESG and Corporate Responsibility at INV Metals Inc. adds, “I really like the fact that I’ve got everything in one spot. And, I can have my team fill out various sections independently and then all the data rolls up to me. The second thing I really like is that it makes my board of directors look good by having these data available so that the ratings agencies can get at it, increasing board ratings, a secondary benefit after the actual reporting itself.”
ONYEN uploads ESG reporting history to support trend analysis. Pre-defined targets are present so that progress towards corporate goals in areas such as emission controls can be monitored. The system also automatically calculates carbon equivalency and displays it as the percentage of emission limits in each relevant country. With ONYEN, the CSR team compiles data that may originate in many parts of the world, from different departments and in various data formats. The Dashboard gives the CEO, the CSR, and others a full picture of the ESG standing of the company with alerts highlighting areas that require greater attention, and where outcomes are managed on a daily basis and not just when the annual report is published.
The benefits go beyond satisfying the needs of these stakeholders. “ESG Reporting ultimately leads to investment dollars, and banks and other institutions have made it pretty clear that if resource companies don’t report, they will not be taken seriously or included in funding channels,” says Clark. In 2020, more than 70% of institutional funds had a structured way of assessing ESG factors versus 30% two years ago, according to Ernst & Young.