Resource constraints stopping you from starting your ESG journey? That didn’t stop QEM

What happens when you want to start your ESG journey and you’re a small company? For some that’s enough to hit pause on the process but not for Joanne Bergamin, Communications Director, at QEM Limited (ASX:QEM), an Australian publicly listed mining and energy company. Especially when QEM has its sights set on helping develop Australia’s critical minerals resources in north-west QLD.

We engaged Socialsuite to streamline, monitor and disclose our ESG progress and initiatives. We chose what we believe will become the industry standard for mining.

Joanne Bergamin, Communications Director
QEM Limited
Joanne Bergamin, Communications Director
2018
Listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)
2022
published first baseline report
21
ESG metrics within the framework

For QEM Limited, ESG reporting is an opportunity that unlocks value including competitive advantage and future access to capital. The company recognises that integrating Environmental, Social and Governance metrics and reporting will generate long-term shareholder value and positive impact for the North West Queensland Minerals Province in which it operates.

An energy game changer

QEM Limited (ASX:QEM) is a company with sights set on helping develop Australia’s critical minerals resources in north-west QLD. 

QEM is focused on the exploration and development of the Julia Creek Vanadium and Oil Shale Project, a unique world class critical minerals resource with the added potential to deliver and utilise innovative and sustainable energy solutions. Vanadium is classed as a critical mineral by the Australian Government due to its wide variety of applicability across sectors such as energy storage, construction, aerospace and infrastructure.

QEM’s Julia Creek project holds one of the largest single deposits of vanadium in the world, and an opportunity for Australia to lead the charge when it comes to this growing energy storage technology. Vanadium has been touted as ‘a game changer for large scale battery storage and it is non-flammable and 100 percent recyclable, compared to lithium which is more suitable for short term storage and the EV market.  

A common resource challenge

With only two full-time employees, QEM faced the same predicament that many companies have when starting their ESG journey. But this didn’t stop Gavin Loyden, Managing Director, and Joanne Bergamin, Communications Director, the driving force behind QEM’s adoption of ESG, from taking the leap.

“We were already doing some work on sustainability, however, we didn’t have a metrics-driven approach. You need to prove your ESG credentials if you're looking to access capital in the future and it’s better to be proactive about it now than wait. We wanted to get ahead of the pack,” says Joanne.

Build, buy or consult?

When it comes to ESG there are several options that a company can take. They can use consultants which are often very expensive, they can build their own framework that is unique to their business but this can be time-consuming and less scalable, or they can choose from a selection of vendors that range from off-the-shelf to highly complex enterprise solutions. 

For Joanne, the choice was easy, especially considering the in-house capacity. But more importantly, QEM wanted to partner with a company that had proven expertise in the mining industry.

“We explored other options but didn’t find any as simple or transparent as Socialsuite. We engaged Socialsuite to streamline, monitor and disclose our ESG progress and initiatives. We chose what we believe will become the industry standard for mining.”

ESG enables prosperity for all

QEM recognises that mining and metals are critically important to the North West Queensland Minerals Province (NWMP) and Australia's resources industry at large. By committing to ESG, QEM is laying the foundations for long-term, sustainable development and growth. 

Across Environment, the company is focused on lowering its future carbon footprint, developing and utilizing renewable energy sources and green hydrogen, as well as supplying high-purity vanadium for large-scale energy storage. As an active corporate citizen in the NWMP, QEM supports and participates within the local McKinlay Shire community and along the MITEZ (Mount Isa Townsville Economic Zone) corridor, particularly focusing on youth, women’s and community sporting programs. QEM is dedicated to transparent corporate governance which is now captured and reported through the Socialsuite platform. 

Like many small-cap companies, QEM’s ESG journey is only beginning but it’s aligned to their mission ‘to operate in the safest and cleanest way possible while providing strong and sustained value to our shareholders.’ By investing in ESG now, QEM is creating long-term value that will enable:

  • Access to future capital
  • Compliance and risk management
  • Positive reputation and branding

By working with Socialsuite, QEM has access to ESG experts who have helped them develop a comprehensive ESG roadmap, support to communicate the ESG message to various stakeholders including the board, and a simple-to-use platform to continue their disclosures to market.

“I love working with the Socialsuite team. As a team of two at QEM, we needed a partner that is responsive, can help us educate our stakeholders including the board and provide a solution that delivers a comprehensive ESG report that we can share with our shareholders and community. Working with Socialsuite, it was remarkably simple to create our baseline report which has been really well received by the market.”

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