Understanding company-community relations

December 2, 2015 – The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) has published a toolkit to help mining companies understand the factors that influence community support and measure the level of community support at a particular project or operation.

The Understanding company-community relations toolkit provides a structured approach for companies to understand the basis for community support and how to measure perceptions of support. It enables companies to identify the reasons why community support may be lacking at a project or operation, and develop targeted approaches for improving company-community relationships.

Principle 3 Uphold fundamental human rights and respect cultures, customs and values in dealings with employees and others who are affected by our activities.

The toolkit is designed to help companies understand the nature of their relationships with communities – irrespective of whether these are supportive or otherwise. Ultimately the emphasis is on helping companies achieve relationships that are supportive. For this reason, the term ‘community support’ features prominently throughout the Toolkit.

This approach outlined in the toolkit recognises that a company’s attitudes and behaviours towards host communities, and the context in which it operates, play a fundamental role in determining the degree to which communities support a particular project or operation and the quality of relationships between the company and the community.

Principle 9  Contribute to the social, economic and institutional development of the communities in which we operate.

There is little consensus or clarity on what community support means in practical terms – or how it can be measured.

“Perception surveys can help companies understand the opinions and perspectives of community members about a project or an operation, but there is no publicly available guidance on the factors that can influence community support or how these might be measured, ” said ICMM’s CEO Tom Butler. “This is the gap that we hope to address with this toolkit”.

Download the Understanding company-community relations toolkit.

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