Teck Logo

Sustainability Strategy

At Teck, the pursuit of sustainability guides our approach to business. Over our more than 100-year history, we have learned that responsible mining and mineral development are fundamental to our long-term success. 

About Our Strategy

Teck has a long history of responsible resource development. Since our company was founded in 1913, we have been committed to practices that strengthen the sustainability of our company and the regions where we operate. In 2010, we formalized a sustainability strategy to address the greatest sustainability risks and opportunities facing our business in six focus areas: Community, Water, Our People, Biodiversity, Energy, and Materials Stewardship.

For each focus area, we established a vision, long-term goals to 2030 and short-term, five-year goals that were coordinated across Teck by corporate and site leads. Our strategy was integrated into decision-making by embedding it into our Health, Safety, Environment and Community (HSEC) Management Standards, into remuneration and into corporate, site and employee annual plans and objectives. Corporate, site and employee objective-setting and evaluation processes were also updated to reflect the broader performance objectives set out in our strategy to align priorities at all levels of the company.

Teck’s sustainability strategy is organized around six focus areas: Community, Water, Our People, Biodiversity, Energy and Climate Change, and Air. A focus area is a topic that has a material impact on our business and communities of interest, represents an area of significant opportunity and/or risk, and requires company-wide internal engagement. 

2015 marked the end of our first set of short-term goals and the first major milestone in the path to achieving our longer-term goals to 2030. At that stage, we evaluated the scope of our strategy, engaged external subject matter experts, and brought together employees from across our operations into working groups to examine the internal and external sustainability risks and opportunities and to determine actual or potential impacts on our business. Based on this analysis, there were three major changes to our sustainability strategy:

  1. Adding Air as a focus area to reflect increasing concern around potential health issues associated with exposure to particulates, combined with growing regulatory requirements and the wide breadth of relevance to our operations.
  2. Renaming the Energy focus area Energy and Climate Change to reflect our increasing focus on climate action.
  3. Withdrawing Materials Stewardship as a focus area. As our sustainability strategy is intended to be focused on the areas that represent the greatest risk and opportunities facing our business, the increasing importance of air resulted in Materials Stewardship being replaced by Air. However, our management of materials and product stewardship will continue through our Materials Stewardship Committee.

As part of this review, the focus area teams also updated the visions and 2030 goals, and created new short-term goals to 2020 with internal plans that outline the key steps for implementation.

Our senior management team and the Safety and Sustainability Committee of the Board reviewed and approved the changes to the sustainability strategy. As we move forward, we are focused on achieving our sustainability goals while managing emerging risks and embracing opportunities that increase our competitiveness and contribution to sustainable development.

Strategy at a Glance

Vision for Biodiversity

We achieve a net positive impact on biodiversity in areas affected by our activities.

2030 Goals

  1. Achieve a net positive impact on biodiversity in regions where we operate through environmental management, reclamation and conservation.

2020 Goals

  1. Implement biodiversity management plans for each of our operations.
  2. Integrate the consideration of biodiversity into the exploration, construction and closure stages of the mining life cycle.
  3. Enhance our contributions to biodiversity conservation knowledge through collaboration in research, education and conservation.

Progress Summary

  1. Based on engagements with stakeholders and improved alignment with biodiversity objectives, and refined mine site end land use objectives at Highland Valley Copper and steelmaking coal operations.
  2. Integrated biodiversity benefits strategy into the detailed closure plan developed for Coal Mountain Operations. In 2017, the environment and exploration teams will begin planning for net positive impact strategies for all closure plans.
  3. Continued research collaborations with fRI Institute, a non-profit organization focused on sustainable land and resource management, on studies with grizzly bears and harlequin ducks in areas near our Cardinal River Operations.


For more information on our work towards achieving goals in this focus area, see the Biodiversity page

Vision for Air

We continually improve air quality for the benefit of workers, communities and the environment in areas affected by our activities.

2030 Goals

  1. Partner with communities, governments and other organizations to facilitate action and the sharing of knowledge to continuously improve air quality.
  2. Contribute to measurable and meaningful improvements in areas where our activities impact air quality.

2020 Goals

  1. Improve monitoring and understanding of our releases to air and the potential impacts on people, communities and the environment.
  2. In consultation with communities, governments and other organizations, set air quality goals and establish risk-based action plans to achieve goals.
  3. Strengthen the integration of air quality considerations into early-stage project development.

Progress Summary

  1. Nominated and engaged experts for the Air focus area at each of our operations and began developing a company-wide inventory of emissions.
  2. Incorporated ambient air quality measures of PM10 and PM2.5 into data collection for the 2016 Sustainability Report.
  3. Developed a list of Air Quality Considerations for incorporation into early project planning stages; this work will continue to determine how best to integrate these considerations into projects.


For more information on our work towards achieving goals in this focus area, see the Air page 

Vision for Community

We build strong relationships and create lasting mutual benefits based on respect for what communities value.

2030 Goals 

  1. Fully integrate social risk and opportunity, human rights, and the rights of Indigenous Peoples into how we do business and our individual actions and behaviours.
  2. Create lasting mutual benefits through collaboration on social, economic, and environmental initiatives.
  3. Collaborate with Indigenous communities to consistently create lasting benefits that respect their unique interests and aspirations.

2020 Goals

  1. Refine our business policies and practices based on results of our social risk assessments, our work in human rights and developments in the rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  2. Engage with communities to identify social, economic and environmental priorities and to mutually define outcomes and measures of success.
  3. Work with Indigenous Peoples to identify and participate in initiatives to support the self-defined goals of Indigenous communities.
  4. Develop metrics for monitoring Indigenous training, employment and procurement to establish baselines and drive progress.

Progress Summary

  1. Continued improvements to risk assessment and performance reporting practices across all operations. In particular, we introduced a social incident reporting procedure, early improvements to feedback and engagement management, and further integrated human rights aspects into our Exploration Policy, supplier expectations and corporate risk register.
  2. Implemented improved community investment tracking and reporting at our operations, supporting $11.8 million in community investment. Continued to integrate Social Management and Responsibility at Teck (SMART) COI engagement and planning practices into exploration and closure planning activities. Advanced significant engagement activities in operations and key permitting activities.
  3. Completed Indigenous community of interest mapping at a corporate level.
  4. Completed company-wide review of Teck’s objectives and specific commitments regarding Indigenous employment, training and procurement to inform metrics development. 


For more information on our work towards achieving goals in this focus area, see the Community page 

Vision for Energy and Climate Change

We take action to reduce GHG emissions by improving our energy efficiency and implementing low-carbon technologies.

2030 Goals

  1. Implement projects that reduce energy consumption by 6,000 TJ.
  2. Implement projects that reduce GHG emissions by 450 kilotonnes (kt) of CO2-equivalent.
  3. Commit to 100 megawatts (MW) of alternative energy generation.

2020 Goals

  1. Implement projects that reduce energy consumption by 2,500 terajoules (TJ).
  2. Implement projects that reduce GHG emissions by 275 kilotonnes (kt) of CO2-equivalent (CO2e).
  3. Assess opportunities and identify potential project partners toward achieving our 2030 alternative energy goal.
  4. Engage with governments to advocate for effective and efficient carbon pricing.

Progress Summary

  1. Reduced 350 TJ of energy consumption as a result of projects implemented in 2016. Over 40 projects identified for consideration in 2017–2018.
  2. Reduced 17,000 tonnes in GHG emissions as a result of projects implemented in 2016, with additional projects identified for consideration in 2017–2018.
  3. Awarded the “Best Use of Renewables at a Reclaimed Mine Site” for the SunMine at the Energy and Mines Renewables and Mining Awards in 2016.
  4. Advanced advocacy efforts supporting carbon pricing through engagements with the British Columbia, Alberta and Canadian governments. Teck was also the first Canadian resource sector company to join the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition.


For more information on our work towards achieving goals in this focus area, see the Energy and Climate Change page 

Vision for Our People

We engage and develop our people, and ensure everyone goes home safe and healthy every day.

2030 Goals

  1. Eliminate serious injuries, illnesses and fatalities through effective high potential risk management.
  2. Be a diverse and inclusive workforce representative of the communities in which we operate. 
  3. Be a workplace with a shared commitment to fairness, respect, operational excellence and productivity.  

2020 Goals

  1. Reduce serious injuries and eliminate fatalities by ensuring our high-potential risks have effective controls in place and by enhancing our culture of safety.
  2. Implement improved occupational health and hygiene monitoring and exposure control to protect the longer-term health of workers.
  3. Build a diverse workforce that includes more women and Indigenous Peoples.
  4. Develop leaders who can confidently and efficiently manage safe, respectful and productive operations.

Progress Summary

  1. Implemented High-Potential Risk Control strategy, which is progressing as planned, and on track to meet work team risk assessment and effectiveness review targets. 
  2. Completed exposure risk assessments for 10 of our operations to improve our understanding of our exposure risk profile.
  3. Launched Teck’s Inclusion and Diversity Policy to support an inclusive and diverse workplace that recognizes and values difference.
  4. Continued leadership development programs with follow-up activities confirming the program’s progress. Specifically, 258 leaders completed and 114 have commenced the programs.

For more information on our work towards achieving goals in this focus area, see the Our People page

Vision for Water

We contribute to the balance between social, economic, recreational and cultural benefits of water resources, within ecologically sustainable limits.

2030 Goals

  1. Work within an informed understanding of ecological limits, regional issues, and demands on water resources to address:

Water Quality: Keep clean water clean, minimize water quality deterioration, and take care of affected water resources
Water Quantity: Minimize water use per unit of production and transition to alternative water sources
Water Stewardship: Contribute to water use planning in our areas of influence.

2020 Goals

  1. Contribute to watershed management in water-stressed regions through water use efficiency projects, use of alternative water sources, water quality improvement measures, and capacity building.
  2. Increase our understanding of groundwater and proactively assess groundwater risks.
  3. Collaborate in developing innovative water technology and practice.

Progress Summary

  1. In the Elk Valley, full operations began at Teck’s first water treatment facility, located at our Line Creek Operations.
  2. Collected and compiled groundwater information from our operations in 2016. A plan has been set for 2017 to analyze the data gaps and groundwater risks/opportunities at all operations to identify operations that need to add focus on groundwater in the coming years in order to meet our goals.
  3. Implementation of full-scale trial of saturated fill technology to help address selenium in areas of the Elk Valley. 


For more information on our work towards achieving goals in this focus area, see the Water page 

Connection with Material Topics

The 16 material topics discussed in our 2016 Sustainability Report and the focus areas in our sustainability strategy are interrelated, and each demonstrates our approach to sustainable development. However, they differ in two ways: the purpose, and the process through which the material topics and focus areas are determined.

Purpose and Process of Evaluation

Material Topics: are those that reflect our most significant economic, environmental and social impacts or that substantively influence the assessments and decisions of our stakeholders. Material topics are determined on an annual basis through our materiality assessment, guided by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The primary purpose of evaluating and selecting material topics is to determine what will be included in our sustainability disclosures for a given year. 

Focus Areas: are broader issues that have a material impact on our business and communities of interest, that represent an area of significant opportunity and/or risk and that require company-wide internal engagement. Focus areas are reviewed regularly and formally updated every five years through internal and external engagement as described above; our materiality assessment serves as an input into this process. 
Alignment and Differences

Our Stories

  • Improving Aquatic Habitat at Greenhills with the First Calcite Management System in Canada
  • Safer Sanitation: the Kivalina Biochar Reactor
  • Growing Opportunities: Twin Sisters Native Plants Nursery
  • A Supportive  Workplace for Everyone
  • Safe Haven – Protecting Vulnerable Species in Chile
  • Finding Common Ground: Collaborating with Local Communities for Quebrada Blanca Phase 2
  • A Fine Balance: Managing Water at Red Dog Operations in Northwest Alaska
  • Collaborating to Improve Community Health and Local Environment in Trail, British Columbia
  • Supporting SDG 13: Harnessing Solar Power at Quebrada Blanca Operations
  • Partnering to Maintain and Protect Outdoor Recreation Near Cardinal River Operations
  • Community Engagement in Dust Control at Carmen de Andacollo Operations
  • Promoting Use of Antimicrobial Copper in Health Care
  • Supporting SDG 8: Creating Opportunities in Alaska’s Northwest Arctic
  • Engaging Communities to Prepare for Closure of Coal Mountain Operations
  • Employee Recognition through the Excellence Awards
  • Safety Innovation at Coal Mountain Operations in support of our High-Potential Risk Control Strategy
  • Biodiversity Balance: Measuring our Net Positive Impact
  • Preparing for Extreme Weather Conditions at Quebrada Blanca
  • A Safe Distance: Improving Vehicle Safety at Highland Valley Copper Operations
  • Fort McKay Métis & Teck Sign Frontier Project Participation Agreement
  • Protecting Grizzly Bears near our Cardinal River Operations
  • Fort Chipewyan Métis & Teck Sign Frontier Project Participation Agreement
  • Reclamation Example: Reclamation Research at Fording River and Greenhills
  • Reclamation Example: Saving Soil at Greenhills
  • Reclamation Example:  From a Tailings Pond to a Trout Pond
  • Teck Logo

    Teck is a diversified resource company committed to responsible mining and mineral development with business units focused on copper, zinc, steelmaking coal and energy.