Many business corporations, investors and financial institutions face intensified scrutiny of the social, human rights and environmental impacts of business operations. The cases are multiplying across countries and industries – from natural resource extraction to consumer electronics, telecommunications and Internet services.
Our primary focus is on assessing and managing social and legal risks in industries known to have large social and environmental footprints, notably:
Sustainable projects are built on a foundation of resilient commercial and social relationships. Accordingly, we work with the full spectrum of private corporations and public agencies that have stakes in a project. These include:
Many strategic economic development projects are located in “weak governance” zones where the rule of law is limited. Their location, combined with large social and environmental footprints, often lead to a high risk of conflict.
We welcome opportunities to work with clients operating in weak governance environments. And with branded corporate clients trading with supply chains partners located in “conflict affected areas.” And with financial institutions and insurers supporting businesses that have material exposure to conflict risk.
Conflict risk, we believe, is a reality that must be faced squarely. It can be managed in ways that create positive opportunities to design creative social and legal risk management solutions. Generally, those solutions improve the quality of governance in both the public and private sectors while also mapping the path for projects to earn a strong “social license” to operate from affected communities.
A creative approach to conflict risk reduces the biggest economic risk of all to a project – that of project delay, redesign and cancellation. We help clients leverage the powerful economic incentives to design these solutions.
The cross-disciplinary perspectives that BI teams bring to clients are particularly valuable in assessing risks for projects undertaken in weak governance zones. We work on the assumption that improved private, public and community governance provides a foundation block for project success.