Message From the CEO
This report’s theme – Unearthing Potential – is about gaining a deeper understanding of how Teck can best contribute to a more sustainable future while creating value for our shareholders. Over the long-term, we believe our success and competitiveness will depend on our ability to anticipate, understand and collaborate to address the needs and priorities of people who are our neighbours in areas where we operate, or who may enjoy an improved quality of life as a result of the products we produce.
We recognize that we have the responsibility to mitigate risks and to work with communities and host governments to create sustainable benefits from our operations for present and future generations. Our approach to sustainability has been informed through our participation with associations focused on fostering progress on sustainability, including the International Council on Mining and Metals and its Sustainable Development Principles, the United Nations Global Compact, and the Mining Association of Canada’s Towards Sustainable Mining initiative.
In late 2009 we established a sustainability leadership initiative that would help us to create a culture where everyone considers people, the environment and communities, now and in the future, with every decision we make. With this in mind, in 2010 we convened an internal cross-functional working group composed of leaders from each business unit and functional area in the company tasked to gain a deeper understanding of sustainability, how Teck can contribute to it and how we can embed consideration of sustainability into our day to day decisions.
Safety and Health
The safety and health of our employees, our contractors and their families is a core value. We believe that everyone should go home safe and healthy every day. In 2009, each operation implemented Courageous Safety Leadership (CSL), which is a safety philosophy that challenges existing beliefs, values and attitudes towards safety and outlines the change required to instill a true culture of safety. To date, over 10,000 Teck employees and contractors have experienced phase one of the CSL journey – an intensive one day training session – representing a significant step forward in aligning our organization around a common vision for safety.
Despite our efforts, we did not achieve our goal of “Zero Incidents” and are saddened to report three fatalities occurred at our sites in 2009. We will continue to focus on Courageous Safety Leadership – working to enhance personal leadership and commitment around safety – so that everyone goes home safe and healthy every day.
Biodiversity conservation is an integral part of how we operate. We progressively reclaim disturbed lands throughout the mining life cycle, maintain active habitat management programs and are committed to creating positive legacies through the responsible management of closed and dormant mines.
Energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions management is a key focus given the energy-intensive nature of our operations. Improvements in energy efficiency for 2009 were highlighted by target-setting at a number of our operations, improvements to our coal-drying systems and reductions in engine idling. We also continue to pursue and implement renewable energy projects.
Water quantity and quality remain sustainability challenges and in 2009, as part of our efforts towards sustainable water management, we developed a Water Management Policy which is undergoing internal review. Water use monitoring at operations assist us in advancing water conservation programs and through mitigation and application of treatment methods, our operations improve the quality of water entering local receiving environments.
Working with Communities
The Environment, Health, Safety and Community Management Standards were expanded in 2009 to include new standards on Community and Indigenous Peoples and on Human Rights. We also developed a Social Management and Responsibility Toolkit (SMART) to help business functions manage social risks and opportunities, trained over 130 people in effective dialogue, revised our project review process to consider social and community aspects and developed a company-wide, sustainability data management system to track and report on sustainability data.
We recognize society’s need for our products – our major products, steelmaking coal, copper, and zinc are essential to improving the quality of life for people around the world. We collaborate with the International Zinc Association and UNICEF on the Zinc Nutrient Initiative, which aligns with the Millennium Development Goals and utilizes one of our core products to help eradicate zinc deficiency, a major health challenge worldwide. As we look forward, we recognize that society’s reliance on energy produced from oil will continue for the foreseeable future and we will carefully assess how we, as an owner of significant resources in the Alberta oil sands, can utilize those resources responsibly. We will work to promote resource stewardship through continuous improvements in efficiency and recycling, believing that if we are to achieve a truly sustainable world in the face of a growing global population, we need to be leaders in resource efficiency through our own example.
Donald R. Lindsay
President and Chief Executive Officer