Business ethics and corporate social responsibility
An Anglo American case study

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Page 4: What are the effects of acting ethically?

Most business activity incurs financial costs such as equipment and labour. Non-financial costs include noise and impact on the environment.

There is a financial cost to acting ethically. To engage stakeholders takes time and money. Mining in ways that minimise environmental impacts is more expensive than extracting resources regardless of impact. 

An ethical business also recognises its responsibility for minimising the non-financial costs. The Pebble Project in Alaska is a good example of the way that Anglo American takes account of non-financial costs. This is a gold and copper mining project in the early stages of assessment. This could provide new jobs and revenues for the Alaskan economy at a time when oil and gas revenues have been falling.

However, some people are concerned that the mine could damage fish stocks and wildlife. Therefore, Anglo American has been consulting widely and through a structured process with local people, politicians, businesses and especially indigenous people.

Anglo American has made it clear that it will only seek to proceed with the project if it can be done without damage to the local fisheries. It will also give priority to the recruitment of local people.

Anglo American | Business ethics and corporate social responsibility