AME BC’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Guiding Principles were introduced at Roundup 2014. Since then, the Association’s CSR Committee, chaired by Silvana Costa, has been working to demonstrate how these principles are being applied in current exploration projects, and sharing this information through a variety of initiatives. The CSR Committee’s aim is to provide AME BC members with practical and cost-effective ways to implement CSR in real-world exploration situations, and to keep members up to date on upcoming regulatory changes affecting the industry. To date, this information has been conveyed through articles in Mineral Exploration, a CSR short course, and a Show Case Session at Roundup. The CSR Committee has also launched learning sessions and a community of practice for social responsibility in exploration and development to create opportunities for AME BC members to share insights, discuss current developments and learn about leading best practices.
The CSR Committee brought AME BC’s first CSR short course, Getting It Right: Corporate Social Responsibility in Exploration and Development, to members at Roundup 2015. This interactive course for project managers, camp managers and field staff provided practical solutions for companies to implement CSR principles on the ground and to engage early and meaningfully with communities and First Nations. In much the same way that a culture of health and safety has become standard practice, this course helped build a culture of corporate social responsibility. At the CSR Show Case Session “Creating Value Through Environmental Planning From Early Exploration to Project Development,” presenters focused on the importance of incorporating environmental values into early exploration to stay ahead of increasing regulatory and social expectations. They also discussed the benefits of involving the community at this early exploration stage through training and partnerships, and of working with community members to build traditional knowledge into the exploration project’s portfolio.
At a time when many exploration companies are struggling to find funds to conduct exploration activities, the CSR Committee is developing practical, cost-effective ways that companies can use CSR to add value to a property. The 2015 exploration season is now upon us, and the CSR Committee will continue to add tools for mineral exploration companies to use that will balance the needs of society with those of shareholders.