||Conservation International (CI) has for many years recognized both the impact private
sector development has on global biodiversity and the opportunity companies present
to achieving biodiversity conservation results if their resources are properly harnessed.
As a result, CI has long engaged with numerous companies to support their development
and implementation of environmental best practices, including policies and strategies.
Several years into this collaborative approach, little effort has been placed on a
formal evaluation of how effectively these policies and strategies are being implemented,
and what positive, measurable impact, if any, this has had on achieving biodiversity
Therefore, this research aims to evaluate a select number of companies in the mining
sector with whom CI has worked for several years to determine how effective their
environmental policy and strategy implementation has been, and identify any linkages
to achieving biodiversity conservation results. Research methods included a review
of scholarly literature, comparative company research of four mining companies (Alcoa,
BHP Billiton, Newmont, and Rio Tinto), and structured interviews of company and CI
While research concluded that it is too soon to evaluate if CI’s partnerships have
lead to biodiversity conservation outcomes, they do appear to have contributed to
factors that may enable achievement of outcomes in the longer term. Additionally,
while companies have identified performance goals and targets as important components
of environmental policies and successful implementation, they have not consistently
set them for important environmental issues such as biodiversity, water, and greenhouse
gas (GHG) emissions. Government capacity was also an issue raised as key to corporate
environmental performance. Finally, a lack of existing scholarly work on corporate
environmental performance and implementation of environmental policies was identified.
This paper presents several recommendations developed to address these key findings.