Sustainability is at the heart of the BOTASH business model. Our employees will drive the efficiencies and innovation needed to retain our relevance and scale in our current and future markets, even when our product offerings become ever more diversified. Relevance in our markets shall be measured by the acceptance by our customers, as shall our impact on communities in which we operate be measured against shared objectives.
Botash has adopted the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative as its sustainability management initiative. The company prioritised 4 protocols for implementation. Each protocol is made up of indicators that are designed to measure the quality and comprehensiveness of the company’s management systems. The objective is to achieve best practice in prioritised protocols.
Botash has committed to creating shared value in its business activities by adopting social, economic, and environmental practices that align with the priorities and values of the communities in the vicinity of the mine.
The Indigenous and Community Relations Protocol is an active programme through which Botash enters into meaningful and collaborative engagement with local communities. A framework of activities is created through this programme, whereby Botash sets targets to be achieved within a specified period. In 2020, Botash met and identified communities of interest, including indigenous communities in the areas of Sowa Town, Dukwi, Nata and Mosetse, and other indigenous communities within a 100 km radius of Sowa Town to build and maintain constructive relationships based on mutual respect and to facilitate sustainability activities.
Botash has moved to establish collaborative relationships and partnerships with these communities and indigenous people to promote socio-economic development and to resolve community concerns and needs.
Communities and non-governmental organisations represent aspects of our social capital which impact our corporate citizenship and social licence to operate. Botash continues to support the needs of surrounding communities based on the following CSR themes:
Botash recognizes the significant impact that its business activities could have on the natural environment and therefore, places tremendous value on the protection and rehabilitation of the environment.
This has led to the development of various systems and plans to manage this aspect including:
- Management systems developed for biodiversity aspects e.g., Game park operating procedure and management plan.
- Development of Biodiversity Conservation Programme.
Among other things, Botash focuses its biodiversity mandate on the management of the Sua game park, facilitating conservation of biodiversity and educating local communities on the value of these systems and species. The Park was established to conserve biodiversity and protect indigenous, threatened, and endangered species (e.g. rhino) that were at risk due to increased economic activity on the Sua Pan.
It is intended that the park will provide recreational and educational opportunities for surrounding communities, receiving school groups and group tours on a regular basis.
Water is a scarce and valuable resource which Botash shares with communities surrounding the Sua Pan operations. As the main consumer of water on the Sua Pan, Botash takes responsibility for water stewardship with the surrounding communities and engages them regarding mutual water security concerns.
In response to community concerns around the shared risk of water scarcity and water pollution, Botash developed the Water Stewardship programme and has made headway across three main areas:
- Water Stewardship team is formed with the following in mind: Potable and brackish water balance.
- Water Monitoring Programme Efficiency measures water usage per tonne of Soda Ash produced.
- Water Management plan is underway and it includes rainwater harvesting, use of pan flood water and recycling.
- Water Study to cater for current operations, future expansion projects and community needs.
- Daily Reporting system to water users.
- Annual water report per the requirements of the Water Act.
- Tripartite Water Resource Management Team includes Botash, Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) & Department of Sanitation.
- Botash participated in the development of the Botswana National Water Conservation & Demand Management Strategy.
- Plans are in motion to derisk water supply by updating the Water Resource Model for Dukwi Wellfield and identifying opportunities for alternative water sources.
Botash has established and implemented Safety & Health management system to provide a safe and healthy workplace and prevent work related injuries and ill health through:
• Risk assessment and implementation of control processes.
• Legal compliance.
• Training on safety and health.
• Performance monitoring.