You’ve seen the cautionary tales in the headlines. A company investing millions or even billions on exploration and development of a new market, only to fail to get a return—or lose its investment entirely. In today’s time of instant communication—one perceived wrongful action can be shared worldwide in minutes, affecting a company’s reputation, and thus its ability to operate and profit.
From intense NIMBY-ism to land claim disputes, the road to success is dotted with speed bumps, just waiting to catch the company who may not realize just how important local support is to their business. Leading companies recognize the diverse needs of the local communities in which they operate and understand how important managing their local impacts is to their long-term financial health and reputation.
So what do you do when working in new jurisdictions and regions is your corporate way of life? The answer is both more complex and far simpler than you can imagine.
Engage. Engage. Engage.
Working with local communities is a success factor that many companies take for granted—but when you’re working globally, the idea of who is included within a local community might not be what you expect. Local governments. First nations and aboriginal groups. Unions. Farmers. Local advocacy groups. NGOs. The list goes on.
Fail to anticipate even one important point of view and you could find yourself looking back on a major investment failure wondering what went wrong.
This is where developing a community impact sustainability strategy can help. Whether you’re just considering exploring a new region, or you’ve already initiated a major investment, developing a strategy identifying how your operations might impact local communities can help you understand what you need to do to bring more stakeholders onside. You might even find that developing such a strategy opens your eyes to opportunities you never would have thought about—opportunities that could save you money, help create new jobs, or allow for local sourcing of items critical to your business.