Extractive companies need to secure ‘social license’ for the long-run success of their operations. Suffering from poor advice, many companies mistakenly think they can achieve this by political manoeuvring and philanthropic contributions to special interest groups and host communities. This approach, despite its good intentions and frequent focus on confronting issues, is fundamentally flawed. It fails because it does not contribute to changing the behaviour of those whose comprehension and support is most vital – company executives and local community leaders. In fact, it reinforces the polarising behaviours that lead to mutual resentment, positional bargaining and relationship instability.
Social Performance is fundamentally different. Social Performance prioritises activities aimed at behavioural and attitudinal change across organisations and host communities with the same degree of attention that industry has paid to Safety Performance and Environmental Performance with spectacular success. It does this through training that addresses behaviours and whole-of asset functional accountability.
Social Performance work varies according to content can include:
- socioeconomic knowledge base/situational analysis and scenario planning;
- socioeconomic monitoring, reporting and communication;
- cultural heritage protection and management;
- Local social induction;
- local economic diversification – the induced economy;
- local recruitment, employment and career development;
- local pre-employment training, focused on “employability”;
- local supply chain development-linkages into indirect economy;
- environmental co-management and mitigation trade off;
- lease area access and security protocols for host communities;
- land restitution, ‘life-of operation’ land use planning and closure;
- co-management of water, air shed and other externalities;
- two-way communication of local concerns, issues and achievement;
- interface with local government and civic participation.
- delivery and governance of local benefits;
- compensation – land access damage, resettlement and economic displacement;
- Human Rights due diligence;
- migration, influx and local population growth;
- Indigenous and land-connected peoples, Free Prior Informed Consent;
- ‘resource curse’, inflation, economic leakage;
- community concerns, complaints, grievance and conflict resolution;
- law and order, public and private security;
- gender considerations, minorities and marginalised people;
- community health and communicable diseases; and
- civic and fiscal governance; the deficit of weak, distant and absent governments.
resolution88 knows when, where, how and to what degree each of these elements needs attention, or not. Social Performance does not preclude the need for political and agency management, however it offers a performance foundation that supports better management of these issues.