Doctoral Dissertation: Back Stakeholder pressure strengthens mining companies’ corporate social responsibility in the Barents Region

23.3.2020 9:28

The doctoral dissertation by FM Adrian Braun, entitled "Corporate Social Responsibility in the Barents region – A Situational Analysis of Metal Mining" will be publicly examined online at the University of Eastern Finland on 24.3.2020 at 12. Braun is the visiting researchers of the Arctic Centre at the University of Lapland.

Public examination of a doctoral dissertation in the field of environmental policy.
Doctoral candidate: MA Adrian Braun
Date and venue: 24.3.2020 at 12 noon, Online examination through Lifesize-video conference system: open the link: (Please, keep your microphone silent during the examination).
Language of the dissertation and the public examination: English

Metal mining is currently under way in several Barents region areas and is being highly promoted by governments in all Barents region member states: Finland, Norway, Russia and Sweden. Mining creates local and regional wealth, and is thus linked to economic and societal development, but it is also a subject of controversy among the different social groups in the European Arctic. The industry is accountable for numerous ecological and social impacts in an overall vulnerable Arctic ecosystem and local communities. Thus, the Barents region mining industry faces substantial sustainability challenges. The question arises, of how to address the thematic area of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), meaning which social and ecological responsibilities mining companies should take care of.

In his dissertation, doctoral student of environmental policy MA Adrian Braun has scrutinised diverse elements, understandings and practices of CSR among the metal mining industry and its stakeholders in the Barents region. The research includes case studies from Finland, Norway, Sweden and the northwest of Russia. The analysis of CSR in mining revealed a magnitude of stakeholder groups with very different viewpoints and their own motives to push CSR in the mining discourse in certain directions. Many consider ecological and societal aspects in the larger framework of sustainable development more crucial than the direct economic and employment impacts. The pressure that stakeholders may put on the industry is one of the major driving forces leading to the effect that mining companies have put CSR policies and strategies on their agendas to a greater extent.

The study shows how industry could gain advantages in monetary and non-monetary terms, by implementing CSR activities. The utilization of sustainability standards and frameworks provide useful indicators and metrics that can be applied to improve CSR performances by gaining efficiencies throughout the mine life-cycle. However, two shortcomings are evident as well for the eight mining case companies, as for the entire industry operating in the Northern Europe. First, the myriad of available standards with largely overlapping content could lead to confusion inside the CSR management of a company. Furthermore, different standards have very different orientations, such as, policy building, reporting guidelines or auditing frameworks. Companies do not always provide information according to the orientation of a standard and may lose track in finding the best possible standard for their specific operations.

The doctoral dissertation of FM Adrian Braun, entitled Corporate Social Responsibility in the Barents region – A Situational Analysis of Metal Mining will be publicly examined online at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies on March 24, 2020 at 12:00 o´clock via Lifesize-video conference system. The opponent in the public examination will be Professor Tapio Litmanen, University of Jyväskylä, and the custos will be Professor Rauno Sairinen, University of Eastern Finland.

Doctoral Dissertation: Corporate Social Responsibility in the Barents Region : A Situational Analysis of Metal Mining

More information:

Adrian Braun
040 484 4183, adrian.braun(at)