Lundin Mining – SDG 8

Lundin Mining


Industry: Mining

Primary SDG Focus

Secondary SDG Focus

SDG 13 Joint Climate Action

How was your primary SDG focus identified and prioritized in the company’s value chain?

At Eagle Mine, SDG 8 was identified as a priority across the value chain given the site’s critical role in the local and regional economy and through consistent efforts toward continuous improvement. The directives and targets of the SDG are aligned with Lundin Mining’s and, subsequently, Eagle’s core Mission and Values as well as with the Responsible Mining Policy and the Responsible Mining Management System. As one of Marquette County’s most significant employers and an economic stimulator, opportunities to advance contributions to this SDG are frequently identified an implemented through regular risk assessments, internal and external audits, and open and transparent dialogue with the community and other stakeholders.

These opportunities are realized both within the organization, and outside the organization as citizens of the Marquette community. Within Lundin Mining and Eagle, improving operational efficiencies and job creation are integral to business success and promoting the responsible production and consumption of raw materials. Internal policies and efforts to become more efficient achieve this, stimulating the local economy and fostering innovation and meaningful partnerships – an example of this is the fully-implemented Lean Six Sigma Green Belt project. Beyond operational improvements and direct employment, Eagle has regional partners to further stimulate the economy, diversify economic centers of its area of influence and to provide lasting benefit to the community long after mine closure, for example through the Accelerate UP program.

How was your primary SDG integrated and anchored throughout your business?

The SDG has been integrated into the business both operationally as well as through Eagle’s efforts as a good corporate citizen and neighbour to Marquette County and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The Lean Six Sigma program supports the identification and assessment of opportunities for increased efficiency and continuous improvement. As a result of this program, identified opportunities are realized that require significant employee and contractor work and local procurement, in addition to modernizing and contributing to the sustainable extraction of ore from Eagle Mine. It is core to Eagle’s ongoing operation and the results have been measurable for their contribution to SDG 8; employee labour, fuel use, tire wear, maintenance and major rebuilds have been reduced. These result in higher levels of economic productivity through technological upgrading and innovation, while simultaneously reducing the carbon footprint and saving costs.

Accelerate UP is a program established through collaboration between Lundin Mining’s Eagle Mine and the local community of Marquette County. It is a non-profit program which offers business coaching to local entrepreneurs with the aim of ensuring sustainable, economic diversification. It is rooted in the Entrepreneurial Development model, which maintains that “an empowered and engaged community will create a sustainable economy”; the program particularly supports female entrepreneurs to expand/maintain their business ventures. Since its inception, it has supported the creation/expansion of nearly 500 local businesses in the area.

Did you employ any innovative approaches in your efforts to implement the goal?


The Lean Six Sigma program is rooted in innovation and operational improvement while contributing to SDG 8. Opportunities for continuous improvement and to stimulate regional economic growth in Marquette are realized through the modernization and innovation of the business. Eagle leverages technological improvements and strategic partnerships in order to achieve such positive results.

The Accelerate UP program embodies innovative implementation of SDG 8 within Eagle’s area of influence. As a mining operation, the direct and indirect contributions to the local economy are measurable; however, upon closure, it was identified as a responsibility and priority for the region to have an inherently more diverse economy upheld by the communities. To enable this, the program was launched and is rooted in the Entrepreneurial Development model. Eagle, in partnership with the Lundin Foundation, also launched the Eagle Emerging Entrepreneurs Fund which provides access to finance to early stage and start up local businesses; the Fund was created to provide further, tangible support to local entrepreneurs and businesses and foster sustainable development in the County.  Collectively, Accelerate UP and the Fund provides local entrepreneurs with access to financing and business coaching required for success.

Were any partnerships leveraged or created?

Through the Lean Six Sigma program, partnerships are both leveraged and created with local and national/international suppliers of equipment and services. Opportunities for operational improvement are constantly identified and important partnerships to realize those opportunities result in successful implementation across the operation.

The Accelerate UP program’s inception was made possible by leveraging the close, positive relationship that Eagle has with the local community and building a partnership that ensures decent work and the sustainable economic development of the area during operation and upon closure. By supporting and providing ongoing support to such a large number of entrepreneurs and businesses, myriad additional, productive partnerships have been created.

The Eagle Emerging Entrepreneurship Fund is a collaboration between Eagle, the Lundin Foundation and Northern Initiatives, a community development financial institution serving Michigan and Wisconsin. The Foundation provided a loan guarantee which then enabled Northern Initiatives to provide funding to entrepreneurs in Marquette County that otherwise would have been deemed too risky.  The Fund also engaged Accelerate UP to ensure entrepreneurs receiving financing also had access to necessary business coaching service.

The partnerships leveraged in the delivery of these two programs are examples of new solutions needed to support the SDGs.

What communications strategy did you employ to share the initiative with your stakeholders?

Lean Six Sigma program:

As this is a program for continuous operational improvement for business sustainability, the associated initiatives are largely communicated to internal stakeholders while projects are ongoing. This is done through traditional business practices; the operation has fostered a diverse and inclusive culture where feedback and project input from all stakeholders is encouraged.

Accelerate UP program:

The Accelerate UP program is communicated to stakeholders via a variety of mechanisms. The first form of communication for Accelerate UP is through word-of-mouth, grassroots promotion. Clients come to Accelerate UP by referral or through an introduction. Secondly, stakeholders have access to extensive information and the ability to connect with the Facilitator through the program website: and social media accounts. There, contact information for program representatives is also made available. Stakeholders can seek any information through honest dialogue with the program directly. Additionally, the program and its successes are communicated at length in Lundin Mining’s annual Sustainability Report.

How were KPIs and the levels of success outlined and defined?

Lean Six Sigma program:

  • Identify and assess opportunities for increased efficiency and continuous improvement of the business

Accelerate UP program:

  • Provide ongoing business support to local entrepreneurs and businesses, in particular for women
  • Provide financial support to local entrepreneurs and businesses, to ensure access to the necessary tools for success

Eagle Emerging Entrepreneurs Fund:

The target outcome is to support early stage and start-up businesses to grow Marquette County, creating local jobs, employment.

  • Number of start-up and early stage businesses to launch in Marquette County
  • Local business growth
  • Jobs created/employment retained

How were reporting and monitoring conceptualized and undertaken?

There are a number of methods employed for the monitoring and reporting on the initiative. For Lean Six Sigma, as it is a project in pursuit of continuous operational improvement, this is done through traditional business practices. The operation has fostered a diverse and inclusive culture where feedback and project input from all stakeholders is encouraged. Performance and opportunities are consistently reported through management and effective action is ensured.

In 2018, the Lundin Foundation commissioned an impact assessment of Accelerate UP! to understand the impact of the program to date.

The Eagle Emerging Entrepreneurs Fund program assesses performance of the program on a quarterly basis and conducts an annual review to determine the on-going success of the program in serving the needs of local entrepreneurs.


What were the key impacts and results?


Lean Six Sigma program:

  • Installation of a real time measuring system on haul trucks, to ensure optimal payload of each truck and the development of operating procedures.
  • Significant reduction of employee labour, fuel use, tire wear, maintenance of trucks, and major rebuilds on site.
  • Estimate cost savings of USD$1,140,000 per year.
  • 30,000 gallons of fuel saved per year, with direct fuel cost savings estimated at USD$74,000.

Accelerate UP program:

  • 400 businesses supported
  • 80% businesses realized revenue

Eagle Emerging Entrepreneurs Fund:

  • 37 entrepreneurs enabled to access over USD$1,200,000 in financing
  • 95% repayment rate
  • 40 new jobs created and 140 job retained

Supporting Links:  

2017 Sustainability Report

2018 Sustainability Report

Accelerate UP