Strategic investments in communities should create value for both the beneficiary and the investor. This report discusses that by taking a strategic approach to corporate social responsibility, mining companies can maximize the impact of their social investments. “Companies should aim for a small number of programs with measurable social impact.”
Mining companies are very aware of the significant impact of their operations upon local communities and recognize the need to earn a “social license to operate”, in the form of an unwritten contract with workers, their families and other stakeholders.
As mines are incredibly complex operations spread across wide geographical areas, there is a temptation to allocate social investment into broad categories such as health and safety, social welfare, education and sustainability. Yet without a detailed business plan, this money is at risk of disappearing into a black hole marked as “charitable contributions”.
When considering options for social investment, the starting point is not: “how much should we pay?” but rather, “what can we achieve?” This mindset should lead to programs with measurable social impact.