Concept of a ‘social licence to operate’ ill-defined

While Australian mining companies agree that a “social licence” is a necessary justification for them to be able to operate in local communities, there is no clarity or consensus regarding what the requirements of such a “social licence” must be, according to a recent study.

The study employed a content and discourse analysis of 18 sustainability reports published by five leading Australia-based mining companies in the period 2004-08 alongside primary interviews with employees of mining corporations.

To clearly define and legitimise the concept of a “social licence”, Australian mining corporations must bridge the gap between the theoretical conceptions of social licences and the practical implications of sustainable development.

Read more at University of Melbourne