A Tradition of Transparent Reporting
Alcoa has a long history of reporting on its economic, environmental, and social performance. This website, designed to give stakeholders access to detailed and current information on our sustainability performance, continues that tradition. It is designed to demonstrate accountability and transparency, while also showing how sustainability is being integrated into all aspects of our business. In addition, it serves as a research and teaching tool for our internal and external stakeholders and drives best practices throughout our company.
Many of our top leaders and employees in the various regions are involved in our sustainability reporting, from writing individual sections to providing input and feedback.
We offer online reporting supplemented by a year-end summary available as a downloadable PDF. We also provide a Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) index for a quick comparison of our information with the GRI guidelines, the GRI Mining and Metals sector supplement, and the International Council on Mining and Metals’ 10 sustainable development principles.
The information contained in our sustainability reporting is supplemented by other Alcoa reports and documents. These include the annual report; regional sustainability reports; Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, including the annual Form 10-K; and the extensive alcoa.com website. One report cannot tell the whole Alcoa story, which is why we encourage readers to review all of our information resources.
We continue to take substantive steps to obtain data assurance for some of the more critical data elements contained in our reporting.
We again engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) in 2012 to provide limited assurance on our 2012 consolidated greenhouse gas emissions data under the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ attestation standards. (View PwC’s limited assurance report.) Our goal is to expand the concept of third-party assurance to other significant areas of sustainability data collection and reporting.
We continued to improve our existing sustainability metrics systems during 2012 to provide even clearer and more consistent definitions to be used in every region and location around the world. We also began implementing our enhanced data capture and reporting strategy by linking operational systems at 12 of our most significant facilities around the world to a global data collection and reporting system. In addition, we are reporting global water data into the Climate Disclosure Project’s Water Initiative and laying the groundwork for future water data assurance.
In 2012, our Brazilian operations again received gold certification from the Brazil Greenhouse Gas Protocol Program for transparency in reporting and quantifying its emissions inventories. The certification was granted following an assessment by independent Brazilian auditor Vanzolini Foundation. Alcoa was one of the first companies in Brazil to participate in the program.
Internal & External Processes
In addition to our comprehensive internal metrics systems, we employ a variety of processes to bring assurance that our operations are transparent and the information we report is accurate and truly reflective of our actual results. Examples include the following:
- Internal Audit: We have a rigorous internal audit process that evaluates our locations on five areas: environmental; health & safety; operational excellence; financial & business processes; and information technology. Additional information can be found on the Internal Audit web page.
- U.S. SEC Filings: We file or furnish significant information, including our annual, quarterly, and current reports, proxy statement, and sustainability highlights reports, with the U.S. SEC, and we are subject to its rules and regulations.
- Community Advisory Panels: Under the Alcoa Community Framework, each of our locations is encouraged to convene a community advisory panel to provide a forum for ongoing interaction between the plants and area residents. We provide extensive information regarding the issues raised by these community advisory panels, as well as the actions we have taken to address them, in the Stakeholder Engagement section.
- Annual Employee Survey: Our Global Voices employee survey, translated into multiple languages, helps us identify best practices for increasing employee engagement.
- Health and Safety Committees: Each location has various task, department, ad hoc, and other committees to develop and implement health and safety programs based on the location’s strategic health and safety plan. These leadership groups include a cross-section of personnel from the facility.
- Business Conduct and Conflict of Interest Survey: We send a business conduct survey to more than 17,000 employees each year asking them to certify their compliance with our business conduct, anti-corruption, and insider trading policies.
- Ethics & Compliance Line: Our Ethics & Compliance Line allows employees and any other concerned parties around the world to confidentially report any concerns they may have regarding potential violations of our policies and practices, including those affecting data.
- Environmental Improvement Plans: Many of our Australian operations work with the local communities to develop environmental improvement plans for each location.
- Environmental and Social Impact Assessments: Prior to constructing new facilities or expanding existing ones, we conduct an environmental and social impact assessment to determine what effects the project would have on the community.
- External Partnerships: We partner with many external organizations on a project or ongoing basis to address operational and community issues. Examples can be found in the Stakeholder Engagement section.
We have earned numerous awards for our work around the world. Many of these are bestowed after quite rigorous research and benchmarking processes by independent reviewers.
One example is the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, which provide asset managers with reliable and objective benchmarks to manage sustainability portfolios. In 2012, we were included in the North American Index for the eleventh consecutive year and again named to the World Index.
A listing of other recognitions can be found in the Awards section.
Laws, rules, and mandated standards are essential components of civilized society. We must have reference points to help guide direction and define right from wrong. Yet, in isolation, they cannot guarantee sustainability. Practically, no rule book can be capable of describing appropriate responses to every possible combination of circumstances. That is why we rely primarily on our values supported by internal policies and standards to guide our behavior.
We believe it is the role of governments, not companies, to sign on to international laws and conventions, such as the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Labor Organization conventions. However, we are fully aligned with these international conventions, and we use them to guide our internal policies and standards.
Where any international convention is required by the government of a country in which an Alcoa facility is located, our facility will abide by that convention since our locations must follow the laws of the country in which they are located. When our internal requirements exceed those of the government, which is often the case, our location must abide by the more stringent standard.
A key challenge in our growth strategy is to understand and accommodate the different customs and values that we encounter during our work in various countries. In these situations, we understand that we must engage with these stakeholders to resolve any discrepancies without compromising our own values. We don’t have a perfect answer, but we believe that, as a first and continuing step forward, dialogue will help parties understand one another’s viewpoints.
As an industry leader, we do feel it is important to help develop guidelines and standards that will move the industry closer to sustainability. We continue to actively participate in the development and achievement of the International Aluminium Institute’s Aluminium for Future Generations Sustainable Development Programme. This program comprises 13 voluntary objectives and 22 performance indicators that are designed to encourage continual improvement in the industry’s sustainability performance.
We are a participant in the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate responsibility initiative. As a participant, we pledge to advance several goals related to the environment, human rights, labor standards, and anti-corruption, as well as report on our progress. View our most current report. go
In 2011, we began providing a summary of our actions and activities throughout the world that have directly supported the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. View our most current report. go
External Principles and Initiatives
We subscribe to or endorse the following externally developed principles or initiatives:
- United Nations Global Compact;
- Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative;
- The Business Roundtable Principles of Corporate Governance; and
- International Aluminium Institute Sustainability Principles.
Our locations continue to maintain the International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 14001 (environmental management systems) certification where the certification provides business value.
All Alcoa locations and business units can seek ISO certification under the global certificate, reducing the overall cost of ISO certification. Locations that select other registrars can continue their location-specific registration if they choose. Where synergies and business value exist, business unit and location environmental management systems are to be certified through our global certificate.
We have established a target to have all location environment, health, and safety (EHS) management systems consistent and linked with the corporate EHS management system.
At the end of 2012, 74 of our locations throughout the world were certified to ISO 14001. We also had 14 locations certified to the Occupational Health and Safety Management System specification (OHSAS 18001) and one location that was SA8000 (social accountability) certified.