The chapter describes the phenomenon of company–community agreements in the mining sector, situates them relative to two veins of responsible investment activity, and assesses whether they might serve as a proxy for the “community relations” expectations of responsible investors.
Based on an evaluation of two recent company–community agreements and surveying of executives from mining firms that have signed agreements with Indigenous communities, it was found that: (1) though imperfect as a proxy for many of the “community relations” expectations of responsible investors, company–community agreements offer benefits and make provisions that exceed current expectations, especially with respect to the recognition of the right of Indigenous communities to offer their free, prior, and informed consent to mine developments; and (2) mining executives recognize the utility of agreement-making with communities, and are comfortable with such efforts being interpreted as recognition of the right of Indigenous communities to consent to development.
The chapter serves to introduce responsible investors to the emergence of company–community agreements in the global mining sector, and calls upon them to advocate for their further use in order to reduce the riskiness of their investments, address social justice concerns, and assist communities to visualize and realize their goals.
Originality/value of chapter
For the first time, the growing phenomenon of company–community agreements in the mining sector is situated within responsible investment scholarship. Additionally, drawing on both logic and evidence, the chapter challenges the responsible investment community to rethink its approach to screening and engaging the mining sector in order to advance the interests of Indigenous communities.
Bradshaw, B. and McElroy, C. (2014), "Company–community agreements in the mining sector", Socially Responsible Investment in the 21st Century: Does it Make a Difference for Society? (Critical Studies on Corporate Responsibility, Governance and Sustainability, Vol. 7), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 173-193. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2043-905920140000007007
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