There is renewed impetus for the private sector to contribute to societal sustainable development and demonstrate an impact that is in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. However, aligning business and stakeholder expectations to create shared value remains a challenge, says global sustainability business ERM.
ERM notes that companies should be deploying innovative and varied approaches to ensure shareholder value creation, and demonstrating measurable value impacts. “Impact [is] about change and achieving outcomes – and not simply tracking inputs and outputs. “Understanding impact requires a robust understanding of trends and the company’s contributions to these.”
ERM believes that companies can maximise their impact by systematically using data to identify, define and manage social and sustainability programmes to drive shared value.
ERM principal consultant Deon Wessels says that many mining companies continue to be affected by adverse value impacts resulting from stakeholder risks.
“Reliance on existing tools and approaches for stakeholder management, which are often reactive and not integrated with a business’s full operating reach, is not yet yielding the required performance.”
At the heart of the matter, explains Wessels, are project- affected communities’ expectations that they will benefit ‘equitably’ from resource development.