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Terms of Reference: Regional Scoping study on compliance of corporations with Environmental, Social and Governance reporting in critical minerals value chains

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Job Description

Terms of Reference

Regional Scoping study on compliance of corporations with Environmental, Social and Governance reporting in critical minerals value chains

Introduction and background

The an environmental law organisation is implementing a project to monitor and evaluate the implementation of business and human rights standards, particularly the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting, and any other international human rights standards on business by the mining industry in the select countries in Southern Africa. In recent years ESG has emerged as model to enhance sustainability culture within corporations. Corporations are obligated to be mindful of environmental, social and governance implications of their work, not just profit concerns. Shareholder or investor concerns have driven conformity of corporations to ESG standards, propelling corporations to conduct due diligence to prevent human rights abuses by applying principles of public participation and inclusion by all members of society in a meaningful way in decision-making. To ensure meaningful participation in decision-making processes of mining activities linked to the protection and respect of rights, individuals should be provided with access to information for purposes of accountability between the state, mining corporates and people.
ESG, like the UN Global Compact has been criticized for ‘green washing’ as being an inadequate measure to drive corporate accountability. Furthermore, the standards have been cited as being susceptible to corporate capture. This critique of ESG necessitates the human rights transformative approach through actively seeking to juxtapose customs, norms and practices on business and human rights and responsible supply chains against lived realities of communities and producer nations. It is hoped that the research will contribute to advocacy interventions at national, regional, and international levels targeting a broad range of stakeholders such as governments, parliament, national human rights institutions, and mining companies to facilitate increased understanding and dialogue on the impacts that mining businesses can have on human rights for purposes of promoting decent work and changing business culture.

Duties and Responsibilities

2.0 Consultancy Objectives
The objective of this research is to conduct a comprehensive study, using a case study approach, to assess the impacts of ESG reporting on community lived realities, especially new frontier communities where critical minerals are being extracted in Southern Africa, with a focus on Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique.
3.0 Activities
Undertake research which addresses the following proposed research questions:
• What is the trend on ESG reporting for companies in the critical minerals value chain?
• Whether there is a correlation between ESG reporting and better human rights practices by mining companies in the critical minerals sector?
• Have there been any changes to business models of mining companies due to ESG standards? If so, how have these changes played a role in norm setting beyond supporting governmental regulation and enforcement through use of high-quality ESG information to drive decision-making and priority setting within corporations.
• What practical guidance and recommendations can be provided to national governments, companies and regional bodies like including the SADC Parliamentary Forum towards aligning ESG to better implementation of UNGPs in the context of Business and Human Rights?
4.0 Deliverable
Working closely with the organization, the following deliverables are expected from the Consultant
• An inception report detailing the methodology to be used
• A Scoping Study Report

Qualifications and Experience

5.0 Applicant requirements
Suitable applicants should have the following:
• Expertise: The consultant should have extensive experience and expertise in conducting sustainability research related to the environmental, social, governance and health impacts of mining and mineral processing activities. They should possess a strong background in disciplines such as environmental science, law, natural resources governance, sustainability reporting or related fields.
• Data Collection and Analysis: The consultant should be proficient in collecting and analysing data related to ESG using different techniques and tools for data collection, ensuring accuracy, reliability, and adherence to established quality assurance standards.
• Stakeholder Engagement: The consultant should demonstrate the ability to engage with relevant stakeholders, including local communities, NGOs, government agencies, and mining companies. Effective communication and collaboration skills are essential to gather information, address concerns, and facilitate cooperation throughout the research process.

How to Apply

0.5 How to Apply
Interested and qualified Consultants who meet the above requirements should send their Expressions of Interest clearly stating how they meet the requirements, their understanding of TORs methodology to be used and cost of the consultancy to: procurementzw@gmail.com
Deadline for submission of EOI is 22 March 2023