February 8, 2013
Alcoa adheres to the ISO 26000 Social Responsibility Standard
Juruti bauxite mine will be considered in the partnership between Alcoa and Fiepa
To apply ISO 26000, the first Corporate Social Responsibility international standard, as a management tool for introducing and developing actions based on sustainability: this is the objective of a technical association agreement that has been signed between the Federation of Industries of the State of Pará (Fiepa) and Alcoa, the world’s leading producer of primary aluminum, which has a bauxite mining development in Juruti, in the west of the state.
The agreement provides for specialists from the Industry Social Service (SESI), which is part of the Fiepa System, to be made available for implementing the concepts of ISO 26000. Among the units that will benefit is the Juruti bauxite mine, which has been in operation for three years, and that is already involved with a series of social responsibility and local development actions. The partnership will be an important step towards consolidating Alcoa’s sustainability activities.
According to Nilson Souza, Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability Director for Alcoa Latin America & the Caribbean, the company sought to base its management model on ISO 26000, since this standard converges with the company’s values that encourage it to listen to and deal with the wishes of local residents in each municipality in which the company is located. “The communities where we’re located are very important to the full development of our industrial activity. It is the local residents who grant us our license to operate on a daily basis. Because of this it’s so important for us to be in harmony with the community”, he emphasized.
ISO 26000 began to be developed in 2005 and its final version was published some two years ago. Various sectors in society were involved in its development and its proposal is to serve as a guide for corporations. It is based on seven principles: Responsibility, Transparency, Ethical Behavior, Consideration for stakeholders, Legality, International Standards and Human Rights.
“ISO 26000 is a management tool; you introduce it and it remains in the company. It’s an important experience, because it’s going to be applied to our operations in Pará and in the company’s units in Brazil. The extent of this partnership with Fiepa and SESI stretches beyond the state borders. Society certainly benefits with this”, explained Nilson Souza, Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability Director for Alcoa Latin America & the Caribbean.
The president of the Fiepa System, José Conrado Santos, emphasized the partnership with Alcoa and said how important it was for local companies to follow the good practices developed by the mining company. “It’s extremely important that our companies take their inspiration from the Alcoa management model and replicate its good environmental and social practices in other regions in the state”, concluded Conrado.
Dialogue – The Alcoa unit in Juruti, in the west of Para, will be the first to benefit from the initiative. The Juruti bauxite mine was devised as a sustainable mining model, in which dialogue constitutes an important tool in the relationship with the communities surrounding the company location.
According to the technical team of the Corporate Social Responsibility Department at SESI, consultants Cacilda Pegado and Sheyla Oliveira, the main gain of a company that seeks ISO 26000 certification is recognition of its social responsibility practices. “In fact, this underlines what Alcoa has already been doing, because the company does excellent work in the social, environmental and economic areas. But this needs to be clearly spelled out. Alcoa will be a pioneer in Para in this guidance standard. In Brazil, only Petrobras is in the process of introducing it”, the consultants explain.
Alcoa Alumínio S.A. is a subsidiary of Alcoa Inc. which is the world’s leading producer of primary aluminum and fabricated aluminum, as well as the world’s largest miner of bauxite and refiner of alumina. The company employs approximately 61,000 people in 31 countries and for the eleventh consecutive year the company is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Alcoa has been in Latin America and the Caribbean since the end of the 50’s where it has operations in Brazil, Jamaica and Suriname and about 7,000 employees. This year, the company completes 125 years of operations in the world.
In Brazil the company operates in the whole of the aluminum production chain, from bauxite mining to the production of transformed products. Alcoa has six production units and three offices in the states of Maranhão, Minas Gerais, Pará, Pernambuco, Santa Catarina, São Paulo and the Federal District. The company also has shareholdings in four hydroelectric power stations: Machadinho and Barra Grande on the border of the states of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul; Serra do Facão in Goiás; and Estreito, between Maranhão and Tocantins. In 2011, Alcoa recorded revenues of R$ 2,5 billion in Brazil. In 2012 it was considered a benchmark in sustainability and was one of the year’s 21 model companies in the Guia EXAME de Sustentabilidade [EXAME Magazine’s Sustainability Guide]. Further information can be found at www.alcoa.com.br.