A Future-Fit Business actively seeks to anticipate, avoid and address the concerns of all local communities whose wellbeing may be affected by its operational activities.
What this goal means
Every business depends on the goodwill, health and resilience of the communities in which it operates, and must ensure its presence does nothing to undermine their wellbeing.
Future-Fit companies take all steps possible to ensure their presence does not negatively impact surrounding communities. The emphasis here is on putting in place appropriate mechanisms to pre-empt, identify, assess and manage community concerns, so that potentially serious issues and legitimate grievances do not go unaddressed.
To be Future-Fit a company must:
- Seek to anticipate and avoid concerns from communities potentially affected by its activities;
- Impartially assess any concerns that do arise; and
- Ensure it effectively and transparently manages those concerns.
Why this goal is needed...
The implications for not identifying and managing community concerns can be significant for both the community and the company.
A chemical leak from a plant owned by DuPont was linked to a range of ailments in the surrounding community, including cancers, and resulting in a class action lawsuit brought by more than 3,500 people, and eventually settled for $671 million.
Disputes over land rights between communities and businesses can impact both parties.
A survey of 360 cases in which privately-financed projects met resistance from local populations found that half resulted in material financial impact on the company, through interruption to operations, damage to company assets, reputation, or fines.