Sustainability: A Critical Challenge for the Extractive Industry
9 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2020
Date Written: January 30, 2020
Sustainability has been resonating within the business community and academia. Indeed, it has progressed from being an ideology to a technique that adds to the triple bottom line of companies. Given that the new contract is driven by global competition, several companies are striving to take advantage of the current narrative in their drive toward innovation. Most importantly, the expansion of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) frontier is driving the discourse on sustainability, thus, leaving a business with limited options. Therefore, sustainability is no longer optional especially for industries, whose activities directly affect people and the planet. Arguably, the more directly a company’s activities affect people, the more likely it comes into direct contact with society. The implication is that they run the risk of being confronted by members of society especially rights groups, activists, and lately young people. This paper aims to demonstrate the author’s curiosity to investigate the extractive industry’s approach to sustainability in its operations. It also examines the extant practices of the extractive industry, which have direct links to sustainability. The paper reviews the existing literature relating to sustainability and production in the selected industry. Essentially, it discusses the level of acceptance of sustainability in the extractive industry, particularly in the less-developed world. This has exposed gaps, which will require policy overhaul and reorientation. Findings demonstrate a correlation between institutional environment and sustainability consciousness. Recommendations focus on social, economic, political, and technological perspectives. These factors have been found to influence the level of adoption of sustainability by companies. This paper serves as a precursor to a proposed qualitative research project, which will adopt a comparative approach to review the sustainability practices of two companies, based in New Zealand and Nigeria. The author’s main goal is to publish a working document from the proposed research.
Keywords: CSR, Extractive Industry, Exploration & Production, Sustainability
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