The success of our business is dependent on our ability to create value in a way that meets the needs of the company, our shareholders and our communities of interest (COIs) while accounting for the broader environmental, social, and economic context in which Teck operates. This requires us to understand the evolving global environment and to take an integrated approach to identifying, prioritizing and managing risks and opportunities.
Our corporate strategy is focused on exploring for, developing, acquiring and operating world-class, long-life assets in stable jurisdictions that operate through multiple commodity price cycles. We maximize productivity and efficiency at our existing operations, aim to maintain a strong balance sheet, and are nimble in recognizing and acting on opportunities.
In everything we do, from where and how we operate, Teck is led by our values of safety, sustainability, integrity, respect, excellence and courage. In particular, the pursuit of sustainability guides our approach to business. With more than 100 years of history, we recognize that our success depends on our ability to establish safe workplaces for our people, collaborative relationships with communities, and maintenance of healthy environments.
The following framework and descriptions below outline how we integrate key social, economic and environmental risks and opportunities into our business.
Figure 3: Integrated Business Sustainability Framework
1. Economic, Social and Environmental Context
We produce materials that help improve the quality of life for people around the world and that are essential to a modern, sustainable society. To do this responsibly, we focus on meeting the expectations of communities, Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders, and on managing and mitigating our impacts in a comprehensive and proactive way while also taking into account the broader environmental, social and economic context in which we operate. Through engagement with our COIs — including local residents, Indigenous Peoples and investors — and our own internal analysis of trends affecting the mining and metals industry, Teck continuously identifies areas of risk and opportunity, and evaluates which topics are material, based on their potential and actual impact on our business and COIs.
2. Integrated Risk Management
Our management objective is to work within the social, economic and environmental contexts in a way that ensures positive outcomes for our business and our COIs in the short- and long-term. We use feedback mechanisms, incident reporting and investigation, and frequent internal reporting to ensure our approach to risk management remains relevant.
Our process for integrating risk management throughout the business starts with identifying, evaluating and addressing economic, social and environmental risks and opportunities on a regular basis. The risks and impacts associated with our business are multi-faceted and require effective collaboration among departments, business units and external stakeholders.
For example, when we develop projects, we establish Social Environmental and Regulatory Approval (SERA) committees with internal experts on issues ranging from tailings management to wildlife protection. These committees engage technical project teams as well as senior management, to discuss and support development of integrated management plans that reflect our values and mitigate risks. At the other end of the mining life cycle, mine closure not only requires sound planning and engineering to reclaim lands affected by mining, but also effective engagement with local communities, businesses and Indigenous Peoples to manage the social, economic and environmental impacts that result when operations end.
While certain sustainability issues remain constant from year to year, we regularly evaluate changes in the regulatory, societal and environmental landscape to inform the continual improvement of our management approach.
3. Strategy, Management Practices, Policies and Standards
Risk management is informed by our strategies, policies, management practices and standards. Our sustainability strategy sets short-term goals to 2020 and long-term goals to 2030 in six focus areas representing the most significant sustainability issues and opportunities facing our company: Community, Water, Our People, Biodiversity, Energy and Climate Change, and Air. For more information on our strategy, management practices, policies and standards, please visit Our Commitments page.
Our focus areas are often interrelated. For example, in the Water focus area, our vision is to contribute to the balance between the social, economic, recreational and cultural benefits of water resources, within ecologically sustainable limits. This is connected to the work we do as part of the Community focus area, where we are working to build strong relationships and create lasting mutual benefits, based on respect for what communities value. As a result, the sustainability experts at our sites and corporate office engage and plan together on a regular basis to ensure our approach achieves both outcomes.
4. Business and Employee Objectives
Our approach to integrating sustainability into business is embedded company-wide through our five-year business planning and our objective-setting process, which is conducted on an annual basis. For example, risks and opportunities related to health and safety, environmental management, and relationships with Indigenous Peoples and local communities are reflected in the long-term plans for each business unit and operation.
At an employee level, business objectives inform individual objectives to ensure our efforts are aligned. Our compensation program is linked to safety and sustainability through individual, department and company-wide objectives. Hundreds of employees across our operations are engaged in implementing specific projects and practices related to our goals, and sustainability performance is integrated into their compensation program. All employees are engaged in our sustainability strategy to help us achieve our goals through internal communications and day-to-day activities.
5. Products and Activities
When successfully executed, our integrated framework allows us to deliver products and activities essential to modern society while minimizing negative impacts and maximizing benefits to both our business and our communities of interest.
As part of our commitment to responsibility throughout the value chain, Teck works to understand a broad scope of issues—ranging from the origins of the goods that we buy to the ultimate post-sale impacts of our products—through integrated risk management.
Our commitments are shaped by internal policies and procedures that outline our approach to sustainability, as well as external sustainability-related initiatives and regulatory requirements. We work to comply with all regulatory requirements, and strive to go beyond them by committing to voluntary international standards and sustainability-related initiatives.
We engage with COIs throughout the mining life cycle. Our direct engagement of COIs is organized into three broad levels: information disclosure, dialogue and participation. All such engagement is informed by the AA1000 principles of inclusivity, materiality and responsiveness.