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Strategic Sustainable Development – Creating Shared Value in the Mining Industry


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Author A C Keith, G Corder and M Jones


Sustainable development has become an issue of ever increasing importance to
the mining industry. The Ernst & Young (EY) mining industry risk radar
regularly shows several sustainability elements in the top ten risks, with
social license the number three risk in the 2014/15 survey. This is supported by
the Fraser Institute survey results of 2013 showing that 36 per cent of
responding companies indicated public opposition had affected their permitting
and approvals process.
Addressing these issues in a strategic way across a
mining business that is then translatable to actions at operational level has
remained an elusive goal in the industry. In addition the environment and
community issues are commonly viewed as somewhat separate from financial and
production issues and as a compliance cost rather than a value add.
In their
Harvard Business Review paper of 2011, ‘Creating Shared Value’, Porter and
Kramer outline changes in thinking required for companies to improve their
business sustainably through considering the societal issues impacted by their
operations and products. Along the lines of ‘doing more with less’ companies’
value chains can be redefined to reduce energy, transport, water or other
resource usage leaving additional resource for societal usage and/or reducing
environmental impacts.
This paper explores the linking of the holistic Five
Capitals-based approach with the creating shared value (CSV) concept to help
businesses unleash the benefits of innovation. Previous papers have demonstrated
the potential for Five Capitals approach to create strategic value through
sustainable development. Building on previous work, this paper provides an
overview of the current status of holistic approaches to mine management and
presents the application of the CSV concept on an African mine currently
undertaking capitals-based strategic planning. The paper also demonstrates the
value that has been created through utilising this approach and proposes
improvements for changing the way the industry tackles and delivers benefits
related to sustainability issues.

Keith, A C, Corder, G and Jones, M, 2016. Strategic sustainable
development – creating shared value in the mining industry, in Proceedings
International Mine Management Conference, pp 249-264 (The Australasian Institute
of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).