Page 5: Impacts on and benefits to business
There are real benefits to a business in acting responsibly. Being responsible wins the trust of communities. It gains respect from the governments of countries where it operates. It wins the loyalty of customers and the respect of the public. It gives a company an edge in attracting new recruits and talent. It wins recognition from investors for managing a business well. Anglo American has made sure that its social and investment programmes match its strategic objective of being a good citizen.
Today it is common practice to refer to the Triple Bottom Line of a business. A business is successful if it makes a financial profit on the bottom line. To continually generate profits, it is also necessary that:
- a) a business respects the environment and
- b) takes a wider social responsibility.
Sharing economic benefits
It is important to understand how the benefits of an international company such as Anglo American are distributed amongst its various stakeholders. A relatively small proportion of its 'value added' will typically go directly to shareholders with suppliers, employees, governments and lenders also benefiting significantly.
Anglo American has created an innovative process - the Socio-Economic Assessment Toolbox (SEAT). This measures the impact of all its activities on the communities in which it operates. It engages local stakeholders in each community to learn about their concerns, needs and priorities. It then sets out its plans for improving its socio-economic performance through a three-year action plan made widely available to local people. SEAT enables the company to generate a successful triple bottom line.