In the mining industry, the term social responsibility came into widespread use in the early 1970's. Some aspects of social responsibility were the subject of attention by organizations and governments as far as the late 19th century, and in some instances even earlier.
Attention to social responsibility has in the past focused primarily on business. The view that social responsibility is applicable to all organizations emerged as different types of organizations, not just those in the business world, recognized that they too had responsibilities for contributing to sustainable development.
An early notion of social responsibility centered on philanthropic activities such as giving to charity. Subjects such as labour practices and fair operating practices emerged a century or more ago. Other subjects, such as human rights, the environment, countering corruption and consumer protection, were added over time, as these subjects received greater attention.
For a number or reasons, concern about the social responsibility of organizations is increasing.
Globalization, greater ease of mobility and accessibility of information, and the availability of instant communications have made the world in which we operate seem smaller. The evolution of these elements in today's world means that individuals and organizations around the world are finding it easier to know about the activities of organizations in both nearby and distant locations. These factors provide the opportunity for organizations to benefit from learning new ways of doing things and solving problems.
The mining industry is no different. Even though the use of metals is vital to the advancement of the human race, the mining industry is adjusting to this new global reality. Organizations operating in foreign countries now find it imperative to manage more effectively the social and environmental impact of their operations.
Over the past several decades, globalization has resulted in an increase in different types of organizations from the private sector, NGO's and government bodies.
NGO's and companies have become providers of many services historically offered by governments. In countries where governments have faced serious challenges and constrains, and have been unable to provide services in areas such as health, education and welfare NGO's and responsible companies have filled this need.
NGO's focused on environmental issues have achieved much in raising awareness to the public, governments and companies about protecting and working responsibly with the environment.
Within the NGO community we find a full spectrum of opinions and responses to the mining industry, from the radical 'anti-mining under any condition' type organizations to those who see a potential for partnership and co-operative co-development. The tide is steadily shifting toward the latter as more and more corporations establish clear ethical standards and reach out to the NGO's and the communities where they have direct impact.
The main objective is to combine forces between the NGO's and the private sector so that together businesses can become a positive collective force that impels major social, economic and environmental changes.
The expectations of society regarding the performance of organizations continue to grow. First Majestic has been and endeavours to continue to exceed those expectations by demonstrating a socially responsible commitment to the Mexican communities where we do business. Here at First Majestic, we acknowledge and share a common interest in ensuring that the local people share fully in the benefits of our mining operations existing in their community. We welcome the impute and partnership with NGO's who are interested in improving the standards within the communities we are active in.