Mining multinational Anglo American
has released a new version of its Socio-Economic Assessment Toolbox (SEAT), which helps its business units judge the progress they are making on community impacts.
SEAT, which has been used across Anglo American’s global operations since 2003, provides a framework for the company’s business divisions to assess their social and economic impacts on local communities – and then to engage stakeholders, produce a management plan of action, draw up indicators and report to the community.
Each of the company’s major operations carries out a fresh assessment based on SEAT every three years. The latest version is the company’s second revision, as SEAT was last updated in 2007.
Anglo American uses SEAT to help meet its commitment to the International Council on Mining and Metals’ ‘principle 9’, which pledges signatories ‘to contribute to the social, economic and institutional development of the communities in which the company operates.'
UK-headquartered Anglo American, which is one of the world’s largest mining groups, has said it wants other companies – both in and out of the mining sector – to emulate its approach, and has therefore made the new version of SEAT publicly available at http://www.angloamerican.com/development/social/seat
Jon Samuel, head of social performance at Anglo American, said: ‘We hope that by sharing this tool with the public that we can help other companies draw on our own experience and encourage an open dialogue on what are often complex issues.’
In June, Anglo American won the International Association for Impact Assessment’s 2012 Corporate Initiative Award for its use of SEAT, which the association said was ‘a unique attempt to incorporate impact assessment into the way a company manages its operations on a day-to-day basis’.
The IAIA award is given annually to a company for a specific activity or project that has made ‘a notable contribution to responsible development practice through the application of impact assessment’.