The Colorado School of Mines’ Humanitarian Engineering program’s mission is to teach students how to apply their engineering skills to create sustainable and responsible mining solutions with and for local communities.
In September, Dr. Elaine Dorward-King – Newmont’s Executive Vice President of Sustainability and External Relations – was asked to speak to the program’s students about the increasing importance of engineers in corporate social responsibility and sustainable development.
Dr. Dorward-King discussed the issue of responsible water stewardship – access, availability and quality – as not just an environmental or technical management problem, but as a high-profile global policy issue with cultural, political and social ramifications. Mining operations are water-intensive, and today’s engineers need to be prepared to do more than analyze hydrological models and develop monitoring systems to meet the needs of the operations. They also need to protect biodiversity and ecosystems, while engaging with communities to mitigate mining’s impacts to current and future water needs.
Dr. Dorward-King also cautioned the audience about the growing demands related to climate change. Energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and carbon offsets – like Newmont’s Carbon Farming Initiative reforestation project – are areas requiring greater focus and attention from engineers, now and in the future.
Today, engineers play a critical role in developing viable and responsible solutions for overcoming some of our biggest global challenges – population growth, climate change, resource depletion, and water scarcity and quality. And, ensuring future generations have the resources needed to improve lives will require engineers to build sustainable and responsible mines that transform mineral resources into shared value for all.
For more information about Newmont’s commitment to sustainable development, please visit our annual sustainability report, Beyond the Mine.