Bauxite Mining

Play Video
Alumina Refining

Play Video

Search More Regional Updates

Select a Country or Region


Sustainability Approach


Jamalco, Alcoa’s operations in Jamaica, continued to adhere to Alcoa’s sustainability values while meeting the challenges of 2012.


Our approach to sustainability is centered on producing the best-quality alumina to meet customer demand; operating efficiently and at minimum cost while protecting the environment; and building a harmonious relationship with the communities in which we operate.


We continue to integrate sustainability into our operations by rehabilitating mined-out land, managing how our operations impact the environment, protecting our employees, and helping build sustainable communities.


We mine bauxite ore at two sites in Jamaica and process it into alumina at the 1.4 million metric-tons-per-year refinery at Halse Hall in Clarendon. Our alumina is shipped primarily to Canada, where it is processed into aluminum that is eventually used to make a wide array of end products.


Refinery in Clarendon

 Refinery in Clarendon

Continuing high fuel and raw material costs, power interruptions, and the impact of Hurricane Sandy were among the many challenges faced by our operations in 2012. Despite these, the refinery delivered a total alumina production of 1.2 million metric tons, with a particularly strong performance in November and December of 3,718 and 3,728 metric tons per day, respectively.





During 2012, we sustained our solid environmental performance through strategic planning and focused execution of our programs. Air emissions control, water quality and consumption management, energy-efficiency improvements, waste reduction, and recycling were among the environmental matters we addressed.


We achieved a 6.7% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over 2011 due largely to reduced fuel consumption. Our water consumption increased 18.8% because of higher water demand for dust suppression at the construction site for our new run-off water storage pond. 


As part of our landfill elimination plan, we embarked on a strategic program focused on waste reduction and recycling. We donated scrap lumber for use in community projects, sold our scrap metal to dealers, and reduced landfilled waste from the mining areas. Due to these and other efforts, we realized a 41% reduction in waste going to the landfill in 2012.


During the year, we distributed some 2,500 fruit seedlings and ornamental plants for institutions and employees to plant. It is projected that at maturity, these trees will remove a combined 50 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year of their lives.


Farmer tends to rehabilitated mine land.

A farmer tends to crops planted on rehabilitated mine land.

Land rehabilitation and certification—the process by which we ensure that the rehabilitated land meets the standards established by the government of Jamaica—are a critical part of our mining operations. We rehabilitated 17.8 hectares (44 acres) of land in 2012, and 56 hectares (138 acres) comprising 17 mining pits were certified during the year.


Our environmental management system (EMS) was recertified to the International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 14001 (environmental management systems) standard in September 2012 by BSI Inc.



Environmental Performance
  Direct Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Million metric tons of CO2 equivalents
Indirect Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Metric tons of CO2 equivalents
Freshwater Use
Millions of cubic meters
Landfilled Waste
Thousands of metric tons
2008 1.03 3,489 1.5 14.8
2009 1.09 12,919 1.9 12.7
2010 1.06 14,452 1.9 10.9
2011 1.05 17,606 1.6 9.9
2012 0.98 11,972 1.9 5.8



Health & Safety

We ended 2012 with 2,825,869 hours worked without a lost workday incident. We did see an increase in our total recordable incident rate and number of incidents compared to 2011, but there was a reduction in the total number of injuries (recordable and first-aid) from the previous year.


We attribute the increase in recordable incidents to poor hazard evaluation for the jobs being undertaken and inadequate countermeasures to manage risks at the time of the incident.


To address these and other issues impacting injuries, we implemented various human performance tools designed to reduce errors. These include incident investigation processes and a review of error traps and performance modes during daily toolbox meetings. We also instituted the STOP criteria—employees must stop job activities if an unsafe or unexpected situation arises—in job safety analysis and standard work instructions.


Human performance is a framework that teaches employees how to recognize error and error-likely situations to predict, reduce, manage, and prevent fatalities and injuries from occurring. In December 2012, an internal assessment found Jamalco to be at level 3 in human performance implementation. To achieve this second-highest level, we had to demonstrate the requisite level of mastery of the human performance tools that we deployed in 2011.
Other activities in 2012 included hosting two fatality prevention workshops and identifying 25 new fatality risks. We closed 80 identified risks during the year through the efforts of the various departments and the fatality prevention team. We have instituted countermeasures to manage the remaining marginal fatality risks, which are associated with operational activities. Final solutions will be implemented to eliminate these risks by mid-2013.


Our Chemical Burn Lead Team hosted a successful Chemical Burn Week under the theme “Know Burn, No Burn.” The week’s activities included providing prevention tips and holding panel discussions with management and members of the workforce on ways to reduce the number of chemical burn injuries occurring at Jamalco.


In November 2012, Alcoa’s Latin American and Caribbean regional office conducted a health and safety cross-audit of our facilities that was focused on critical safety hazard processes, fatality prevention, hazardous materials management, and exposure assessments. The safety protocols that received a “Good” rating were fatality prevention, machine guarding, fall protection, electrical safety, combustion systems, exposure assessment, lock/tag/try, and contractor management. Mobile equipment, confined space, and hazardous materials management were all rated “Fair.”  No protocol was rated “Poor.”


We maintained our Occupational Health & Safety Management System certification (OHSAS 18001: 2007) after successfully completing two external audits conducted by BSI Inc. in April and September 2012.


Health & Safety Performance
Lost Workday
Incident Rate
Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred (DART) Rate Total Recordable
Incident Rate
2008 0 0 0.65
2009 0 0 0.44
2010 0 0 0.29
2011 0 0.10 0.39
2012 0 0 0.11 0.55



Our employees were instrumental in Jamalco having a very dynamic and productive year in 2012, and we initiated numerous activities and programs to engage them, support their development, and recognize their achievements.


We convened several engagement sessions to foster two-way communication between the leadership and the workforce. These included various workforce committees, roundtable discussions held by both the refinery manager and human resource manager, and the launch of HR Connect. The latter system helps improve two-way communication between the human resources team and employees using feedback boxes, a human resources helpline, and a legal helpline.


Renewed focus was placed on employee recognition in 2012 and included honoring 35 employees for outstanding service during our annual Milestone Awards. Each month, we also identified the most outstanding production-based team and the crew with the best suggestion of the month. Members of both teams received token gifts and were recognized during the weekly executive leadership meeting. 


As the effects of the worldwide recession were being felt by all, our human resources department hosted a series of financial management and pension seminars to help employees cope. More than 245 people attended.


We forged stronger partnerships with the local police force to increase the security of our employees and facilities. This effort led to the successful staging of a mass emergency evacuation drill and a dramatic reduction in fuel loss due to theft.


Other activities during the year included:

  • Hosting the annual Back-to-School Fair for employees and their families;
  • Implementing a new electronic vacation management system;
  • Introducing an online pay advice system for employees;
  • Implementing Alcoa’s Advancing Supervisory Excellence program, which develops front-line supervisors;
  • Supporting the participation of a Jamalco engineer in the worldwide One Young World conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; and
  • Hosting the first-ever Mines Family Fun Day.


These efforts helped us achieve a 99% response rate and a score of 70% in Alcoa’s annual Global Voices Survey in 2012, with the latter increasing from 67% in 2011. We showed an increase in every dimension measured in this employee engagement survey.


We commenced negotiations on wages and fringe benefits with the Union of Technical, Administrative and Supervisory Personnel for the location’s hourly employees. These negotiations were in progress at the end of 2012.


Supply Chain

During 2012, our procurement team continued to work with suppliers to ensure that we pursued environmentally friendly practices.


We developed contracts requiring suppliers to take back the waste generated from the use of their products. For example, we returned lubricant and chemical drums and totes, as well as used batteries, toner, and cartridges.


In 2012, we again deepened our community development agenda by consolidating continuing programs implemented in 2011.


We also partnered with stakeholders to implement a far-reaching education program and significantly increased our financial contribution to our host communities through employee volunteerism.


These initiatives fall under our six-pillared community development strategy that addresses the community challenges of high unemployment and low skill levels; anti-social behavior and lack of direction among youth; and decaying and underdeveloped community facilities.

Capacity Building

We collaborated with Alcoa Foundation and the United Way of Jamaica to launch the Advancing Childhood Education Programme (ACEP). ACEP is designed to improve literacy and numeracy levels among primary schoolchildren in the company’s operating areas in Clarendon and Manchester. It is being coordinated by Mico University and the Early Childhood Commission and administered by the United Way of Jamaica.


Under the program, 150 primary schoolteachers will receive specialized training and certification in the fundamentals of early childhood education. Over a two-year period, 150 parents also will receive training in parenting skills to better enable them to assist their children in developing good learning habits.


We invested more than US$53,000 to provide education assistance in the form of grants, scholarships, and bursaries for needy students in 2012. More than 200 primary, secondary, and tertiary students from our operating areas received assistance. Nine students from the refinery, port, and railroad communities received scholarships, 20 received bursaries, and 50 received book grants. Another 130 students who live in our mining communities received books and other school supplies. All beneficiaries were selected based on demonstrated need and their academic performance.


The Jamalco Mentorship Programme entered its fourth year in 2012. We trained 25 additional employees and six community members as mentors, and they began mentoring an equal number of students from the Vere Technical High School. The program also continued to assist some 30 teens from the Winston Jones and Lennon High Schools located in our mining communities with mentors drawn from our mining operations and the surrounding communities.


The Jamalco Career Enhancement Programme continued to impact the lives of young adults in our operating areas. In 2012, a little more than 66% of the participants passed at least one of the two Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate subjects taken. Of the students who passed, 20 were from South Manchester, 11 from the refinery area, and 10 from Harmons and Mocho. This success has boosted their confidence and encouraged them to continue their education and seek further training in skills with which they can earn a living.

Alternative Economic Opportunities

In 2012, we worked to consolidate the gains made under the Jamalco Entrepreneurship Programme, which provides revolving loans to groups of residents from host communities to start their own micro-businesses.


By mid-year, 42 projects involving 210 community residents had received US$20,000 in loans from the revolving fund, which was established with grants from Jamalco and Alcoa Foundation. The groups were involved primarily in agricultural projects.


We collaborated with the United Way of Jamaica and the C&WJ Cooperative Credit Union, which administer the revolving fund, to monitor the projects, provide training for the recipients, and encourage loan repayment to ensure the fund’s viability.

Social Renewal

We continued the School Wardens Road Crossing Programme at six schools located in heavily trafficked sections of our operating areas. Several schools also continued to receive information about road-safety practices through the road-safety component of the Jamalco in Schools Programme.


Construction of the Wembley Centre of Excellence (COE)—located close to our refinery operations—was completed in March 2013. The first COE, the Harmons Centre of Excellence in Harmons Manchester, opened in 2011.


Funded by Alcoa Foundation, the COE project is helping create public facilities that will be used by residents for sports, community development, and recreational activities. Each COE includes a computer laboratory and reading room to encourage users to do research and improve their literacy skills.


The Jamalco Community Football League competition, which serves to engage and enhance the development of young men from our host communities, continued to improve. Eighteen teams from the mining, port, railroad, and refinery operating areas participated in the competition.


The two-year-old Jamalco Football Team placed third in the finals of the Clarendon Football Association Knock-out Competition, narrowly missing the opportunity to qualify for the South Central Super League.
The Jamalco Netball Team, which is for players over the age of 20, won the Clarendon Netball Association Jamalco Open League; the Jamaica National Association Open League; and the Berger Paints Super League. The team won the latter title for the 10th time and made it to 15 consecutive finals from 1998 to 2012.


In June 2012, we honored the members of the Jamalco netball and football teams at a special luncheon held at the refinery in Clarendon. The event included a meet-and-greet session with members of the workforce and a tour of the refinery.

Civic Partnerships

During 2012, we continued to build and enhance our stakeholder relationships through regular meetings and partnerships to create sustainable development programs. Of special note is the partnership with community councils in all operating areas to help execute projects that are being spearheaded by the councils.


We organized three meetings with Clarendon and Manchester business leaders in 2012 and were represented at meetings of civic and community organizations. Once again, we partnered with the Bob Marley Foundation to stage the fourth annual Black History Month & Bob Marley Day Expo in February 2012.

Key 2012 Stakeholder Issues
Mining Operations in South Manchester Complaints of dusting from residents close to our operations. We began resolving these complaints within 24 hours of being received. We assessed the dust nuisance through visits to the locations and the use of dust monitors that are independently verified.

We increased our spraying of water on haul roads and paid compensation to those who were affected.

An internal complaints review committee meets monthly to ensure that complaints are resolved in a timely manner.
Clarendon Refinery Soot emissions impacted residents of several communities. We resolved this issue through consultation and dialog with community leaders and representatives who are part of the Refinery Community Council. We apologized to the council for the incident while outlining the cause and the steps that we were taking to prevent a reoccurrence. Our explanation and apologies were accepted by the leaders and the communities. This came against the background of ongoing communication with these stakeholders, which included information on the various factors that were negatively impacting our production and profitability.

Our volunteer programs continued to impact our host communities in 2012, with some 350 employees volunteering during the year.


Approximately 120 employees participated in two fundraising events under the banner of Alcoans in Motion (AIM), the newest volunteer initiative launched by Alcoa Foundation. As a result, the May Pen Hospital in Clarendon received US$2,500 from the foundation and an additional US$2,500 from local businesses whose employees participated in the Jamalco organized lap-athon and aerobics marathon in June. Jamaica Reach to Recovery also received an AIM grant of US$2,500 to assist breast cancer survivors after employees participated in the organization’s fundraising 5K.
Some 253 employees registered as Bravo! volunteers in 2012 and provided voluntary service to a range of institutions. In addition, employee volunteers completed eight ACTION projects during the year, benefitting four schools and four community organizations.


The Alcoa Foundation grants obtained through these three volunteer programs totaled US$74,000 and were used to build a bus shed for pedestrians and help improve school facilities, a police station, and security at a local hospital.


During the Alcoa Month of Service in October, some 116 employees participated in various projects, with three affected by Hurricane Sandy. The projects included the refurbishing of a school library and a daycare center and the planting of 100 trees on National Tree Planting Day.


In early November 2012, we distributed 2,500 trees to employees for planting in their communities and at their homes.

Employee Volunteer Hours
2008 419
2009 9,135
2010 11,138
2011 7,922
2012 11,260
Community Investments

We made numerous contributions to community institutions and individuals who were in need and who met the established guidelines for receiving such grants. In addition, we provided water via trucks to schools, community tanks, police stations, health centers, and households located primarily in our mining operation areas. 


Jupiter Award—United Way Jamaica

Alcoa Foundation and Jamalco


Plaque of Appreciation—Association of Librarians in Jamaica


Award of Appreciation—Pratville Primary and Infant School

Case Studies


Related Link

Alcoa in Jamaica