The CIM Environmental Society was founded in 1998 to provide a forum for the exchange of knowledge and skills in technical and environmental areas between professionals in the mining, metallurgical, petroleum and coal industries. The first Chair of the Society was David Orava in 1998, followed by Ian Horne from (2001-2004). Dogan Paktunc (2004-2006) led a major revitalization effort in 2004 and 2005, and Bob Butler (2006-2008) and David Bleiker (2008-2009) followed as chairs.
In 2011 the current Chair of the society, Janice Zinck, led another revitalization effort and the Environment Society was reformed into the Environment and Social Responsibility Society. The Society aims to provide value to its members by promoting effective use of science and technology in meeting industries' and communities' environmental goals.
The structure of the revitalized CIM Environment and Social Responsibility Society includes five technical sections within the Society: Mine Solids Management (waste), Water Management (water), Air Quality (air), Environment, and Social Responsibility and Aboriginal Affairs (social). Each of the five sections are intended to address key environmental aspects associated mining, the natural environment and communities including those presented below:
Land – Waste rock, tailings, dusts, residues, sludges, slag, disposal, management, reprocessing, decommissioning, reclamation
Water – Process effluents, acidic drainage, neutral drainage, ground water, surface water, mine water, seepage, treatment (active, passive, chemical, biological, physical)
Air - Emissions – SO2, SO3, NOX, CO2, halogens, fumes, particulate, climate change
Natural Environment – Environmental impact assessments, life cycle analysis, abandoned mines, designing for closure, footprint, environmental effects monitoring
Social – Indigenous affairs, CSR, conflict minerals, employment, law & order, training, footprint, succession, bribery/corruption, regulations, taxes, communication, disclosures, benefits community succession