Risky Business leads to SMI reward

9 Mar 2013

Encouraging the resources industry to become more sustainable is no easy feat. But researchers at The University of Queensland (UQ) have proven it is possible – and now they’ve been rewarded for their efforts. 

Risk management and sustainable operations company SUSOP Pty Ltd has been awarded the Sustainable Technology Award by the Institution of Chemical Engineers in Manchester, England for the SUSOP® framework. The award recognises a project or process that best demonstrates innovation in waste reduction, recycling, reuse or the lengthening of product lifecycles. 

The consultancy, a wholly owned subsidiary of SMI’s technology transfer company JKTech Pty Ltd, is recognised globally for its ability to identify and mitigate resource project risks, thereby improving outcomes for the resources industry, communities impacted by project development and the environment. 

The SUSOP® framework was the result of a three-year collaborative project with industry and research partners through the Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing and led by the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining at UQ’s Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI). 

“SUSOP® utilises a multi-disciplinary approach that considers the sustainability aspects of a project across a series of workshops and offline analysis. 

“It considers the environmental, social and technical risks and opportunities for a project, which benefits communities and also reduces delays and ensures projects run smoothly,” explained SMI researcher and SUSOP Pty Ltd Development Manager Dr Glen Corder. 

Through SUSOP® researchers have developed a sustainability opportunities and risks management framework that has the potential to turn a company’s high-level sustainability principles into practice. 

SUSOP® compliments research across the Sustainable Minerals Institute, which is committed to moving the industry to a position of shared benefit and sustainable practices. 

“SUSOP® establishes the link between the community and project development. We take a positive approach to risks to identify good outcomes that work for the local communities and the environment but are also within the technological and financial constraints of industry,” said Dr Corder, who was present to receive the award. 

SUSOP Pty Ltd has worked with companies in Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia, as well as internationally in West Africa and South America.