The Mini Cases 5 Companies, 5 Strategies, 5 Transformations

Challenge how does a company obtain a social license

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Unformatted text preview: Studies_24-28.indd 25 03_BOSS_Case Studies_24-28.indd 25 25 9/9/09 7:09:51 AM 9/9/09 7:09:51 AM RIO TINTO: Mining the Social Dimensions of Its Vast Operations Backstory: Given its business of mining over 5 million tons of rock a day, Rio Tinto has a big footprint. The mines are expensive, take decades to develop fully, and are not portable if something goes wrong. To reduce the political and economic risk and thus ensure steady returns, Rio Tinto has sought to win the backing of local communities, governments, and the society in which it operates. Challenge: How does a company obtain a “social license” to operate, and nurture the local labor force that it needs? Key moves: About a decade ago, Rio Tinto came up with the concept of working within communities on outreach and social and economic development. At the time, the company was developing a mine in Madagascar that was a source of contention with NGOs, which were worried about threats to biodiversity and the local community. Ninety percent of the island had already been cleared by farming, grazing, and cha...
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