Financial Aspects of Corporate Social Responsibility Based on the Hard Coal Mining Industry in Poland

Article excerpt

Abstract. The purpose of the article is to present the financial aspects of Corporate Social Responsibility in the context of the Polish mining industry. The aspects are mostly connected with the currently borne costs of natural environment protection and development in a stage of exploitation and liquidation of hard coal mining plants (collieries). Various types of these costs, their amount and long-term character affect in a considerable way the production effectiveness, reducing at the same time CSR implementation in a broader, voluntary dimension. The mining enterprises in Poland, consisting in their structures of 26 collieries, bear 16 types of obligatory fees and environmental costs in the course of exploitation. The most important ones are: expenses connected with removing mining damages, devastated land development and reclamation expenses as well as sewage transport to surface water expenses. Furthermore, after collieries liquidation it is basically necessary to main tain the liquidated longwalls without time limit, the costs of mining damages liquidation also occur in a long term. Apart from high costs, CSR application in the hard coal mining industry rises many controversies due to a dominant position of mining enterprises in a stakeholder chain. These enterprises very often use CSR only as an instrument that allows to obtain agreement for conducting exploitation, forgetting about its application in the course of exploitation and its end.

Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility, coal-mining, cost of environmental protection

1. INTRODUCTION

1.1. Theoretical backgrounds of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become popular at the beginning of 21st century along with popularization of the conception of enterprise sustainable development (Van Marrewijk, 2003). At that time the group of enterprise's stakeholders, apart from owners, recipients and suppliers, was also extended by employees as well as participants of social and natural environment of the enterprise (Buysse & Verbeke, 2003; Clarkson, 1995; Delmas & Toffel, 2004; Pater & Lierop, 2006). Without their co-participation in the realization of corporate objectives, sustainable development is impossible (Porter & Kramer, 2006; McWilliams et al., 2006). Nor is it possible to create enterprise value in a long-term perspective.

CSR is determined as "a commitment to improve community well -being through discretionary business practices and contribution of corporate resources" (Kotler & Lee, 2005; Clarkson, 1991). In the enterprise's activity, CSR constitutes a tool enabling realization of the conception of sustainable development. It is also perceived as a part of long-term strategy in which the value creation for owners is strictly correlated with providing safety and welfare for employees along with respecting local societies and natural environment (Safa, 2012).

Despite a clear definition and common acceptation, the implementation of CSR conception in the enterprise is not an easy task. It constitutes a serious challenge for owners and managers (Bhattacharya et al., 2009; Calvano, 2008). Among the factors motivating to implement CSR there are internal drivers and external drivers distinguished. Internal drivers are connected with the attitudes and value system represented by owners, employees, and managers of enterprise (Menon & Menon, 1997; Prothero, 1990; Heugens et al., 2008; Carroll, 1991). The stronger their attachment to ethical behavior, the stronger motivation for a proper implementation of CSR (ElZein & Alameddine, 2012; Khan, 2009). External drivers are connected with pressure from the external environment, the participants of which require ethical behavior from the enterprise (Muller & Kolk, 2010; Ditlev-Simonsen & Midttun, 2011; Vormedal & Ruud, 2009).

Among the benefits accompanying CSR implementation there are the most often mentioned: establishing long-term relations with enterprise's stakeholders, favoring building a positive image and reputation. …