Assessment of sustainability topics

We have well-established processes to integrate the most material sustainability topics into our business.

Integrating material sustainability topics

The process for integrating and implementing significant sustainability topics into our business incorporates all steps from identifying to improving the impact of our operations.

We have an internal process designed to annually review our material sustainability topics in response to our overall results, changing business requirements, changing stakeholder expectations, implementation of the SDGs, and technological and scientific progress. The process includes cross-disciplinary discussions and an impact analysis where multiple internal experts participate.

During the materiality assessment, important areas are set and strategic topics are defined and given as input to the Group strategy process. The strategic topics are validated by Group Management and the Board of Directors through the strategy plan and then integrated into the strategy work. The Business Areas develop activities and plans to achieve the Group goals.

Materiality assessment process

The identification and prioritization of our sustainability topics are based on our overall vision to be the most climate friendly and respected metal provider in the world.

Materiality assessment of Boliden’s
sustainability topics in 2022

The input to the Group materiality assessment includes the prioritization of the Sustainability topics by the Business Areas and Business Units through a GAP analysis, risk and opportunity analysis, stakeholder expectations, as well the conclusion of last year’s sustainability performance for each unit, and future needs and expectations. The output is focus areas for the coming years and identified strategic topics, which will be used to develop the Group Management strategy plan.

A Future Focus Report has been compiled, by an external consultancy firm, that projects how the world might look in 2030 and 2050 and what this may mean for Boliden’s business. The report predicted various indicators based on global drivers that are expected to shape the world in 2030 and 2050. These include shifting demographics, changes in natural environment and an increasingly inter-connected world. Based on how these global drivers are expected to impact the landscape for the metals and mining industry toward 2050, three global themes were selected:

  • Low-carbon and circular society
  • Workforce transition
  • Sustainable finance

Identified risks and opportunities

In the Group materiality assessment, opportunities and risks to Boliden’s business were identified for the three global themes and their drivers.

A low-carbon & circular society




  • Population dynamics
  • Urbanization
  • Biodiversity loss
  • Food, water and energy
  • Access to natural resources
  • Infrastructure development
  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • Global tech revolution
  • Economic growth
  • Incorporate long-term climate impacts into mining plans
  • Help achieve SveMin’s biodiversity roadmap
  • Provide traceable low-carbon metals
  • Build partnerships to innovate low-carbon metal recovery
  • Help achieve Sweden’s goal of fossil-free extraction
  • Access to fossil free energy
  • Low-carbon metals face tough ­competition
  • Barriers toward a low-carbon future by failing to decarbonize
  • Climate impacts on dam safety and smelters
  • Increased conflict with neighbors due to climate impacts
  • Metal recovery pathways from society are not established

Workforce transition




  • Population dynamics
  • Access to natural resources
  • Infrastructure development
  • Global tech revolution
  • Economic growth
  • Macroeconomic trends and geopolitical shifts
  • Strengthen relationships by upskilling transitioning workers
  • Improve health and safety by adopting technology


  • Inability to attract top IT talent
  • Failure to mitigate transition impacts for communities
  • Issues related to job losses due to automation

Sustainable finance




  • Biodiversity loss
  • Access to natural resources
  • Infrastructure development
  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • Macroeconomic trends and geopolitical shifts


  • Help other countries achieve low-carbon mining
  • Access to green finance (bonds, loans, etc.)


  • Failure to receive licenses to operate for new mines
  • EU Taxonomy raises compliance criteria
  • TCFD disclosure by finance sector increases cost of capital

Validation of Boliden’s sustainability
topics in 2022

Each year, Boliden conducts interviews with its managers working with key stakeholders to identify which topics are important to them. These topics are then rated according to stakeholder insights and their influence on our business.

Every one of Boliden’s sustainability topics is important, but they are important in different ways and require different approaches for how we deal with them. For example, some already have thorough processes and procedures in place and are well managed at all our sites, whereas others that are of critical strategic importance require further attention to ensure that we get to where we want to be in 2030 and 2050.

Factors that can help us reach our Vision

Factors that can accelerate progress on sustainability for Boliden:

  • Continue our efforts in reducing negative impact by focusing on green investment throughout the business to finance innovation and encourage the prioritization of new sustainability solutions.
  • Focus on increased marketing and branding for Low-­Carbon metals.
  • Improve sustainability competence through the business, by enhancing cross-functional ­interaction to ensure resource and knowledge.
  • Strategic communications and proactive public affairs.

Matrix of strategic topics important to achieve our vision


Sustainability focus areas

Identifying and prioritizing the most material topics within the context of Boliden’s sustainability work is an ongoing process. Sustainability brings a long-term perspective and is a long-term commitment, which means it is an integral part of our strategy and operations. The basis for sustainability work is that all our operations are conducted in accordance with legislative provisions and permits in the countries in which we operate. Our ambitions are, however, significantly higher than this and we work proactively by setting goals and guidelines that are fundamental to our operations from a sustainability perspective.

Management systems have been implemented in order to systematically control and develop our operations. The systems ensure that significant sustainability topics related to our operations are covered – to ultimately minimize the risks associated with mining and metals production. Our way of working also facilitates the adaptation to changing market conditions and preferences, while ensuring compliance with future legislation. 

Assessing and identifying sustainability topics also enables us to set relevant goals, and to track and improve our ­performance.

Sustainability focus areas 2022

The significant sustainability areas identified in Boliden’s materiality assessment.