The discourse on social performance in the extractive industries has advanced considerably over the past decade. However, when it comes to integrating social performance into organizational cultures and practices, significant challenges remain for many extractive companies. This article aims to provide practical insights and recommendations on how to improve social performance integration by drawing comparisons with health, safety and environment (HSE) performance.
Companies are just beginning to understand the benefits of and savings associated with managing social performance. The advanced integration of HSE into budgets and daily activities is due, in part, to the fact that managing health, safety and certain aspects of environmental issues can have more readily observable financial savings and rewards for companies. In contrast, proactive, fit-for-purpose management of social risk and performance pays off in the long-term but can be uncomfortable and challenging in the short-term.
Extractive companies could improve their social performance by drawing on lessons learned from HSE’s integration into company culture and practices. These lessons come from two key areas: risk-based approaches and winning the hearts and minds of employees.