Recommendations for Report Content
Continue to educate readers about the mining business
The Panel found the section on “The Five Stages of Mining” to be useful contextual information. They suggested enhancing it by situating the five stages on a timeline and indicating how and when stakeholders are engaged in the process.
Our response: The additional information suggested by the Panel is currently in the narrative of the noted section. We will include an enhanced visual representation of the mining cycle on the website, for greater appeal and comprehensibility.
Enhance coverage of safety
Panel members noted that safety is an operational priority for Teck and were surprised that it did not figure more prominently in the Report. Panellists suggested quantifying the value of a strong safety culture and setting operational targets beyond zero incidents.
Our response: We agree that safety, which is a core value for Teck, should be featured more prominently, and should appear earlier in the report. Our employees and contractors have made tremendous gains in safety performance and are working to improve this performance to an even greater degree.
Bring analysis of climate change together
The discussion of climate change is spread over a few sections of the 2007 Report. The Panel recommended that Teck address climate change comprehensively in one place in the report, with detailed data on the website. For future reports, Panellists would like Teck to report on the full life cycle analysis of greenhouse gas emissions (including emissions from transport and use of Teck’s products.)
Our response: In the 2007 report, we discussed and treated climate change based mainly on the structure of the GRI indicators. While we agree that the climate change section should be consolidated, there may continue to be references to climate change in other sections of the report and/or website, reflecting the integrated nature of the climate change issue. Through industry associations, such as the International Zinc Association, Teck has begun to assess the life cycle analysis (LCA) characteristics of some of our products. We intend to continue dialogue with the Pembina Institute and other similar organizations, to better inform our understanding regarding the LCA of our other products and services.
Explain Teck’s theory of stakeholder engagement and how it is applied in practice
While the 2007 Report devotes considerable space to stakeholder engagement, Panellists found the information too general to give them a sense of how well it was working. The Panel recommended that Teck explain its theory of stakeholder engagement and illustrate its application with more stories and data from operations. Local community members should be involved in assessing the effectiveness of engagement.
Our response: We agree to provide more explicit information on our stakeholder and aboriginal engagement processes. Enhanced quantitative indicators and qualitative information are currently being developed to measure progress more effectively in this area. As our program evolves, we will seek to increase the participation of our stakeholders, aboriginal groups and community members in assessing our effectiveness. We will continue to integrate examples of real-world applications to demonstrate our vision of stakeholder and aboriginal engagement.
Develop a more rigorous methodology for assessing social impacts
The Panel wanted more in-depth coverage of the social impacts (including human rights) of Teck’s operations on communities. Panellists recommended that Teck consider effects on communities both in expansionary times and at closure. The Panel recognized the difficulties in measuring social impacts and encouraged Teck to use a range of evaluation techniques that could include summarizing qualitative information from site reporting systems.
Our response: We agree this information is important, and will report on GRI indicator SO1 (i.e., Nature, scope, and effectiveness of any programs and practices that assess and manage the impacts of operations on communities, including entering, operating, and exiting) at both the corporate and site levels for the first time in our 2008 Report. This will assist us in capturing and reporting on the social and cultural impacts of projects at their different stages. The implementation of effective monitoring and assessment of social effects associated with our activities, including human rights, is a long-term goal for Teck, and we expect to improve the effectiveness of our reporting each year.
Show the distribution of community investment spending and its outcomes
Panel members would like to better understand how Teck allocates its community investment spending. They recommended that Teck use a pie chart to show the main categories of spending. One category of particular interest was spending on local capacity building for engagement. The Panel recommended that Teck develop approaches to evaluate the success of its community investment programs.
Our response: We agree that the distribution of community investment and its outcomes need to be more specifically and clearly communicated. We will include illustrative graphics, such as pie charts, to enhance this communication. We will articulate more clearly our community investment policy and how this links to our sustainability strategy and commitments such as the UN Global Compact.
Develop ability to report on cumulative environmental impacts
The Panel challenged Teck to tackle the issue of cumulative impacts (impacts to an ecosystem from multiple uses over a longer time period.) While recognizing that it is difficult to isolate the effects from one company in an area where several companies and other users are involved, Panellists indicated that it is the overall impact on an ecosystem that is meaningful for sustainability.
Our response: We acknowledge the significance and importance of cumulative impacts, as well as the challenges inherent in monitoring and assessing them, particularly in ecosystems in which there are possible contributions and impacts from other diverse facilities and activities. We have given, and continue to give, specific consideration to cumulative impacts of multiple Teck operations within the same ecosystem (e.g., selenium in the Elk River Valley; see issue 5 in “Your Concerns, Our Response”, 2007 Sustainability Report). We also participate as an industrial stakeholder in circumstances where our facilities may be one of several that have the potential to impact local ecosystems (e.g., Columbia River Integrated Environmental Monitoring Program (CRIEMP), http://www.criemp.org/). We continue to evaluate these impacts, and intend to report on them in future.
Use benchmarks to provide context
The Panel was impressed with the detailed data presented for environmental indicators. The Panel recommended using benchmarks to help readers understand and interpret the data. For example, the indicator on water used by an operation could be accompanied by a benchmark such as total water used by the neighbouring community. Similarly, the hectares of land reclaimed could be contextualized with data on the total area of contaminated sites.
Our response: This suggestion will greatly enhance the context of the sustainability report. In this regard, we will consult with the Panel to determine which benchmarks are the most appropriate to use.
Recognize internal audience with enhanced coverage of “People” area
The Panel noted that some issues of importance to site employees (e.g. wellness programs, broad training opportunities, employee driven operational improvements) were not captured in consolidated Report and that these issues vary from site to site. While recognizing the need for consistent criteria among sites, the Panel recommended that Teck consider how to best meet the needs of the employee readership.
Our response: In the information requests submitted to operations, more emphasis will be placed on the importance to the readership of reporting on employee-related programs and enhancements in a sustainability context (e.g., innovations that reduce emissions, recycling, etc.).