ASLO is an advisory services company, which provides orientation and support to project operators in achieving community and stakeholder endorsement of their activities, especially when their operations are located in economic frontiers or sensitive social environments.

This is not about “engineering consent” from stakeholders by conducting PR or philanthropy to convince them your project is good. Instead our proposal is to help you better understand the impacts your project has on people and put the right systems and processes in place to manage these social impacts. We also support you in building a genuine relationship with stakeholders and seeking to align the respective interests of both the project and stakeholders.

The expertise gained by ASLO with the extractive industry on different continents and ASLO’s experience of this complex and demanding sector represent key assets for the benefit of clients from other sectors, as well as of investors or any stakeholder with an interest in the social performance aspects of the private sector’s activities.


Why you should care about your Social License to Operate

Annual reviews from credible organisations with insight into the extractive industry tend to show Social License to Operate (SLO), which is commonly regarded as the on-going acceptance or approval of an operation by those local community stakeholders who are affected by it, is gaining importance among the ‘under the radar’ business risks:

Community challenges to broader political and economic decisions have given rise to protest and unrest at the mine site, delaying or even stopping projects. Activists with broad-ranging agendas are becoming more litigious, organized and social media savvy, widely spreading anti-mining sentiment. Some governments are now giving greater powers to communities to make the final decision on approving mining and metals activities in their area.

EY, Business risks in mining and metals 2015-2016 - SLO ranked fifth in the top 10 challenges to the mining and metal sector. It now ranks fourth in the 2016-2017 report.

Community/social activism, instability and unstoppable political events, ranked fourth, are a noteworthy concern in the oil and gas industry. This is the highest this item has placed as a factor affecting business since we conducted our first review.

PwC, Report on current developments in the oil & gas industry in Africa - the 2015 report is the fifth in a series of reviews of the sector.

These observations, derived from the extractive industry, can be extended to a number of other sectors of the economy: forestry, agribusiness, infrastructure, tourism…

Social License to Operate, which from a company perspective can also be defined as being given access to valuable business resources by stakeholders, has definitively become a key factor in the success of any business.

The Question then is: how to get it, and how to keep it?

How to earn your Social License to Operate… and maintain it?

There is no magic recipe for earning a Social License to Operate (SLO). As the president of a large mining corporation once put it :

You don’t get your social license by going to a government ministry and making an application or simply paying a fee... It requires far more than money to truly become part of the communities in which you operate.

If money alone can't buy you a Social License to Operate, the good news is there is a pattern about how SLO works. Experience has shown it is usually influenced by three main parameters:

The quality of the relationship

between the project and its stakeholders (do stakeholders trust you?)

The management of the project impacts

(are you seen by stakeholders as taking responsibility for the impacts created by your project, and keeping them at a commonly agreed “as low as reasonably possible” level ?)

The distribution of the benefits

generated by the presence of the project amongst stakeholders (is this distribution seen as fair and transparent by the stakeholders?)

We thus build on this framework when advising you on how to secure and maintain the social acceptance of your activities.

For more information on this framework, the book called “Getting it Right: Making Corporate-Community Relations Work” is recommended.


Private Companies

ASLO offers services in the following areas

  • Strategy and planning: social risk & opportunity analysis, development of strategic and action plans
  • Stakeholder management: stakeholder identification and mapping, stakeholder engagement, grievance management
  • Impact and benefit management: social impact management, local hiring and contracting, social investment


Call us in when

  • You need to plan: we'll support the development of your social management system and corresponding processes, documents and database
  • You need to implement: we’ll support you in the recruitment of your social team / coach and train your staff in the implementation of the corresponding systems and processes
  • You need to evaluate your social performance: we’ll assess your performance against your corporate framework, international best practices and standards, and stakeholder perception

Beyond the private sector

You’re not a project operator but...

  • An investor wishing to better understand the social risks linked to a potential investment decision - we can conduct a social due diligence on your next investment
  • A public organisation, an NGO or donor willing to engage with the private sector - we can provide training on corporate engagement
  • A research organisation - we can carry out research and case studies on corporate-stakeholder relations and related aspects


Our network

There is no 'one size fits all' approach when its come to social performance and we’ll never claim we know it all: instead, ASLO works in connection with a network of competent people, which allows us to assemble the right team for the job and to provide specific expertise, on a case-by- case basis.



ASLO was founded in February 2015 by Anne-Sophie Leroy, after she decided to build on her unique combination of non-profit, public and corporate experience in humanitarian response, development aid and environmental and social aspects related to the oil & gas (O&G) sector. Graduating in 2000 with an engineering degree in agronomy from AgroParisTech, France, Anne-Sophie started her career working for a humanitarian NGO in El Salvador, Central America, and subsequently worked for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs on development programs in Bolivia.

She then joined the French O&G major Total and journeyed across a broad spectrum of experience, from community liaison to the successful launch of two challenging subsidiaries for Total in Africa and the management of environmental and social matters linked to their operations.

Connect with Anne-Sophie on linked



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