Quick Q&A: Jon Samuel, head of social performance, Anglo American

Here's a quick, but interesting Q&A with mining company social performance expert, Jonathan Samuel. 

It's worth a read:

1) Please tell us, in two sentences, what it is that you do

I manage social performance – community relations and socio-economic development – for Anglo American.

2) Which do you see as the 'big issues to watch' in extractives in 2013?

Managing the socio-economic consequences of a more difficult economic environment, meeting growing community aspirations for socio-economic development, labour relations, Free Prior and Informed Consent, increasing demands for transparency.

3) What are your priorities for 2013?

Boosting community development impact through leveraging our core business more effectively, implementing ways to get good social performance widely recognised by key external stakeholders, managing social risks in our capital project pipeline, and ensuring that we are fully compliant with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

4) On CR, which other industry sector would you pick out to watch, and why?

Finance, because they seem to be so far behind most other major sectors, and are rapidly losing their social licence to operate. It will be fascinating to see what innovation this crisis of confidence will bring in CR terms.

5) What will you be talking about at our annual extractives conference in 2013 in London in April?

How Anglo American manages its interactions with local stakeholders, through use of our award winning Socio-Economic Assessment Toolbox (SEAT), which we made publicly available in 2012.

In Brief:

1) Campaigning NGOs: Help or hindrance?

Help, if you like living in a democracy.

2) A Government to watch on sustainability?


3) Partnerships: Tactical or strategic?

Both, as they should be.

4) CR impact: Obama or Xi Jinping?

Xi Jinping.

5) 'Shared Value' or 'Sustainability'?

Operational excellence, informed by enlightened self-interest, should be what companies aim for. It doesn’t matter what you call it.

To see what Jon will be talking about on April 3 in London, go here.
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