Canada Makes Steady Progress on Corporate Social Responsibility in Developing Countries

Report on Mining, Oil and Gas Companies CSR Initiatives Released

OTTAWA, Jan. 19, 2012 /CNW/ - The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) today released a report providing an update on the status of recommendations arising from the National Roundtables on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the Canadian Extractive Industry in Developing Countries.

In 2007, Mining Association of Canada staff participated on an advisory group to the federal government that included representatives of the extractive industry, the investment community, civil society, academia and government. The advisory group reached an unprecedented consensus and produced a report that included 27 recommendations related to different aspects of CSR in the developing world. These recommendations remain an important reference for on-going discussions about CSR and the extractive industry in Canada.

The report released today by MAC is the result of a research project commissioned by MAC's International Social Responsibility Committee to review, identify and understand the actions taken by government and other actors to implement the Roundtables' recommendations, as well to identify current gaps.  The report shows that 18 of the report's 27 recommendations have been fully or partially implemented, such as the following:

  • The Government of Canada has become a participant country in the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and has joined the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.
  • CIDA has supported a number of new initiatives to help build capacity in Host Countries, including support for the Andean Regional Initiative for Promoting Effective Corporate Social Responsibility.
  • The Export Development Corporation became a signatory of the Equator Principles and applies the IFC Performance Standards and World Bank Environmental, Health and Safety Guidelines in its lending practices.
  • The RCMP has established anti-corruption units in Ottawa and Calgary and launched investigations and prosecutions under Canada's Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act.

"We are encouraged by the findings of this report that show that while more work can be done, Canada has not been idle and has taken meaningful steps to advance corporate social responsibility.  This research will help us and others, including government, to take stock of progress made and what other opportunities may exist to make further progress on CSR," stated Pierre Gratton, MAC's President and CEO. "MAC looks forward to continuing to work with government and civil society on the development and implementation of CSR standards and best practices."

This report is the first piece of research commissioned by MAC's new International Social Responsibility Committee, itself an outcome of the Round Table process.  Over the coming year, the committee will be commissioning and making available further research related to the Canadian extractive industry operating abroad.  Two such projects include an analysis of the relevant international laws, standards and host country laws and regulations that the Canadian extractive companies are accountable to; and a look at the various transparency initiatives and requirements that apply to the Canadian mining sector operating in developing countries.  The full report is available at http://tinyurl.com/83xqn9f

About the Mining Association of Canada:

The Mining Association of Canada is the national organization and voice of the Canadian mining industry.  Its members account for most of Canada's production of base and precious metals, uranium, diamonds, metallurgical coal, mined oil sands and industrial minerals and are actively engaged in mineral exploration, mining, smelting, refining and semi-fabrication.

SOURCE The Mining Association of Canada

For further information:

Paul Hebert, Vice President, Government Affairs, Mining Association of Canada at (613) 233-9392, ext 325 - phebert@mining.ca

Ian Thomson, On Common Ground Consultants at (604) 328-2425 - ian@oncommonground.ca

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The Mining Association of Canada

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