The COVID-19 podcast interviews are part of Mining Journal's Stakeholder Engagement programme, a 12-month campaign focused on helping the mining industry better understand and engage with key stakeholder groups. Find out more here.
"Miners tend to be dominant within a local economy so there's an opportunity to take leadership at a local level," he told Mining Journal as part of its Stakeholder Engagement programme. However, he said miners needed to establish "holistic" approaches to stakeholder engagement that started with communities, but extended to include regional interests and government at all levels.
Maddox also cautioned the industry against using the crisis to "avoid responsibility" by lobbying for "environmental relaxation" or generally letting standards fall "because no one's watching".
He said ESG was a theme that had been lost to some degree in the immediate crisis management but expected ESG reporting requirements to be even more prevalent on the other side of the pandemic.
"Companies need to be setting very clear, measurable targets both for carbon and other environmental criteria like biodiversity," he said. "Reporting needs to be transparent and complete."
Meanwhile, Maddox said governments around the world were assuming enlarged roles and taking actions unthinkable just a few months ago.
"This idea of the Overton Window - the area of policy that's acceptable at any given moment, and you can go a little bit to the left and right and any further seems extreme - that window has been blown open at the moment," he said. "Anything is on the table.
"From an environmental perspective, this could be bad if the economy needs to be up and running at all costs, but there's a huge opportunity. There's a lot of talk about using the stimulus packages for environmental purposes, there's a new mandate for governments realising they have a lot more power, and there's a new receptivity from the electorate to quite major change."
To listen to the two-part podcast interview with Tom Maddox, click here.
Full interviews with other experts are also available on the Mining Journal Stakeholder engagement website on https://www.mining-stakeholders.com