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BUACC5934 Financial Accounting - Federation University

Question: Given 9 papers that address various aspects of sustainability and environmental reporting and Rio Tino's 2017 sustainability development report.

1. Critically review any six of the nine papers;

2. Critically discuss the 2017 Rio Tinto sustainable development report.

Solution:

Article 1
Schoenberger, Erica. "Environmentally sustainable mining: The case of tailings storage facilities." Resources Policy 49 (2016): 119-128.

1.1 Summary/ description
The research paper was published in 2016 highlighting the environment sustainability. The aim of the paper is to find out whether the process of mining can be done without affecting the environment and the local population. Mining is the process which triggers the environment disruptive because during the process a huge quantity of rocks has been moved. Further, the paper has focused on the facilities of tailing storage because it often led to mining-related disasters.

1.2 Critical review
The topic is quite important because from the last few decades the environmental sustainability has become the major concern worldwide. As the writer suggested that the mining-related environmental effect can be reduced by handling the tailing. For this study, the writer has used qualitative research designs. However, the major limitation in the research is that the writer was concerned with the secondary level data by consulting already conducted research and data collected by agencies (M, 2016)).

1.3 Evaluation/Conclusion
The author gathered from the study that the tailing problem is technical and can affect the political and social environment so the scientist and policy analytics should come up with strategies toaddress this issue. Further, Secondary data is not reliable all the time in order to find the answer tothe research question, the researcher has also visited one mine by himself which add accuracy to the data. Further while doing qualitative research with secondary data can affects the findings.

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2 Article 2
Deegan, Craig, and Marita Shelly. "Corporate social responsibilities: Alternative perspectives about the need to legislate." Journal of Business Ethics 121, no. 4 (2014): 499-526.

2.1 Summary/ description
The concern research paper was published in 2013, the topic of the research shed light on corporate social responsibilities and the Alternative perspective about legislate. Further, the research paper includes the Australian government policy about corporate social responsibility. The submitted inquiry was developed in order to investigate the fact of whether accountability and sortation responsibilities should be regulated or not, further the effect of leaving them to determine by the market forces.

2.2 Critical review
The research covered environmental factor somehow but it was quite hard to identify the direction of the paper. Further, the paper discussed that the business industry is overwhelming and providing a favourable approach to the corporations. The submission of organizational and individual in the favour of reregulation made the government initiate a free-market perspective. The style of the article is quite complex and the writer has used secondary data collection method while the research design was not mentioned (Sartaj, Shukla, & Kumar, 2016).

2.3 Evaluation/Conclusion

After gathering the concern data findings describes that the business community has decided against the legislation which is relating to corporate social responsibilities. Since there were so many points disused without stating their connection with the topic it becomes really hard to understand the paper and the research methodology was not quite detail.

3 Article 3
Azizul Islam, Muhammad, and Muhammad Aminul Islam. "Environmental incidents in a developing country and corporate environmental disclosures: A study of a multinational gas company." Society and Business Review 6, no. 3 (2011): 229-248.

3.1 Summary/ description
The research paper aims to evaluate the environments disclosure initiated by the oil and gas company located in Canada. Niko Recourses limited are using two main environment blowouts at their gas field which is located in Bangladesh. Further, the paper discussed such profit-making organization and their impact on the social environment (Muhammad & Islam, 2011).

3.2 Critical review
The author of the research primarily focused on the fact whether the disclosure of Niko's strategy regarding the environment is serving the interest of the public or the company. The researcher has used news articles regarding the incidents in Bangladesh along with annual reports and press release to gathered the concern data of the study. The finding of the study described that Niko does not provide environmental information in the annual report which is non-financial.

3.3 Evaluation/ Conclusion
The topic of the article is directly related to the content and gives the readera brief idea about the discussion. Further, the selected topic is quite reading worthy since the huge corporation is contributing in the environmental changes of the worlds especially in their world countries, the used methodology was described in understandable form,however, the paper only mentioned the issues but did not provide any solution.

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4 Article 4
Northey, Stephen, Nawshad Haque, and G. Mudd. "Using sustainability reporting to assess the environmental footprint of copper mining." Journal of Cleaner Production 40 (2013): 118-128.

4.1 Summary/ description
The research paper was published in 2012 highlighting the environmental effect of copper mining. Copper has become an important material in modern society due to its multiple uses such as electric writing, piping, roof construction, heat exchanger and so on. The use of products made by copper has its environmental effects which are often ignored by the consumers (Stephen, Haque, & Mudd, 2013).

4.2 Critical review
In the concernedarticle, the writer has described the relationship between products made with copper and environmental impact. It has been reported that the annual production of copper is 161 million tones and the most economical friendly resources of extracting copper are mining. The companies are gaining enormous resources from them but it could be harmful to water and other environmental aspects. For this research, the researcher has collected primary data while using the qualitative method. The data for the concerned topic has been collected by consulting the sustainability reports which are published by the mine producing and operating copper.

4.3 Evaluation/ Conclusion
The paper has covered the quite important topic and it will be beneficial for the environmentalist to make further policies. Further, the reports in the study have been used from Australia, Laos, South Africa, Chile, Peru and many other countries. The vast variety of data will increase the accuracy and reliability of the data.

5 Article 5
da Costa, Karen. "Corporate accountability in the Samarco chemical sludge disaster." Disaster Prevention and Management 26, no. 5 (2017): 540-552.

5.1 Summary/ description
The concern paper is presented in the case study published in 2017. The main focus of the paper is to find out the avenues regarding corporate accountability in disasters. The author has used the case study of Samarco Chemical sludge disaster. This certain issue took place back in 2015 in Brazil (Karen, 2017).

5.2 Critical review
The paper directly criticizes the business which is operating in the extractive sector, the author claims using appropriates incidents from the history that the operations from such business can lead toward the disasters, such as 1984 gas leak incident in India, followed by gas spill incident at the coastline of Alaska and so on. Further, the paper mentioned a few similar cases in detail to answer the question of whether the companies should be accountable for such disasters or not. The paper did not suggest anything to address the issue. However, there was mentioned the actions which were taken before to avoid such issues.

5.3 Evaluation/ Conclusion
The paper will provide significant literature to those who further want to evaluate this phenomenon also it is quite beneficial for the citizens and authorities of the affected countries. The paper is written in an understandable way so the readers from all deplane can understand it. Since it is a case study, the writer has consulted with the reports and news article regarding the incidents of Brazil followed by the actions taken by Brazil government.

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6 Article 6
Kathy Rao, Kathyayini, Carol A. Tilt, and Laurence H. Lester. "Corporate governance and environmental reporting: an Australian study." Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society 12, no. 2 (2012): 143-163.

6.1 Summary/ description

The paper is written in reference to worldwide companies and their consideration regarding environmental performance. The trend of providing reports regarding social and environmental activities has been increased in the worldwide business industry and especially in Australia. However, Australia does not put an obligation on the companies to disclose the information but few of them volunteer to do so (Kathyayini, Tilt, & Lester, 2012).

6.2 Critical review

The paper is a case study of companies located in Australia, the author has used a qualitative approach and examine the reports of around 100 Australian firms and companies which are listed on the stock exchange list. The research has found out that 96 companies from the 100 have published their environmental reports and the relationship between strong corporate governance and environmental reporting has been discovered in the study.

6.3 Evaluation/ Conclusion

The study has briefly described the relationship between corporate governess attributes and the factor of environmental reporting in Australia. The writer has taken reference from other huge organizations to support the arguments. Furthermore, the research will be using full for the companies and environmentalist and also for the common citizens of Australia, because the research will give an insight regarding the companies which are voluntarily taking the responsibility of environmental stability.

7 Report of BHP 2017

BHP is a leading global resource company.

Purpose: the main aim of the company is to establish long term shareholder values by consulting acquisition, development, market, discovery and natural resources.

Values: the company focus on suitability by making safety and health of individual their priority while being responsible for the environment and supporting the communities.

7.1 Sustainability framework
Sustainability is considered to be the central focus of the company. BHP respect human rights especially the right to living in a sustainable environment which does no harm to their health. To manage this phenomenon the company has a board of governance because high standers of governance are important to implement the strategies. The sustainable board oversees the risks which are directly related to HSEC and other human rights aspects.

7.2 Risk management
To identify the risks in the business the company consult with their assets and functions which further allow it to a risk-based approach in sustainability. Risk are defined as the factors which can harm the aspects of society such as safety, potential health, environment, reputational, community and lastly the legal and financial framework, by implanting the factor of risk management in the process along with the business system the company make the best possible decisions for environment suitability by accessing with valid data and relevant inputs.

Further, the company also work to achieve the sustainable development goals set by the UnitedNations. The 17 SDGs Aims to address the most pressing issues which the whole world is experiencing right now such as employment, resources, environment, health capabilities, taxes and so on. BHP being a global company consider this goal as an utmost priority by making their direct business activities. The company produce products which do no harm to the environment nor their process of production. Furthermore, BHP provides individuals with an opportunity to direct and indirect employment and also has initiated voluntary social investment for the betterment of society.

7.3 Stakeholders
BHP is a global company so it entertains the wide range of stakeholders from around the world. the frequency and the methods of communication with the different stakeholders are also diverse. The company conduct the annual meeting and corporate with the publishers, an official resolve to the official page and websites. The annual meeting consists of brief speeches, suitability reports, along with interviews involving senior executives. With the regional and local stakeholder, the company conduct engagement activities which include reports news latter's, perception of the community through the survey and group discussion. Further, the closes stakeholder of the companies is considered the employees and contractor, the company engage with them while using tailored internal channels (bhp, 2017).

7.4 Socioeconomic programs
The socio-economic program of the company is based on financial assistance, compensation, economic development, health, education, resettlement, culture, livelihood and so on. it is reported that the company has distributed financial assistance to around 8,000 individuals whose livelihood was affected, the people who received the distribution mainly consist on the fisherman who cannot find the fishes because of dam failure. Furthermore, 400,000 individuals will possibly receive their compensation because they had experience interruption regarding water supply in Rio Doce. The process of compensation is approaching the people and in 2017 around 186,000 people sate that they had received the compensation. for the futures compensations, there are 14,000 families registered due to negative business impact and property loss.

7.5 Dams and tailing management
To understand the situation the company has conducted the risk review regarding all the dams which come under operated assets of the company. The project NOJVs in FY2016 confirms the stability of the dams. The company has identified the improvement and opportunities for risk management and dam governess and their detailed Annual report for the year 2017 is available online at bhp.com.
Further, BHP has gathered the information from dam risk review and make a contribution toward boarder tailing storage under the international council of mining and metals. For the future, the FY2018 will be focused on implementing the stewardship program along with the early and timely warning of technologies and development regarding tailing and dams' standards.

7.6 Climate change
BHP has collaborated with the University of Melbourne in 2017 along with a standfor university in order to provide assistance to the long-term storage mechanism of CO2 located at subsurface. The aim of this research is to unlocking the protentional of storage which will further contribute effectively in CCS. This sustainability report was published by the company in 2017 it also has covered a number of the case study and the role of the company in the situations of disasters and challenges (bhp, 2017).

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