Case Study Sustainability Framework Australia & South Africa

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

THE PURPOSE OF THIS REPORT IS TO PROVIDE SENIOR MANAGEMENT WITH A RECOMMENDATION FOR ADDRESSING SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES FACED IN AUSTRALIA’S AND SOUTH AFRICA’S MINING SECTOR.

The sustainability team assessed the unique needs of each country by using resources such as government websites, mining organisations websites and publications, relevant journals and other texts to generate the following recommendation regarding sustainability and corporate social responsibility challenges in both countries.

After an in depth comparison of each country and various mining companies, the sustainability team has determined an appropriate recommendation which the senior management team should adopt.

The two countries differ vastly in culture, environment and social values. , A localised approach was therefore recommended to address mining sustainability issues.

The recommendations discussed include the addressing of social, economic and environmental concerns which occur at different levels in each country.

An identified limitation was that the report is very much country specific and should not be expanded nor adopted, to other countries, without prior research and investigation..

INTRODUCTIONS

FOLLOWING THE DRAFTING OF THE COUNTRY BRIEFING PAPER (APPENDIX A), THE SUSTAINABILITY TEAM FURTHER RESEARCHED THE ECONOMIC STATUS OF BOTH AUSTRALIA AND SOUTH AFRICA TO PROVIDE RECOMMENDATIONS ON HOW THE COMPANY SHOULD AND COULD ADDRESS SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES WHICH ARE CURRENTLY BEING FACED IN BOTH COUNTRIES.

During initial research, it became evident that both countries face similar sustainability challenges including environmental issues (such as land clearing and disruption of natural habitats) and social issues such as poverty, unemployment, health, education and training.

The major differences in economic conditions such as culture, import and export trading, and environmental and social conditions, were highly considered when looking at business expansion and managing local sustainability challenges. Both countries are unique and therefore require location- specific sustainability implementation and management.

This paper investigates existing and possible sustainability frameworks and initiatives in both Australia and South Africa. It outlines three different theoretical perspectives on corporate social responsibility and nominates an adopted approach for each. It further describes different initiatives that business organisations can and currently use to manage sustainability issues and suggests three sustainability initiatives that represent effective management in addressing the social and environmental responsibilities in both countries.

Corporate Social Responsibility
The Classical Theory of corporate social responsibility (CSR) identifies that business fulfils its responsibility to society best if business engages on its core business activities (Higgins 2012), Friedman stated that companies should engage in open and free rivalry without dishonesty or fraud. Classical Theory is not antagonistic towards values but rather protects the values (Higgins 2012).

Conversely, Stakeholder Theory endeavours to focus on the "Principle of Who or What Really Counts" (Banerjee 2007)

. The goal of Stakeholder theory facilitates interdependence between business and society. Freeman (1984) stated that the goal for business is to still make a profit whilst also recognising that there are still social and corporate responsibilities aligned to this theory (Banerjee 2007)

There are three recognised threads that encompass Stakeholder Theory. These include descriptive theory, instrumental theory and normative theory.

Descriptive Theory is based on the concept that corporations are expected to not only be economic entities but that they also need to act as good corporate citizens (Higgins 2012). Companies are expected to demonstrate the same economic, legal, ethical...
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