Reporting what matters

Reporting what matters

Rio Tinto’s sustainable development reporting forms part of our annual corporate reporting suite. As a member of the International Council on Mining & Metals (ICMM), we commit to upholding the ICMM’s 10 principles for sustainable development and incorporate the mandatory requirements from the ICMM position statements into our own policies, standards and practices. We report in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) framework, which is recognised as the international standard for sustainability reporting.

Every year we rank the sustainability issues that matter most to our business and stakeholders. This helps focus our response and aligns our Sustainable development report with the GRI G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines and the International Council on Mining & Metals (ICMM) Sustainable Development Framework.

To compile this ranking, we combined feedback from our internal subject matter experts and discipline leaders, stakeholder expectations and analysis of the external environment. The Sustainability Committee reviewed and approved the assessment. Our material issues are listed below.

Our materiality ranking scheme comprises three tiers:

  • Highly material aspects that are core to our sustainability performance, to our business and stakeholders. These aspects are described in the Annual report.
  • Material aspects that could have localised or moderate impacts on our overall sustainability performance and to stakeholders. These aspects are described in our Sustainable development report.
  • Other aspects considered important across Rio Tinto and to specific stakeholders.

+ Highly material

Economic contributions
Employee relations
Operational environment performance
Climate change
Human rights
Non-managed operations
Tailings and structures
Business integrity

+ Material

Value chain
Business resilience

+ Important


Issues that meet materiality thresholds are linked to the GRI index. The index includes disclosures and responses to the GRI G4 standards and the Mining & Metals sector supplement indicators, where we have deemed the matters to be material. The index also notes where the ICMM principles apply.

About Rio Tinto’s Sustainability Committee

Our Sustainability Committee oversees, on behalf of the board, the management processes, standards and strategies that are designed to manage health, safety, security, environment, community and social performance risks, and achieve compliance with the Group’s responsibilities and commitments in these areas.

The Committee ensures our approach is consistent with Rio Tinto’s vision and values. Among its areas of focus, the Committee:

  • Monitors the commitment management makes to the behaviours, systems and processes required by the policies and standards within its scope
  • Ensures local and global sustainability-related risks are appropriately captured and considered in Rio Tinto’s risk profile
  • Reviews sustainability targets annually and the metrics used to evaluate them
  • Reviews the Group’s performance against those targets


We engaged an independent external assurance organisation, PricewaterhouseCoopers, to provide the directors of Rio Tinto with assurance on selected sustainable development subject matter, as explained in the independent limited assurance report.