Project proposal for Anglo Platinum to make a meaningful switch to G3 sustainable development reporting : a logical framework analysis

Bullock, Stephen (2009-03)

Thesis (MPhil (Public Management and Planning))--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.

Thesis

This project proposal has as its topic a communications and change management project within Anglo Platinum, called the G3 Project. It is being submitted as an integrated assignment for the MPhil programme on sustainable development in the Department of Public Management and Planning at Stellenbosch University and is also intended for consideration by the executive management of Anglo Platinum. The G3 Project proposal document has been drafted based on the logical framework analysis (LFA) approach and format envisaged by Örtengren (2004). LFA is a widely accepted methodology for setting out project proposals. It provides a basis for identifying a problem in society, and for analysing its causes and effects. This then provides a basis upon which to identify actions that will address the causes of the problem. This project proposal covers each of the nine stages of the LFA guidelines, as follows: context analysis; stakeholder analysis; problem analysis; objectives analysis; plan of activities; resource planning; indicators; risk analysis; and assumptions. The focal problem of the analysis is that corporate sustainable development reporting has become mostly a bureaucratic, “tick-box process” under Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) 2002 guidelines. As Confino (2008) has alerted us, “There is a risk that sustainability reporting will not inspire deep change, but could become a dry bureaucratic diversion.” Therefore, the overall objective of the project is to ensure that corporations use their sustainable development reports to make ambitious commitments to sustainability, as a means of addressing global sustainability challenges. Its purpose is to ensure that Anglo Platinum’s sustainability reporting, compiled using the GRI G3 guidelines, is used as a vehicle for the company to make ambitious commitments to addressing the material societal sustainability issues over which it has control; and results in fundamental changes in the company’s business processes. The outputs of the G3 Project, which are designed to meet the project’s purpose, include compiling the 2008 Anglo Platinum sustainable development report in line with the requirements to meet the GRI’s G3 B+ self-declaration level;1 setting ambitious, sustainability-related targets and developing management plans to address Anglo Platinum’s material sustainability issues; and ensuring that the 2009 Anglo Platinum sustainable development report is structured and in line with GRI’s A+ requirements. For these outputs to be achieved, a budget of R8 million will need to be made available for the G3 Project over the next three years. Questions may be raised about what the business case is for doing such a project. However, according to a recent Globescan/SustainAbility survey of corporations, academics, NGOs and sustainable development experts, the reason why it is important for companies in general to address those social sustainability challenges over which they have control is that they are believed to be key players, more so than governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), in providing leadership on sustainable development over the next ten years. This was reiterated by Hart (2005), who states that corporations are the only entities in the world today with the technology, capacity and global reach required to lead us towards a sustainable world. This project proposal is directed at the executive management of Anglo Platinum, for its consideration in deciding the future path of sustainable development reporting -- and of sustainability itself -- within the company.

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