Anglo American’s biodiversity investment

 

Posted in: Analysis/Comment, Community, Environment, Speaking Out

Anglo American’s biodiversity investment

September 30, 2008

Amy Lunt on Anglo American’s biodiversity investment

Foreign operators must demonstrate the positives they will bring to a community, to counteract the perceived negatives such as environmental damage and disruption to local communities.

Anglo American’s $92 million investment in community and biodiversity projects in Brazil reflects not only the scale of the company’s operations, but the significance of corporate responsibility to its core business.

The mining industry produces some of the most visible and tangible impacts both on local communities and the natural environment. Extractive companies have been at the forefront of efforts to develop sustainable community investment programmes that not only deliver long term benefits to local people, but also measurable benefits. This has been driven in part by the efforts of NGOs who ensure ever increasing exposure of global company practices, but it is also clearly driven by retaining an ongoing licence to operate.

Foreign operators must demonstrate the positives they will bring to a community, to counteract the perceived negatives such as environmental damage and disruption to local communities. In previously unexplored areas this is especially important, as the introduction of a new industry will bring fundamental changes. Specific thought must be given to how the community will continue to grow and thrive, and adapt to its changing environment, once mining operations have concluded.

Anglo American’s SEAT programme enables the company to identify what a community’s needs are and how capacity can be built in the long term. While few companies operations are on the scale of Anglo American’s all large companies who invest in community programmes face the challenge of measurement and impact assessment and could learn from Anglo American’s robust approach to ensure that community investment programmes have maximum impact.

Amy Lunt, amy.lunt@corporate-citizenship.com

Amy focuses on research and publications and has a particular interest in corporate community investment. Amy managed SMART’s research into the role of corporate foundations in company giving, and wrote the two publications, ‘Revealing the Foundations’ and ‘The Changing Nature of Corporate Responsibility’. She also managed the editorial process for the Smith Institute publication on the future of CR, ‘Whose Responsibility’, and co-wrote a chapter with Amanda Jordan. Her previous publications include the 2005 review of National Grid’s Young Offender Programme and its 2007 update, and two reports for the Building Societies Association looking at the role of CR in the mutual sector. She has also worked with clients including PwC, Lloyds TSB and Powergen on all aspects of their community investment and employee involvement programmes. Amy joined SMART in 2003 from Islington Education Service, where she developed strategies for communications and organisation development, managed media relations, and co-ordinated performance management. Amy graduated from Oxford University in 1996 and has a PhD in corporate responsibility from the University of Bath.

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