Oil, gas, mining, heavy industry and community consent

For oil, gas and mining companies and the banks that finance some of their projects, community consent is becoming ever more important.

You only have to look at what happened to Asia Energy in Bangladesh, Vedanta Mining in Orissa, India, or Newmont mining in Peru, not to mention Bechtel in Bolivia, for evidence.

With India looking at some kind of ‘CSR tax’ on some areas of heavy industry and rising nationalism there, in Brazil and all over Asia, it seems fairly obvious that engaging communities and getting their consent, over a long period, is going to be vital for ‘high impact’ firms in mining, heavy industry and other extractive-related companies.

Ethical Corporation published a report late last year related to the topic which a lot of oil, gas and mining firms, among others, have bought.

And our briefing on heavy industry, published a year ago, may make interesting reading for some readers. It’s free for blog readers. Just click here.

There are some great stats on the benefits of good community relations in this 2008 Policy Innovations article, which also looks at the risks to companies in getting it wrong. It’s well worth a read. I’d like to see more stats out there for companies to draw on, (if they can be verified) like those in this quote:

“…a recent study by the World Resources Institute found that by working to obtain community consent at a project in the Philippines, Shell may have saved as much as $72 million in project delays, which amounted to a 1,200 percent return on its community consent efforts.”

For any readers interested in face-to-face discussions on these topics, particularly for oil, gas, mining and heavy industry firms, we have a couple of meetings coming up that may be useful.

One is in London, the other in Houston. Here’s more info:
Social & Environmental Risk Management and Implementation (London, 5-6 April 2011)

Social & Environmental Risk Management Summit USA in the mining, oil & gas, steel and other heavy industries
(Houston, 21-22 June)

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