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.
The objective of this chapter is twofold. It first introduces the theme of the book. There are many ways of looking at socially responsible investment (SRI). It can be viewed as a financial product where the financial performance is the outmost important aspect and cannot be compromised. Or it can be regarded as a force for change to promote and stimulate a more sustainable development. In this chapter we provide a literature review on SRI especially on the notion of the impact and how it has been addressed so far in the literature. The second objective of the chapter is to provide an overview of the volume by introducing each chapter.
This chapter reviews the literature on SRI as well as the chapters included in this volume.
If SRI is about making a change toward sustainability, we ought to study its societal and environmental impacts. Although scholar articles on SRI have gained importance in the two last decades, very little is known on its impact. Research has developed from a narrow concern with negative screening and divestment in isolated cases to a rigorous analysis of its financial performance across a range of ethical and ESG issues. While we have identified some studies that are beginning to explore the potential impact of SRI for society, this remains a crucial area to explore.
Originality/value of the chapter
The chapter contributes to the debates on the societal impact of SRI, a debate that needs to be continued even if or just because it raises some fundamental questions that are complex and difficult but also necessary to advance SRI.