One of the most versatile metals, gold is used in jewellery, electronics, and as a store of wealth.
Gold is the most malleable and ductile of all elements. While jewellery accounts for approximately half of the global gold demand, it is also an important metal in electronics and is used as a semiconductor, printed circuit and electrical contact.
China is the leading producer of gold, although Australia holds the largest share of global reserves. China is also the world’s largest consumer of gold. Switzerland reportedly refines over half of the world’s gold. Gold is associated with a large range of ESG issues.
According to TDi’s ESG data, gold is strongly associated with reports of pollution, community rights violations, violence and conflict, labour rights, child labour, corruption, and non-payment of taxes. This is due to a variety of reasons, including the fact that approximately 15-20 percent of gold is produced through artisanal and small-scale mining, which is largely unregulated and – in the most extreme cases – subject to influence from organised criminal or non-state armed groups.
Main Uses and Attributes
Gold has many uses, making it a highly valuable metal. It is used in jewellery, metalwork, as a financial instrument including currency reserve (for example, bullion or coins), and in computer processors.1https://www.britannica.com/science/gold-chemical-element
Gold has long been used in electronics; its use in electronics including semiconductors, printed circuits and electrical contacts is common.2https://www.britannica.com/science/gold-chemical-element Gold also has medical use as it is used for dental fillings and in medicine including radiography.3https://www.britannica.com/science/gold-chemical-element
The usefulness of gold derives from the diversity of its special properties. Gold is one of the densest of all metals.4https://www.britannica.com/science/gold-chemical-element It is lustrous, highly durable, soft, and resistant to corrosion.5https://www.britannica.com/science/gold-chemical-element It has high electrical conductivity, high thermal conductivity, and is the most malleable and the most ductile of all elements.6https://www.britannica.com/science/gold-chemical-element
Supply Chain Risk
TDi assesses Gold for key risks affecting the security of supply, and for its association with artisanal and small-scale mining.
Country Governance Risks
Gold's association with countries experiencing:
Association with ESG issues
TDi Sustainability's data rates Gold's association with the following issues as high or very high: