Social licence is a term that’s widely used but not very well defined. The Ethics Centre (formerly the St James Ethics Centre) defines it as “the informal acceptance granted to an individual or organisation by a local community”. It’s a complex and contested area of public policy.
Most policy-makers seem to agree that social licence is earned, not automatically granted, and that the easiest way to lose it is by being perceived to be doing harm. What does this mean for the emerging hydrogen industry?
First and foremost, we need to take social licence seriously. The cost of not doing so is invariably heavy.
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