Mineral Exploration

Winter 2014

Mineral Exploration is the official publication of the Association of Mineral Exploration British Columbia.

Issue link: http://digital.canadawide.com/i/428696

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Page 27 of 111

28 W I N T E R 2 0 1 4 C ollecting and analyzing environmental baseline data takes a significant investment of time and resources – especially in the early stages of an exploration project – but the value of this informa- tion goes beyond its use in the permitting process. Repackaging this data specifically for company decision- makers and affected communities increases the potential for suc- cess of a project by building trust with local stakeholders and turn- ing complex data into strategic knowledge for board members. "Social responsibility is often perceived by explorers and developers as an amorphous concept, an ideal which is hard to achieve for a small company," explains Silvana Costa, chair of AME BC's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) committee and a senior advisor of environment and social responsibility for New Gold Inc. She suggests explorers and developers demonstrate social responsibility by taking a strategic approach to early environ- mental work. "In B.C., we have great companies that are lead- ing the way, building value from environmental data both at home and abroad," says Costa. So what steps should companies take to make baseline envi- ronmental data more meaningful? Business sustainability and governance expert Christie Stephenson suggests that we put it in the hands of board members in a way that is digestible to them. "Companies are undertaking what can be significantly expensive and resource- intensive environmental baseline work. They want to be sure the operational people are pushing it upward so it can be made sense of by the board," she explains. Stephenson recognizes that this is easier for larger REUSING AND SHARING BASELINE ENVIRONMENTAL DATA BUILDS VALUE By Kylie Williams Magnify your data >> CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

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