Pressure is mounting on corporate SA to take environmental issues more seriously and annual general meetings have increasingly become a key platform for lobbyists call companies to account. The most recent example was last week at the AGM of ArcelorMittal SA, the country’s largest steelmaker and one of the top 10 emitters of greenhouse gases in SA. Although the environmental and social effect of the company’s operations was not on the list of items to be discussed, it took centre stage when the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) and the Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance fired questions at company directors. The company was asked to provide details on how it is reducing greenhouse gas emissions, rehabilitating areas affected by pollution and implementing the recommendations of its own environmental master plan. In response to questions about the AGM, an ArcelorMittal SA spokesperson told Business Day that the company considers its effect on the environment one of the most im...

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