Could you tell us a little about the company's transition from focusing mainly on renewables and back to the mining sector?
In the case of this company, the transition is due to market needs. The origin of the company is mining, and CESCA has always offered consulting and specialized environmental services for mining projects in Mexico. However, at one point there was a reactivation of clean energy projects that occupied us in obtaining their environmental authorizations and in the application of the first measures for the protection and conservation of wild flora and fauna. Moreover, this reactivation coincides with the fact that mining companies such as Grupo México and Teck invited us to collaborate in environmental studies for some of their important projects.
How has CESCA adapted to the pandemic over the past year?
The pandemic meant a difficult year for both consultants and companies. In our case, we quickly adapt to work at home. Today, even after staff have received their vaccinations, CESCA operates partially even remotely with continuous communication, and all workers have full control of their responsibilities. When they attend the office, strict hygiene and security measures are maintained against the pandemic. We continue to have meetings with our employees, taking advantage of the means offered by communication technology, which has not limited the achievement of the project objectives.
Could you tell us about the kind of projects that the company is currently collaborating on?
CESCA works on mining projects to obtain environmental authorizations, mainly in terms of environmental impact and for change in forest land usage. We hope that, at the beginning of the next year, those studies can be presented to the environmental assessment authorities. We are also carrying out environmental supervision of mining and energy projects to ensure compliance with environmental authorizations obtained by our clients.
How can CESCA help mining companies, or others, to align with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards?
Such standards are now trending here, though our company in fact adopted the approach many years ago. It is something that I have always encouraged my customers to get on board with. The mining industry must comply with the environmental stipulations within the regulations, and keep in continuous communication with the government and in compliance with all requirements. And neither should a company neglect the social aspect of a project, aligning it with the national and international norms and conventions that ensure the rights of the populations.
What are CESCA's main goals are for the next year?
Our goals are to rebuild the strength that the company had pre-pandemic. However, regarding the pandemic factor, our goal is to resume activity in the sectors and projects that the company had before with various types of customers. In addition, CESCA is looking beyond the energy and mining sectors. It is also time to take advantage of this momentum that technology has provided us to get out of the traditional office-based work scheme. On top of this, we must take advantage of the fact that employees have better working conditions at home, even from the point of view of creating a work-at-home-in-office alternative. I will insist on the goal of increasing the use of predictive models in environmental studies.
What does Mexico need to further incentivize the growth of its mining industry?
In the case of mining industry, the key point will be the interaction with government institutions, especially with those issuing project authorizations. Over the past year there have been no authorizations granted to the mining industry in general. It appears, however, that a dialog is about to commence on the matter. And our task is to promote interaction between government and companies, to pursue mutual advantages. Another relevant issue is the interaction with the communities, the timely communication of the projects so as not to give opportunity to those who want to take advantage of the lack of information.