Social License To Operate - Building Trust in Local Communities

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1. Social License to Operate Building trust in local communities Brian Yates Vice President, Impact Assessment and Community Engagement SNC-Lavalin 2. A world leader…
  • 1. Social License to Operate Building trust in local communities Brian Yates Vice President, Impact Assessment and Community Engagement SNC-Lavalin
  • 2. A world leader Founded in 1911, SNC-Lavalin is one of the leading engineering and construction groups in the world and a major player in the ownership of infrastructure. From offices in over 50 countries, SNC-Lavalin's employees are proud to build what matters. Our teams provide EPC and EPCM services to clients in a variety of industry sectors, including oil and gas, mining and metallurgy, infrastructure and power. SNC-Lavalin can also combine these services with its financing and operations and maintenance capabilities to provide complete end-to-end project solutions. 2
  • 3. What is Social License? 3 › A local community’s acceptance or approval of a company’s project or ongoing presence. › Increasingly seen by many as a prerequisite to development. The development of social license. › Occurs outside of formal permitting or regulatory processes.
  • 4. It is informal, intangible 4 › It is usually informal and intangible. › Granted by a community based on the opinions and views of stakeholders, including local populations, aboriginal groups, and other interested parties. › Due to this intangibility, it can be difficult to determine when Social License has been achieved for a project.
  • 5. Do you have it? 5 “Man, if you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know” - Louis B. Armstrong Intangible, dynamic nature causes anxiety and frustration among proponents.
  • 6. You know when you’ve lost it 6 Industries who formerly enjoyed Social License to operate are now struggling to catch up (e.g. rail transport of coal).
  • 7. How does it show? 7 › Social License may manifest in a variety of ways, ranging from absence of opposition to vocal support or even advocacy. › These various levels of Social License (as well as, of course, the absence of social license) may occur at the same time among different interested parties. › Can range from absence of opposition to vocal support to advocacy. › May occur at the same time among different parties.
  • 8. Not a piece of paper 8 › Distinct from a permit or “regulatory” license. › No basis in law. › Not mandatory like a formal permit. › Can affect the course of formal permitting.
  • 9. A long term Social License strategy 9 › Provides a proponent with legitimacy for its presence and actions from a local community’s perspective; › Provides regulators with a level of comfort that a proponent is acting responsibly; › Minimizes the risk of costly delays in regulatory approvals due to opposition; › Assures shareholders and investors that a company is managing social and other risks associated with its projects and activities; › Enhances trust by demonstrating to regulators and other stakeholders that the company is genuinely striving for good performance; › And protects a company’s reputation in times of crisis.
  • 10. Example: Innergex Renewable Energy 10 › Developing 121 MW of hydro power on the Lillooet River in British Columbia. › Have engaged with the Lil’wat Nation since 2008. › Objectives: › Seeking input from First Nations on the appropriate means of consultation and review of the consultation plan; › Facilitating involvement by First Nations in all stages of project assessment and review; › Keeping First Nations updated on the project via meetings and other formal and informal communications; › Providing meaningful avenues for First Nations to offer feedback on the project; and › Consulting with First Nations regarding their perspectives and opinions about the project and its potential effects on aboriginal interests.
  • 11. 11 “We have been working toward this agreement for the past four years and are very pleased to see its completion and to express our full support for the [project].” - Director of the Lil’wat Nation’s Department of Land, Resources and Public Infrastructure
  • 12. Kitimat LNG 12 › Proposed facility located in the traditional territory of the Haisla Nation. › In 2005, Kitimat LNG and Haisla Nation signed agreement for the project development in Haisla territory. › Adjusted the facility location to industrial site already developed by Haisla.
  • 13. “The Haisla acknowledge the openness Kitimat LNG has shown throughout the EA [environmental assessment] process to take Haisla interests into consideration. Our community has much to offer the project and will gain significantly from the opportunities it will afford our residents.” - Haisla Chief Steve Wilson
  • 14. Principles for Earning Social License – What have we learned? 14 › Effectively communicating projects and activities, including providing timely and complete information; › Undertaking community engagement in a respectful manner; › Listening to what a local community is saying, addressing concerns and issues, and using community input to improve projects and activities; › Providing support for and building capacity in local communities by using a range of tools; › Undertaking projects and activities in an environmentally, fiscally, and socially responsible manner; › Striving to ensure that local communities benefit from or are not unfairly affected by projects and activities.
  • 15. Approaches and Tools 15 Adapted to local conditions, needs and customs Including: › One-on-one consultation and engagement; › Community information sessions, open houses, and workshops; › Community investment programs; › Local employment and procurement programs; › Disclosure and reporting; › Liaison officers, toll-free telephone numbers, websites, and social media platforms.
  • 16. Managing Diversity 16 › The activities and behavior of a company in one place or in relation to one project can affect its ability to achieve Social License in or for another. › Social License is often spatially diverse. It may be achieved for one kind of activity or project but not another, and in one region but not another. › Social License does not generally reflect a consensus view held broadly by a single, homogenous community. › A patchwork of divergent views on the level of Social License achieved by a company and held by a diverse array of stakeholders with various political agendas and perceptions.
  • 17. Diversity 17 › Social License reflects a patchwork of divergent views on the whether Social License has been achieved by a company, and held by a diverse array of stakeholders with various political agendas and perceptions. › Distinction should be made between broad and abstract matters of general public opinion, often reflected in and influenced by media coverage, and specific interests of local stakeholders, usually expressed through direct engagement.
  • 18. Do you have it? Key considerations 18 › Does the company say what it will do and do what it says, and can the company demonstrate this consistency? › Does the company deliver on its commitments and promises, including those made in regulatory proceedings and community engagement? › Does the company voluntarily engage with the community to identify and help resolve issues? › Does the company work with the community to build capacity? › Does the company’s stakeholder engagement lead to meaningful dialogue and improvement or is it merely lip service? › Are local customs respected? › Does the company strive to create opportunities for the local community to benefit from the project or activity? › Does the company pay fair wages and offer fair compensation? › Does the company respond appropriately to a crisis or does it abdicate responsibility when something goes wrong?
  • 19. Do you have it? 19 It is often easier to know when social License has not been granted than when it has been. Good indicators include: › Reduction or absence of vocal opposition to development; › Continued and increasing constructive participation in community and stakeholder dialogue; › Advocacy and expression of support for development; › Cooperation in community-based activities and enhancement measures; › Willingness of key stakeholders to enter into partnerships or other forms of agreement; and › Favorable and balanced media coverage may reflect growing social capital.
  • 20. Policy Context 20 › Social License is not a mandatory requirement, though statutory decision makers increasingly refer to it when considering project. › Some regulatory frameworks help create a positive context for developing social License e.g. consultation requirements of environmental assessment. › Acquiring social License can support the regulatory process by assuring regulators that their decisions will be accepted by the electorate.
  • 21. “Alberta may be conservative, but we’re not reckless. And having a strong regulator is one of the things that gives us the social License to go and exploit these plays on Crown land. Lightening that may reduce costs, but I don’t think it would be a choice many people would want to make.” - Brook Papau, ITG Research 21
  • 22. Impact of Social Media 22 Gives voice to previously isolated or remote stakeholders, who often come to the social media landscape with disproportionate credibility and trust.
  • 23. Social Media 23 Allows users to self-organize quickly into communities with shared interests. Trust can also be generated rapidly within online communities, and such trust creates opportunities for collaboration and action much more quickly than would be possible through traditional engagement.
  • 24. Social Media 24 › Low tolerance among social media users for inappropriate data mining, breach of privacy, or attempts at message control. › Stakeholders now increasingly expect corporations not only to engage in online dialogue about environmental, social, and governance issues. › Social media can also serve a company as an “early warning” system - stakeholder feedback can help identify issues or areas for improvement.
  • 25. Lessons Learned 25 › Early and substantial analysis of communities and stakeholders potentially affected by a project to understand local conditions, needs, and customs, including communication protocols and constraints. › Early engagement and consultation with affected communities and stakeholders to identify issues and interests and establish dialogue. › Action on areas of mutual interest and enhancement of benefits targeted at specific community needs – consider investments beyond the project scope. › Sustained and transparent communication, particularly in the context of the growing role of social media in rapidly disseminating information about companies, technologies, and projects. › Effective partnering to develop commercial opportunities associated with a project
  • 26. Founded on Trust 26
  • 27. White paper 27 Social License to Operate: How to Get It, and How to Keep It ›(2013 – Pacific Energy Summit) ›Available on SNC-Lavalin’s SlideShare account
  • 28. 28 Values that guide us Team work and excellence We strive to be innovative, collaborative, competent and visionary. Customer focus We focus our business on serving and adding long-term value to our customers’ organizations. Strong investor returns We seek to reward our investors’ trust by delivering competitive returns. Health, safety, security and environment We have a responsibility to protect everyone who comes into contact with our organization. Ethics and compliance We’re committed to making ethical decisions. Respect We respect all of our stakeholders.
  • 29. Building what matters
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