“Corporate social responsibility” is more important than ever to ordinary Canadians and the global community. Failure to protect the environmental, social and human rights of the local communities where these companies do business threatens the operations, investment climate, economic viability and reputation of participating companies.
The mining industry itself fully realizes its responsibilities to the communities in which they work. These are the principles by which members of the Mining Association of Canada judge a “responsible approach to social, economic and environmental performance”. Furthermore, “our actions must reflect a broad spectrum of values that we share with our employees and communities of interest, including honesty, transparency and integrity“.
- Respect human rights and treat those with whom we deal fairly and with dignity.
- Respect the cultures, customs and values of people with whom our operations interact.
- Support the capability of communities to participate in opportunities provided by new mining projects and existing operations.
-Towards Sustainable Mining Guiding Principles, Dec 2004
The global mining industries most recent response to these issues was the Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development Project (MMSD) that acknowledged the basic principles that civil society has been demanding of mining:
“Mineral activities must ensure that the basic rights of the individuals and communities affected are upheld and are not infringed upon. These include the rights to control and use land, to clean water, to safe environment, and to livelihood; the right to be free from intimidation and violence; the right to be fairly compensated for loss. The interests of the most vulnerable groups must be protected.”
-Breaking New Ground, MMSD (International Institute for Environment and Development)