A three-dimensional framework to explore corporate sustainability activities in the mining industry: Current status and challenges ahead

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  • Sonja-Katrin Fuisz-Kehrbach

This paper examines current implementation status of corporate sustainability activities (CSA) in the mining industry. Specifically, it proposes and applies a multi-dimensional framework to analyze the implementation of CSA from three different angles: 1. the types of CSA from philanthropic to entrepreneurial activities, 2. the issues addressed (e.g., health, safety, environment) and 3. the step of the value chain concerned, i.e., supply, production or product-related sustainability activities. The research adopts qualitative and quantitative content analysis of sustainability reports from 16 mining companies from major mining regions and commodities. Findings from this study illustrate a broad implementation landscape of CSA with a focus on the systematic management (type) of environmental aspects (issue) at mining operations (step of the value chain). However, there are implementation challenges ahead. Although receiving growing attention, entrepreneurial sustainability activities as well as activities beyond the direct sphere of corporate influence, such as upstream supply and downstream product-related CSA, are mentioned to a lesser degree. Adopting an organizational learning and capabilities perspective, the study discusses increased exchange across corporate functions as a means to tackle these challenges and enhance corporate capabilities in dealing with these unexplored sustainability activities in the mining industry.

Original languageEnglish
JournalResources Policy
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)101-115
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 01.12.2015

    Research areas

  • Sustainability Science
  • Corporate sustainability, Mining industry, Multi-dimensional framework, Cross-functional exchange, Sustainability reporting, Content analysis