Australian outback

Refreshing a large miner’s approach to social investment

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Our client is a large mining company with operations across the world – including in Western Australia – and close relationships in the communities where it has an impact.

Our client sought a refreshed approach to social investment

The mining company invests directly in Australian communities to create shared social and business value. The company’s multimillion-dollar social investment program is delivered through partnership with several community and government organisations. We were engaged to refresh the company’s approach to social investment, including determining how to prioritise opportunities and clarifying internal processes and approvals.

We worked with the miner to develop strategy documents

We started with the miner’s existing social investment strategy, working with the company to identify gaps and areas for improvement.

We then interviewed senior executives, ran a workshop with delivery teams, reviewed many internal strategy documents, and analysed and visualised past and current investments.

The inputs were then used to develop a suite of documents to guide social investment decisions in the Social Investment Strategy:

Essential to the project’s success was bridging the gap between the operational team and senior leadership, helping the teams to determine what they needed from the strategy and what would be useful.

The company now has clear goals and more effective communication

The Social Investment Strategy we prepared includes many components that are guiding social investment decisions:

  • The governance charter (part of which is featured below) has aided the miner’s team in communicating responsibilities with external stakeholders, senior decision-makers, and other teams in the business.
  • The outcomes framework has clarified the miner’s objective with its investments in each priority area and will later contribute to decisions about which areas and investments to prioritise.
  • The portfolio map and portfolio plan provide insight into current and planned spending patterns, which will enable the miner to develop a more detailed investment plan in future.

What you can learn from the mining company

A defined and prioritised outcomes framework can provide guard rails to investment decisions while retaining flexibility.

Leaders on the ground should be empowered to make the best decisions about social investment, balancing organisational risk with discretion.

Clear communication between operational teams and senior leaders is crucial to understanding what is needed and to achieving a great outcome.