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A framework for reporting sustainability in the mining industry

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Oliver Heidrich, Professor Richard DawsonORCiD, Professor David ManningORCiD


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Mining companies and their suppliers gather and present a range of data that is provided by their operational processes. There are auditable standardised management systems (e.g. ISO 9001, 14001), governmental guidelines and indeed legal requirements that provide the basis for creating datasets. UK companies prepare annual directors' reports under the Companies Act (2006) section 415 and, in addition to reporting financial performance, mining companies identify principal risks and uncertainties (including environmental and social risks). This allows shareholders to assess the performance of the company, its directors and indeed its mining operations or suppliers (Bebbington et al., 2007; Theron, 2010). To address such a requirement, sustainability and/or corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports become more and more common-place. These reports need to be underpinned by data summarizing company performance and/or business practices. For mining operations, process data are widely recorded, but how can such data feed into the reporting of the social and indeed environmental performance? Although some criticize CSR (Henderson, 2009) many others value such reporting (Adams and Whelan, 2009; Carroll and Buchholtz, 2008; Van Der Heijden et al., 2010). Various reviews and meta-studies have shown that poor CSR performance has a direct negative relationship with financial performance (Frooman, 1997; Wood, 2010) as well as legal compliance (Nikolaeva and Bicho, 2011; Paulraj and de Jong, 2011; Theron, 2010). This presentation will provide a historical, legal and company reporting context. This offers the basis for developing a framework that can support mining companies to report sustainable practices. We argue that the datasets provided by mining operations and their suppliers can be utilised to illustrate and provide evidence of sustainable business practice and/or CSR. A framework that shows the linkages between processes, management and sustainability reporting is presented. Management systems, standards and guidelines relevant to and used by the mining community are summarised resulting in a checklist that shows what sustainability/CSR requirements are covered. Our approach provides mining companies and their suppliers with a one-stop matrix to pinpoint which element of the CSR policy, strategy, practice and/or data are recorded by which standard. In addition a data collection procedure is presented and we provide an example how these systems can operate in practice. It becomes evident that sustainability reporting benefits from existing management systems and from the data collected by mining companies and their suppliers. In summary this paper provides a framework, checklist and an example of a data collection procedure. This framework is helpful in preparing sustainability and/or CSR reporting structures for mining operations and companies that supply services, processes or goods. References Adams CA, Whelan G (2009) Conceptualising future change in corporate sustainability reporting. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 22:118-143. Bebbington J, Brown J, Frame B (2007) Accounting technologies and sustainability assessment models. Ecological Economics 61:224-236. Carroll AB, Buchholtz AK (2008) Business and Society: Ethics and Stakeholder Management 6th Edition. South-Western College, Cincinnati, USA. Frooman J (1997) Socially irresponsible and illegal behavior and shareholder wealth: A meta-analysis of event studies. Business and Society 36:221-249. Henderson D (2009) Misguided corporate virtue: The case against CSR, and the true role of business today. Economic Affairs 29:11-15. Nikolaeva R, Bicho M (2011) The role of institutional and reputational factors in the voluntary adoption of corporate social responsibility reporting standards. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 39:136-157. Paulraj A, de Jong P (2011) The effect of ISO 14001 certification announcements on stock performance. International Journal of Operations and Production Management 31:765-788. Theron C (2010) The impact of sustainability and corporate social responsibility on company reporting. Environmental Law and Management 22:23-27. Van Der Heijden A, Driessen PPJ, Cramer JM (2010) Making sense of Corporate Social Responsibility: Exploring organizational processes and strategies. Journal of Cleaner Production 18:1787-1796. Wood DJ (2010) Measuring corporate social performance: A review. International Journal of Management Reviews 12:50-84.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Heidrich O, Dawson R, Manning D

Editor(s): Tyrer, M; Murphy, K

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Minerals for Life: Overcoming Resource Constraints

Year of Conference: 2013

Pages: 102

Publisher: Mineralogical Society