Botin Gonzalez, Jose Antonio and Palacios, Miguel de
Sustainable management: a strategic challenge for a global minerals and metals industry.
In: "Copper 2010", 06/06/2010 - 10/06/2010, Hamburgo, Alemania.
This paper refers to the concept of sustainable management as the management approach which efficiently integrates economic, environmental and social issues into the operations of the minerals and metals industries, with the aim of creating long-term benefits for all stakeholders, and securing the support, cooperation, and trust of the local community. Among many other issues, sustainable management deals with strategy, responsible project feasibility decisions, managing for operational efficiency, improved risk management, enhanced stakeholder relationships, and corporate reputation. Overall, it deals with seeking long-term competitive advantages through responsible management of environmental and social issues. An essential requirement for sustainable management is the corporate commitment to the values of sustainability, but this is not sufficient. Also essential is the development of a business culture where sustainability is a high professional and business value. Furthermore, an organizational structure with specific roles and integration mechanisms and adequate management systems are also required. Regarding business culture, a well-established business code is a necessary but an insufficient condition. Sustainable management relies on individual ethical conduct and trust to foster full participation of stakeholders and to encourage commitment among them. It allows decision making at appropriate levels in the organization and encourages individual risk-taking for continuous improvement. Without trust, social licence is not achievable. In this paper, the concept of sustainable management is introduced as the management approach that integrates a business culture, strong leadership and an organizational structure that strives for long term economics benefits through sustainability. To achieve this goal, sustainability must be vertically integrated at three organizational levels (corporate, divisional and operational) and three functional levels (strategy, planning and implementation).