Community engagement is the process of working collaboratively with community groups to address issues that impact the well-being of those groups. Activities that help firms engage the community include credible and transparent reporting, town hall meetings and collaborative decision making.
Firms that most proactively engage the community often find efficiencies in pushing forward with new projects because they have secured the social license to operate. They often develop the most innovative products and processes because of the need to balance sometimes conflicting points of view, forcing them to think outside the box for new solutions.
However, such community engagement activities often take considerable firms' resources and time, but there is widespread agreement for most firms involved in community engagement that such efforts are highly rewarded.
Anything from the large, such as site locations and environmental impact assessments, to the seemingly inconsequential, such as supporting local schools and financing youth sports teams, that contributes to a “social license to operate.”