Understanding the economic, environmental and social dimensions of your business is critical for many reasons; including effective stakeholder engagement, organisational innovation and sound investment decisions. Your organisation needs to develop the appropriate framework for recognising, measuring, managing and disclosing its material sustainability issues.
Public participation is a statutory requirement in most, if not all, recently promulgated environmental legislation. In South Africa, the National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No 107 of 1998) (NEMA), forms the basis of stakeholder consultation. In addition, the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 (Act No 28 of 2002) (MPRDA) and National Water Act (Act No 36 of 1998) place the responsibility on developers to ensure that stakeholders are involved in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process or Water Use License Application (WULA) process, as it may be, for any new development.
Social and Economic Impact Assessment
In terms of NEMA and the MPRDA, an EIA must determine the nature, extent, duration, probability and significance of the potential environmental, social and cultural impacts of proposed developments.
Social and Economic Impact Assessment (SEIA) is normally undertaken as part of the EIA process. The public participation process can assist hugely with data collection and analysis. SEIA attempts to predict the probable impact of a development on the day‐to‐day lives and activities of individuals and communities as well as the way in which they interact with one another.
A number of African countries have already included the requirement to combine the EIA process with a Social Impact Assessment (SIA) in their environmental legislation. Combining the biophysical and social components of impact assessment places GCS in a strategic position to apply its wide variety of in‐house skills in a holistic way.
Social and Labour Plans
Social and Labour Plans (SLPs) are another pre‐requisite for the granting of mining or production rights in order to ensure the effective transformation of the mining and production industries. The SLP requires the applicant to report on a variety of elements, which include training, skills development and the economic development of the area in which they operate. In this regard, GCS is also able to assist clients in identifying possible Local Economic Development (LED) Projects as well as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Projects. By combining our wide variety of skills, GCS is able to communicate effectively with the local authorities and communities to identify and facilitate the development of such projects.
A variety of other social products are offered, including, amongst others:
- Stakeholder engagement and public participation
- Facilitation of stakeholder and community interaction
- Communication strategies
- Feasibility studies
- Social risk assessment
- Socio‐economic impact assessment
- Baseline social surveys
- Opinion polls
- Community newsletters
- Social Audits (SIA and SLP)
Effective sustainability reporting reflects an organisation’s ability to create and sustain value based on integrated financial, social, economic and environmental systems and by the quality of its relationships with its stakeholders.
GCS offers the following services:
- Economic Performance
- Environmental Performance
- Societal Performance
- GHG Emission Reporting
- Carbon Footprint Reporting
- Water Footprint Reporting
- Risk Management Services