Have a listen - Social impacts of extractive projects

By Dr. Fiona Martin | January 19, 2023

Dr. Fiona Martin, Hatch’s Director of Community Engagement – Australia and Asia, was recently a guest on Sheila Khama’s Extractives Podcast where she discussed the social impacts of extractive projects.

Industry leaders have long been familiar in theory with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors and the role they have in implementing green and sustainable projects. Fiona, who has more than 20 years of social performance and engagement leadership experience in the mining and metals and infrastructure sectors, says it’s time to place more strategic and practical emphasis on the “S” in “ESG,” particularly in the early planning stages of projects. Companies and projects need to consider the ‘E’, ‘S’ and ‘G’ both singularly and collectively in the strategic assessment of the ways that they can add more social value – for everything is interlinked, a symbiotic relationship.

According to Fiona, communities and industries can both benefit from the unique interdependency they share. Engaging communities early – well before the approval phase of a project – can lead to a mutually beneficial relationship. Companies can earn respect and trust, while communities get a decision-making seat at the table where they can potentially participate in co-developing new models of engagement and development that can help them to have a more legitimate say in human rights issues, land use, water quality, fair working conditions, and other important issues such as how to optimise the benefits and value of projects for investors, stakeholders, the project and society.

You can listen to the podcast at sheilakhama.com.