Environmental improvement initiatives in the coal mining industry: Maximisation of the triple bottom line

Timothy Laing, Arvind Upadhyay, Sushil Mohan, Nachiappan Subramanian

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Mining is an economically important industry, which faces several environmental and social challenges. Other than operational improvement activities, mining companies are increasingly paying attention to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and maximise social welfare to satisfy multiple stakeholders and the rise of corporate social responsible initiatives. Based on a case study analysis of coal mining companies we develop a triple bottom line (TBL) initiatives framework that provides a starting point for mining companies to develop a strategic approach to environmental improvement initiatives that can positively impact all elements of the TBL. We highlight four types of process and offset-based initiatives that are available to mining companies to reduce their GHGs, each having differential effects on elements of the TBL. Our findings suggest the importance of company-wide strategies of looking at initiatives through all rather than individual elements of the TBL. Such a strategy would provide an appropriate estimate of the costs and benefits of the initiatives and results in a balanced approach that takes care of operational improvement, reduces GHGs and improves the social welfare of people engaged in mining operations and wider society.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)426-436
    Number of pages11
    JournalProduction Planning & Control: The Management of Operations
    Issue number5-6
    Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2019


    • Operational improvement
    • Triple Bottom Line
    • Coal mining
    • Greenhouse gas emissions
    • Social welfare


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