Letter from the CEO
Thank you for your interest in our sustainability report. which signals Teck’s commitment to managing key challenges of economic, environmental and social performance.
All of the materials we use in our day to day lives come from one of two sources: they are either grown or they are extracted from the earth. That should make one pause to think about the tremendous role that metals play in advancing quality of life. The more society embraces sustainability as a strategy in caring for our planet, the more we will need the products of mining.
Sustainability considerations are embedded in policies, programs and throughout the stages of Teck’s business operations. This report tracks the company’s annual progress and performance, and serves as an added vehicle of accountability to all of our shareholders and stakeholders.
Our 2007 Performance
As previously reported, we suffered a fatality t in January, 2007 at our Pend Oreille Operation when a contract employee was struck by falling rock. We wish to express our deepest condolences to Phillip Markhart’s family, and confirm that we implemented all recommendations from our investigations into the incident to help prevent future tragedies. In addition in 2007, we reissued our safety and health policy, “Towards Zero Incidents”, which further fortifies our “culture of safety” as an inflexible core value and proactive approach instilled in every employee..
The company’s continued growth and success detailed in our 2007 Annual Report has been underpinned by a strategic approach to integrating the pillars of sustainable development into management processes; international standards and best practices continue to guide our thinking on sustainability issues. From our commitment to implementing the International Council for Mining and Metals’ (ICMM ) sustainable development framework to our formal endorsement of the UN Global Compact, we are inspired and energized by the work being done by our employees to make socially and environmentally responsible business operations a reality.
We continued to manage the impacts and benefits of our operations to ensure that our activities, to the extent possible, provide a significant source of local revenue and development, while avoiding harm to the natural and cultural resources in the locale.
A great source of pride in 2007 was our acquisition of Aur Resources Inc., including its Quebrada Blanca, Carmen de Andacollo and Duck Pond copper mines.
Looking to the Future
Our plans for 2008 are substantial and ambitious. Teck will be clearly partitioned across commodity lines, whereby strategic business units (SBU) of copper, zinc, coal, gold and energy will be supported by shared corporate services. As we grow, sustainability management will continue to be a core part of our decision-making, and we will ensure that these practices are transferred to all new Operations. We plan to more closely align our strategy with the UN Millennium Development Goals, and will continue to use the Global Reporting Initiative as a roadmap for transparent and accountable sustainability-related disclosure to our stakeholders.
Inter-divisional collaboration will produce a thorough assessment of the physical, general and financial risks that we face from current or anticipated effects of climate change. We will formalize a comprehensive biodiversity strategy by reviewing processes currently in place, creating and distributing an internal Biodiversity Guidance Manual which will complement practical mining techniques.
Our Community Engagement programme grew during the past year, as we developed an internal handbook and introduced it at Operations across Canada. Our objective for the coming years is to provide formal training and establish an internal corporate network to share best practices across the company.
Energy costs are a key driver for our Operations, and we take our responsibility for climate stewardship seriously. International policy is prompting private sector investment in pollution abatement technology and energy efficiency by way of emissions control regulations, tradeable permits and carbon taxation. In addition to improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions, we will continue engaging with governments on policy development to encourage cross-jurisdictional consistency. As zinc-air battery energy storage capacity exceeds that of hydrogen-air cells, we will seize opportunities to expand and enhance our product technology lines applied to energy storage and transmission. We see added potential to provide inputs such as germanium, indium and cadmium to the rapidly growing solar cell industry.
Sustainable development is not simply an ideology; it’s a pragmatic approach to business realities which looks beyond the horizon of the next quarter. Join us as we continue to pursue sustainability.
Donald R. Lindsay
President and Chief Executive Officer