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First Nations-owned mining company finds silver lining to industry problems

Darrell Beaulieu, CEO of DEMCo, says the time is right for First Nations to take an active role in resource development.

The mining industry is struggling. Junior exploration companies are desperately trying to raise money, and majors are facing volatile commodity prices paired with resistance from communities. It’s bad news.

But one company, owned entirely by the Dene First Nations in the Northwest Territories (NWT), sees a silver lining. By picking up properties at fire sale prices, Denendeh Exploration and Mining Company (DEMCo) is hoping to “create momentum for a fundamental change in First Nation participation in resource development in the NWT and Canada.”

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Homophobic culture permeates mining industry

Experts say mining companies need to step into the 21st century to take LGBT worker issues seriously.

Lynne Descary has had to endure more than two decades of insults, inappropriate comments about her sexuality and assertions she has taken away jobs from men.

Descary is a nickel miner. She also happens to be a lesbian working in an industry that she describes as “closeted” and culturally homophobic; an industry where it wasn’t out of the ordinary for one of her male colleagues to suggest she come over to his house to “liven up” his sex life with his wife.

“You just hold your head high, do your job to the best of your ability and try not give them any more ammunition to use against you,” Descary told Corporate Knights.

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Why investors should start asking Canadian companies to disclose their political spending

Corporate political spending in Canada means more than donating to political parties.

When you consider the political spending habits of corporations in the United States, it’s tempting to become smug about the apparent cleanliness of the Canadian political system.

But a report released Thursday by the Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE) shows that investors, and the public more broadly, should be concerned about the political influence of Canadian companies.

Even small amounts of money can create reputational risks for companies, said Kevin Thomas, director of shareholder engagement for SHARE, an organization that specializes in responsible investment, research and education for institutional investors.

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Taking climate risks and opportunities that exist for supply chains seriously

CDP says companies need to lift the veil on their supply chains to tackle climate change.

Last month, I explored how little we know about carbon emissions.

When companies say they are measuring their emissions, they are usually talking about the carbon produced by their own operations and energy use. These are called Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions.

But there is a significant chunk of carbon that isn't accounted for by these measurements. Scope 3 emissions include everything from transportation, emissions created in the supply chain, and the use of products in the consumer’s home.

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Why happiness is an HR issue

Worker happiness isn’t the only driver of workplace turnover, but research shows it can affect company productivity.

The employer-employee rela­tionship is one of modern day’s most im­portant relationships. When the match is good, the result for the employee is higher personal fulfillment, creativity, and pro­ductivity, which ultimately benefit the em­ployer. When relations go sour, the stress on an employee can be crushing and the impact on workplace morale can spread.

So critical is this relationship that mo­bile apps, developed by companies such as Good.co and Plasticity, are using sophisti­cated personality tests and surveys to help boost workplace happiness, whether that means finding the perfect match between jobseekers and employers or helping com­panies better engage and motivate work­ers. Employers are also increasingly recog­nizing the importance of strong corporate social responsibility programs as a way to attract and retain top talent.

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