The need for a social license to operate

Important studies show that political and stakeholder related delays outweigh any other risk factor. Key stakeholders such as environmental pressure groups, communities and coalitions of concerned citizens have powerful tools to make investors and politicians listen to their parallel truths. Licenses may be delayed or even cancelled, corporate reputations may be harmed and millions of dollars of investments may be at risk.
Social risks are likely to expand in our increasingly connected world. When your experts disagree significantly with those of your important stakeholders, a Social License to Operate has to be earned and maintained. The right balance between legitimacy and effectiveness of this dialogue requires a deep insight in the interests and value systems of the stakeholders involved and political decision making processes around your project on all levels.


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Risk Management System

Social License assist you integrating social risk management into your existing ERM-system based on international best industry practices (e.g. IFC) with key elements including policy; identification and quantification of risks and impacts; management programs; organizational capacity; stakeholder engagement and monitoring and review.

External Engagement

Knowing who your important stakeholders are and understanding their values, beliefs and opinions is essential, as well as in which cultural context they operate, what historical or cumulative impacts are relevant and what their relation and coalition power is. Social License delivers deep insight and a legitimate and effective selection of social representatives.


Your internal stakeholders may have different views on the necessity and ways to manage public acceptance for your complex project.

Social License offer trainings on Social Impact Assessment, Stakeholder Engagement and Social Risk Management Systems in line with industry best practices and with the latest academic insights.



Bridging the gap

Latest News

Corporate Social Innovation

From the World Economic Forum The business world is increasingly taking note of the risks and opportunities posed by social and environmental issues for business sustainability and competitiveness. For the first time, the 2015 Harvard Business Review ranking of the top 100 performing CEOs in the world – a measure aimed at evaluating long-term performance […]

BP Vice President speech on SLtO

Dev Sanyal, Executive Vice President and Group Chief of Staff of BP spoke in November 2012 about obtaining a social licence to operate. He believes that the social licence to operate broadly equates to trust. A company such as BP needs to be trusted in several ways – trusted to deliver the energy to drive economic growth […]

PWC Chemical Industry analysis 2015

According to a 2015 report on the Chemical Industry by Price WaterHouse Coopers, 68% of the chemical industry respondents expect geopolitical and social unrest is a challenge, compared to 44% of other respondents The report can be found here  

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