Sustainability: part of who we are
Sustainability is becoming an increasingly important part of who we are and what we stand for at Alcoa Canada Global Primary Products.
The sustainability process is never straightforward and there are always bumps in the road. It is a complex journey and, despite good intentions and concerted effort, incidents can still occur. Sometimes these incidents result from human error and other times they are brought about by factors beyond our control. But, for us, one thing remains constant: our commitment to learn and move forward.
Our commitment to the future...
In November 2011, Alcoa announced a $2.1-billion investment in Québec, exciting news given the current state of the economy. In fact, our projects represent Alcoa’s top investments globally for the next five years. And this investment is a direct result of the efforts of all of our employees, the support of our host communities, and the long-term energy supply we have been assured by the Government of Québec.
Our projects represent Alcoa’s top investments globally for the next five years.
Once completed, this five-year plan will move Québec smelters down the global aluminum cost curve by 13 points, an important factor in their long-term sustainability. It will increase our production by 120,000 metric tons per year, and improve our environmental performance by allowing us to, among other things, eliminate our use of the Söderberg technology through the modernization of the Baie-Comeau Smelter.
...and to our communities
This is excellent news for the communities where we live and work, and for Québec as a whole. Alcoa’s foundational investment in our facilities is an affirmation of their long-term stability, and of our role as a major employer and vital economic driver in our host communities. More than 3,000 jobs, economic spinoffs of more than $1.3 billion in Québec, $625 million of which benefit our host communities, and business relationships with more than 2,700 Québec suppliers – these are numbers that speak volumes.
Our investment plan further includes the new Alcoa Sustainable Communities Fund, which has allocated $25 million to the Baie-Comeau, Bécancour and Deschambault-Grondines/ Portneuf regions. Every year for the next 25 years, these communities will share $1 million to develop and implement sustainability projects. Through this fund, Alcoa seeks to increase the quality of life in the communities where we operate, with a special focus on retaining and attracting the next generation of workers.
Continuous effort at every level
Achieving improvements in our sustainability performance is directly related to similar efforts by our suppliers. This is why, after having conducted an assessment pilot project and supporting 12 of our suppliers that participated in the BNQ 21000 project, we will be launching a new management approach in 2012. Once fully rolled out, this initiative will become a supplier recognition program.
Together with Alcoa Foundation, we have also become one of the major partners in the Maison du développement durable by investing in the creation of its sustainability reference center. The latter will offer Montrealers and Quebecers information that can help them further their own environmental initiatives, both at home and in their communities.
Finally, because our employees remain our strongest asset, we have maintained our focus on preventing risky behaviors and incidents by implementing more rigorous tracking systems for both.
Our investment plan further includes the new Alcoa Sustainable Communities Fund, which has allocated $25 million to the Baie-Comeau, Bécancour and Deschambault-Grondines/ Portneuf regions.
Whether it is by contributing to the growth of our host communities, developing fruitful relationships with our Québec suppliers and partners, assuring the safety and wellbeing of our employees or respecting the environment, every year we take meaningful steps that bring us ever closer to the fundamental spirit of sustainability.
I invite you to keep reading and learn more about some of the challenges we have overcome and the progress we have made on our sustainability journey in 2011.
June 30, 2012
Then President, Alcoa Canada Global Primary Products