Briefing paper

Extractive industries: ensuring a cultural license to operate

Mineral industries Communities
  • Negative stereotypes about the extractive industries constitute a cultural risk for operations, damage good-doers, and discourage other companies from imitating them.
  • The pursuit of a social license to operate does not address such cultural risk while that of a cultural license to operate does.
  • To achieve the latter, a broad set of instruments are available from the creative industries.
  • Business associations, ministries of mining and energy, bilateral cooperation agencies and trade representatives can help with the pursuit of a cultural license to operate.
  • Obtaining it does not release extractive companies from upholding international social and environmental standards.
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