Perceived and reported economic and environmental value-add of a methane project in a South African Gold mine

O'Leary, Brett John
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ABSTRACT It has become imperative for business to shift their focus from a strict capitalist paradigm and transition to a philosophy whereby they adopt a broader concept of value to encompass social and environmental capital and thus adopt the principle of sustainable development. Business has the opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint by reducing greenhouse gas emissions through the adoption of clean technology in production processes. The research aimed to articulate the possible differences between the perceived and reported economic and environmental value of clean technology projects, because perceptions of senior managers may impede to adoption of clean technologies. 10 semi structured interviews were conducted involving senior managers at a South African Gold mine to gain insight into their perceptions of the economic and environmental value added by a clean technology project. The transcribed interviews were coded using thematic analysis and thereafter themes were identified. Data from reports concerning the project was obtained and extrapolated in order to articulate whether the potential differences between the interview data, perceptions, and the reported data could prove to be an inhibiting factor to clean technology adoption. The research finds that senior managers’ perceptions, and the reported environmental and economic value added by the clean technology project, to be mostly aligned and thus these perceptions are not likely to prove to be an inhibiting factor to clean technology adoption. The findings however reveal factors that could affect the adoption of clean technology projects such as capital cost, operational inefficiency and the lack of skills, technology and knowledge required to implement and operate clean technology projects. The key message from the research is that organisations can increase knowledge and technology sharing and ensure skill transference with regard to clean technology, whilst engaging consistently with organisations promoting clean technology, thereby increasing the adoption rate of clean technology projects and drive sustainable development.
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Social responsibility of business, Sustainable development, Corporations,Gold mines and mining,Mines and mineral resources -- Environmental aspects -- South Africa.