Stakeholder inclusiveness in sustainability reporting by mining companies listed on the Johannesburg securities exchange
Author(s)Lingenfelder, Deirdré; Safety and Sustainable Development Projects, Anglo American plc.
Thomas, Adèle; Department of Business Management, University of Johannesburg
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AbstractA key requirement for listing on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE) Socially Responsible Invest- ment (SRI) index is the publication, by companies, of annual sustainability reports in line with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines that require stakeholders to be included in defining the content of such reports. Despite this requirement, stakeholders appear not to be integrally involved in the process. The primary objective of the study was to determine whether the contents of sustainability reports of the mining companies listed on the JSE SRI index are based on the outcome of robust stakeholder engagement processes undertaken specifically for the purpose of preparing these reports. Against a backdrop of the GRI requirements, a quantitative evaluation was undertaken of recent sustainability reports of 11 South African mining companies. These reports were also qualitatively assessed against the corporate social responsibility (CSR) Journey Model proposed by Mirvis and Googins (2006). The two assessment scores for each mining company were integrated and the companies were plotted ac- cording to a CSR journey that encompasses degrees of stakeholder involvement. The findings highlight that while the companies adhere to the quantitative GRI stakeholder engagement requirements, the contents of the sustainability reports have not been specifically informed by stakeholders. Companies also appear to be in the early stages of the CSR journey. Recommendations include advising mining companies to utilise existing stakeholder engagement platforms to advance stakeholder inclusion in sustainability reporting and for mining companies to engage in developing the business case for CSR, which could promote greater stakeholder involvement.