SOAS awarded British Council Grant for partnership with environment industry on improving sustainability 

The British Council has awarded SOAS an Industry Academia Collaborative Grant for a project on mining, business and sustainability in partnership with Tata Steel Mining Ltd, National Law University Delhi (NLUD) and Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter.  

Professor Philippe Cullet (Law, Environment and Development Centre) will lead this one-year, £38,000 funded project alongside Professor Roopa Madhav (National Law University Delhi) which will focus on developments in environment and social governance. It will address environmental aspects, such as mine waste, tailings, carbon footprint and mine closure; social dimensions, including land use, resettlement, impacts on vulnerable people, gender and labour practices, governance aspects, including legal compliance, ethics, anti-bribery and corruption and transparency. 

More about the project   

The demand for mineral resources is rising exponentially as the world moves away from fossil fuels and towards ‘green’ energy (wind turbines, battery-powered cars, etc.) and a sustainable future. However, mining can cause significant harm in terms of both the social and environmental impacts. The industry has responded by creating a sustainable mining framework. Developments on Environment, Social Governance (ESG) are taking this forward and the ESG framing needs to be tailored to the specificities of the mining sector.  

The research from this project will provide a ready reckoner to the industry partners on international best practices adopted on ESG. This will enable the sector to strengthen its own efforts. The capacity building training modules provide a platform for industry and academia to collaborate and learn from each other. The research output provides the basis for expanding the conceptual framing on sustainability and ESG while offering practical inputs from the industry. 

SOAS, NLUD and Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter will anchor the project, with support from the industry partner, Tata Steel Mining Ltd. They will design the course modules, identify the key resource persons and develop the modalities for the delivery of the course modules both online and in person workshop mode. 

Professor Philippe Cullet, Professor of Law and project lead said:  

“The creation of these modules will enable the global mining industry to think about the ESG framework more rigorously, ensuring the sustainable use of mineral resources and environmental protection. The implementation of responsible mining frameworks will also ensure the rights of workers and prioritize occupational health and safety.” 

SOAS and NLUD have a significant track record of implementing joint projects since 2013 following a UKIERI grant to work on climate change and groundwater management in India. In 2021, SOAS and NLUD also received a British Council Exploratory Grant to develop a joint course on climate justice titled Climate Justice and Climate Law: South-North Perspectives. This was also followed up in 2022 by a top-up grant to develop an advanced post-graduate course on climate justice and climate law.