Stakeholder Engagement & Material Issues
Our engagement with stakeholders is guided by the Alcoa Community Framework, which provides the tools necessary to identify our key stakeholders at the local and regional levels and develop a sustainable relationship with them.
Our major stakeholders in Latin America and the Caribbean are customers, suppliers, employees, academia, media, non-governmental organizations, and government officials. Our engagement with them includes stakeholder dialogue sessions and participation on community advisory boards, including the Sustainable Juruti Council and Sustainable Poços Association in Brazil; the Manchester Parish Council and the Mines/Community Complaints Review Committee in Jamaica; and the Osembo Plantation Community Board in Suriname. Periodically, we present our sustainability strategy to various stakeholder groups to keep them informed of our activities and solicit their feedback on our performance.
We also engage with stakeholders impacted by a specific issue. In Suriname, for example, we have had ongoing dialogue with tribal councils, plantation owners, government officials, and others on plans to rehabilitate closed mining sites so they facilitate viable and sustainable future land use. The result of this engagement is an integrated closure planning framework that we are piloting at three sites.
2013 Major Stakeholder Issues
||The local community requested an explanation of the impacts of the bauxite mine.
||We held a meeting with the Sustainable Juruti Council, where we presented the plant’s social and environmental initiatives and financial contributions (federal, state, and municipality).
|Poços de Caldas, Brazil
||A broadcast media outlet reported that we use eucalyptus in the rehabilitation of mined areas.
||The broadcast journalist was invited to participate in the Alcoa Opens Its Doors to the Community program to better understand the rehabilitation work done at the location. Where native vegetation was present before mining operations, rehabilitation is done with native vegetation only. No eucalyptus is used in the process.
|Poços de Caldas, Brazil
||The location was idling a smelter potline in August 2013 that would decrease production by 30%.
||Our senior management for the Latin American region and the plant manager met with the mayor of Poços de Caldas to communicate the decision in advance of the public announcement.
|Poços de Caldas, Brazil
||Members of the community and the city’s Planning and Environmental Board mistakenly believed the location’s environmental park was no longer operational.
||Plant representatives met with various stakeholders, including government agencies, universities, and NGOs, to clarify that the park remained operational and to solicit suggestions for a plan to increase the community’s participation in park activities. Partnerships have been established with the Botanical Garden, Sustainable Poços Association, the board of education, and Unifal Federal University.
|São Luís, Brazil
||The location was idling a smelter potline in August 2013.
||The plant manager met with the mayor of São Luís and the president of the Commercial Association of Maranhão and Industrial Federation of Maranhão (Fiema) to communicate the decision in advance of the public announcement.
||Residents complained that the graves of their family members reinterred in the New Bowens Cemetery are in disrepair. The graves were moved from Old Bowens Cemetery to facilitate the construction of residue storage areas.
||Although the parish council has full responsibility for the cemetery, Jamalco offered to assist with making the necessary repairs and was awaiting the council’s response at the end of 2013.
|Clarendon and Manchester, Jamaica
||There was an issue with outstanding land titles for people who were resettled after the purchase of their land for mining.
||Jamalco has been working with the relevant authorities to deliver outstanding land titles.
- Phases I and II of the New Bowens subdivisions were fully approved, and title transfer to residents continued during 2013. Phase III of New Bowens was fully approved in November 2013, and splinter title application is in progress.
- Drainage issues for the Denbigh Crawle and McGilchrist Palms subdivisions are being addressed, after which the organization will finalize conditions for approval with the parish council.
- The Manchester Parish Council has approved subdivision development for Blenheim. Construction of infrastructure works is expected to start soon.
- Jamalco is awaiting approval for the Bethel Isles subdivision.
|Harmons and Manchester, Jamaica
||Residents expressed concern that the mining operation has not fulfilled a commitment made more than 10 years ago to supply the community with piped water.
||The original solution proposed by Jamalco posed an unacceptable risk because the route initially identified 10 years ago was not based on a detailed engineering solution. As part of a recent study, the consulting resources identified gaps in the initial solution strategy and recommended alternative approaches to delivering the water supply solution to the community. The original design would have resulted in significant losses on pumping capacity, high energy costs to support multiple re-lift stations, the risk of damage to the pipeline, and losses to illegal connections.
Preliminary discussions were held with the local water authority on preferred options. Design work for the new solution was completed in the first quarter of 2014, and construction should begin by the fourth quarter of 2014 pending financial clearance.
||The mining operations received complaints from nearby communities about dust and noise.
||Our Jamalco operations conducted a thorough investigation of the complaints. This included visiting the homes of those citizens who lodged a complaint and placing dust and noise monitors to provide an objective assessment. In situations where levels were excessive, Jamalco took mitigation steps and provided compensation when appropriate.
Periodic meetings of the Mines/Community Complaints Review Committee ensure each complaint is quickly addressed and follow-up actions are taken.
||Community members of Plantation Osembo briefly blocked the haul road at Onoribo to protest against sand transported from the Lelydorp 1 mines without their permission or knowledge.
||Our Suralco operations engaged with the Osembo Plantation Board to clarify that the sand was from the Lelydorp 1 Mines and that permits were not given by Suralco but by the Surinamese government.
In our Brazilian operations, we use a materiality matrix to define and prioritize our material sustainability issues. This tool identifies the most relevant themes based on cross-referencing the perceptions of employees, Alcoa’s vision, and the perceptions of external stakeholders. That input is reflected in the following seven material issues and two transversal issues that drive our sustainability approach in Brazil.
The material issues for our operations in Jamaica and Suriname are informed through stakeholder feedback and Alcoa’s strategic sustainability targets. Both focus on resource utilization, the environment, processes and products, the workplace, and communities. They also address the resettlement of people whose land has been acquired for mining and the procurement of land titles for those who have been relocated.