Social License to Operate and Risks

Social License to Operate and Risks

Apr 4th, 2018

Does your risk management keep a separate scale for environmental, logal, or business interruption? Do you treat separately Cyber risk from your operational risk? i.e. Do you look at Social License to Operate and Risks as separate siloes or do you integrate them?

Social License to Operate and Risks

Let’s start by noting that the Social License to Operate (SLO) basic assumption is that communities/social expectations around projects/activities of mining companies usually exceed legal matters.

SLO refers to non-explicit “agreement” made by industry with society and allowing a peaceful extraction or processing operations, from cradle to grave.

Social License to Operate and Risks siloed vs. convergent view

Various authors consider that engineering, sustainability and safety departments deal with the technological issues in “siloed” way, separating the technological projects from their social influences.

SLO issues in the last decades have sown the limits of siloed approaches vs. systemic ones where social challenges converge with technological, operational ones.

Dealing with a convergent method to evaluate simultaneously social and technological, operational risks has shown to help in these matters.

The SLO is a:

  • “continuous negotiation process”,

  • complement to the regulatory licenses, and

  • not a product that may be granted by civil authorities, political structures or legal system.

The continuous aspect also demands the convergent risk platform to allow easy updates.

Various authors identify key factors for successful SLO:

Convergent risk assessments will benefit SLO

A part of maintaining corporate reputation lies in being transparent and not to lie. Poor risk assessments do exactly that and therefore have nefarious effects on SLO. Convergent risk assessments, on the contrary, benefit SLO.

Below we show how the key factors for successful SLO discussed in the prior section benefit from a convergent risk assessment platform.

  • Understanding the local culture, language and history may seem far away from the “convergent platform” but it actually isn’t. Consequence metrics, tolerance are deeply rooted in local culture and history.

  • Language and oral tradition can inform a convergent platform on historic hazards.

  • Education about a project and ensuring open communication can only happen if glossary is clearly defined, results are presented in a way everyone can understand, again benefits of a convergent risk platform.

Sustainability and adaptability of a project are among the key factors in maintaining long term SLO. Both benefit from a convergent updatable risk platform as well. That is because such platforms allow measuring operational potential interdependent socio-environmental impacts (positive and negative). Furthermore measuring and evaluating in a transparent way support mitigative/adaptive decision making.

Contact us to learn how ORE, our quantitative, scalable, updatable and convergent risk evaluation platform cal help you with your Social License to Operate and Risks informed decision-making.

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Category: Consequences, Risk analysis, Risk management

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