Social licence to operate: understanding how a concept has been translated into practice in energy industries

Hall, Nina, Lacey, Justine, Carr-Cornish, Simone and Dowd, Anne-Maree (2015) Social licence to operate: understanding how a concept has been translated into practice in energy industries. Journal of Cleaner Production, 86 301-310. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.08.020

Author Hall, Nina
Lacey, Justine
Carr-Cornish, Simone
Dowd, Anne-Maree
Title Social licence to operate: understanding how a concept has been translated into practice in energy industries
Journal name Journal of Cleaner Production   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0959-6526
Publication date 2015-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.08.020
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 86
Start page 301
End page 310
Total pages 10
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Subject 2105 Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
2300 Environmental Science
1408 Strategy and Management
2209 Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
Abstract The emergence of the ‘social licence to operate’ concept reflects increasing awareness by industries of the need to negotiate with communities and other stakeholders regarding the costs and benefits associated with industrial development. It has been assumed that all industries understand and apply the social licence to operate concept in a similar way, as previous research has tended to adopt a single-industry focus. This article is one of the first known cross-industry examinations of social licence to operate, comparing the use of this concept in four Australian energy industry contexts: mining, wind, carbon dioxide capture and storage, and geothermal. Semi-structured interviews with industry representatives were conducted to provide a comparison of views on the understanding and application of social licence to operate in these industries. The findings identified shared expectations of increasing stakeholder engagement in energy project development, and a view that a social licence to operate could guide this engagement. Yet the duration of use, the maturity of the industry, and the ways in which the industries related to the concept influenced the understanding and application of this concept. This research provides evidence of how the meaning and application of social licence to operate does vary between industries. Further exploration of community and government perspectives on social licence to operate is recommended in order to broaden the findings of this research. Such research will provide an emerging platform for encouraging discerning use of the concept by industries, and also practitioners who may be engaged across multiple industries.
Keyword Social licence to operate
Corporate social responsibility
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Global Change Institute Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 31 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 19 Apr 2016, 19:49:27 EST by Anthony Yeates on behalf of Learning and Research Services (UQ Library)