On the issue of transparency, a very important and sensitive aspect is how the communities perceive the company. Why it is important to have an open and sustained dialogue, even in cases where the company does not have a clear position?
Clarity benefits different actors, providing a means to work with the various stakeholders using the same language. Transparency, in turn, supports creating a culture of accountability. It specifically benefits (i) countries and governments, demonstrating a national commitment to transparency, improving governance and public accountability, which promotes a favourable climate for investment. It is a tool to prevent or reduce corruption, promote compliance to commitments and to strengthen government structures in charge; it also benefits (ii) companies and investors, by showing a commitment to transparency, both to stakeholders and to the state. It shows the actions taken by a company and the principles on which they are based, improving the credibility of the companies locally and internationally. Lastly, it benefits (iii) society because it is an instrument to inform and recover trust in both the companies and the state, becoming a social auditor.
Internationally, it is a concept that becomes stronger every day. The Initiative for Extractive Industries Transparency is an interesting endeavor, which (EITI) has gained the support of various groups, such as multilateral agencies, government, investors, companies and civil society.
Tools for Improving Transparency
The companies must continuously implement measures to increase transparency, clarity of messages to different types of stakeholders and accountability as a means of promoting an understanding of the project as well as building trust.
An information management system such as BoréalisIMSTM is a useful and proven tool that allows for the delivery of reliable and specific information to various stakeholders in real time. This is done through the compilation of data from various sources, such as commitments to the community and the state, claims and complaints from the community, etc. With this information it is possible to track every action and generate reports in real time, with reliable information that can appropriately be shared with the various stakeholders.
Transparent communication is regarded as an international good practice. This is why international initiatives such as GRI and EITI are being implemented. A good example of a sustainability report following the GRI initiative is the Boréalis report.