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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

Sustainability is embedded in our operational practices. Although there were many examples of environmental stewardship, health and safety initiatives, and community engagement throughout our history, in 2009 we established a cross-functional group to develop a coordinated approach to sustainability, culminating in the launch of our sustainability strategy in 2011. 

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. 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 focus and engagement.

Our strategy is integrated into decision-making by embedding it into management standards, into remuneration and into corporate, site and employee annual plans and objectives. Corporate, site and employee objective-setting and evaluation processes are updated to reflect the broader performance objectives set out in our strategy to align priorities at all levels of the company.

Throughout the year, our senior management team and the Safety and Sustainability Committee of the Board review performance against our sustainability strategy and approve future actions. 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. Each of our operations continued to implement their biodiversity management plans.
  2. We continued working on integrating biodiversity into the exploration stage, with a focus on the collection of baseline ecosystem data and reclamation of exploration disturbances (e.g., roads and drill sites). A new Teck framework for closure plans was developed and used in developing a detailed closure plan for our Coal Mountain Operations. This closure plan fully includes biodiversity considerations during the active closure and post-closure stages, and provides a template for completing future detailed closure plans at Teck.
  3. Continued to support external organizations such as the Vancouver Aquarium, whose research and conservation activities include breeding and release programs for two species of frogs whose populations are at risk in British Columbia.


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. Improvements to ambient air quality monitoring programs at Elkview and Cardinal River operations is underway.
  2. Improved dust management at Carmen de Andacollo Operations and advanced construction of a new acid plant at Trail Operations.
  3. A list of air quality considerations and mitigation options, such as stockpile covers and minimizing wind erosion, has been developed for incorporation into early project planning stages.


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. Implemented integrated social risk assessment practices across all operations. Advanced human rights due diligence through updates to feedback and engagement management systems. Implemented a community incident reporting framework and piloted a new human rights training program in Chile.
  2. Revised SMART framework to better integrate practices in feedback management, community investment and closure planning. Updated Teck’s Community Investment Program to enhance financial and program performance. Conducted community perception surveys across all operations to collect information on what matters most to communities.
  3. Continued negotiation of additional impact benefit agreements with Indigenous Peoples, particularly for the Frontier and QB2 projects.
  4. Completed a summary of commitments in major impact benefit agreements related to Indigenous employment, training and procurement for incorporation into our internal data tracking framework.
  5. Advanced Indigenous and human rights through updates to feedback and engagement management systems. Piloted Indigenous rights training program at operations in Chile.


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 2,132 TJ of energy consumption since 2011 baseline. 
  2. Met the goal early and reduced 64,000 tonnes in GHG emissions as a result of projects implemented in 2017. Reduced 281,000 tonnes in GHG emissions since 2011 baseline. 
  3. Completed a desktop assessment of five renewable energy technology opportunities for 31 Teck properties, including select legacy properties, operations and projects. 
  4. Teck’s Senior Vice President of Sustainability and External Affairs named co-chair of the B.C. Climate Solutions and Clean Growth Advisory Council.


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. All operations met or exceeded the requirement to complete four Work Team Risk Assessments and six Effectiveness Reviews. More than 6,000 employees and contractors attended Teck’s Courageous Safety Leadership 4 program in 2017. All operations met the target to complete the development of exposure reduction plans before the end of 2017.
  2. Completed the development of an occupational hygiene sampling training program and commenced implementation with a pilot session at our North American operations.
  3. The percentage of permanent female employees hired was 29% in 2017, and starting in July 2017, we began tracking the number of applicants to Teck who self-identify as Indigenous.
  4. This year, more than 270 employees participated in our Leading for the Future program, and more than 6,000 participated in our Courageous Safety Leadership 4 program.


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. Conducted ongoing implementation of the Elk Valley Water Quality Plan. Quebrada Blanca and Carmen de Andacollo operations completed the identification and prioritization of water use efficiency projects and have initiated implementation.
  2. Groundwater information from all operations was analyzed. Highland Valley Copper, Carmen de Andacollo and Red Dog operations were identified for the development of a site-wide groundwater model; activities to support modelling began in 2017. 
  3. Full-scale trial of saturated rock fill technology underway to help understand water treatment alternatives to address water quality issues in the Elk Valley. 


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

Our Stories

  • UN Women and Teck Extend Partnership to Empower Indigenous Women
  • Métis Nation of Alberta, Region One, Five Métis Locals and Teck  Sign Frontier Project Agreements
  • Putting Bacteria to Work: Addressing Historical Impacts at Our Trail Operations
  • SDG 13 Spotlight: Rethinking Energy and Emission Reductions at Highland Valley Copper Operations
  • SDG 8 Spotlight: Tracking the Implementation of Agreements at Highland Valley Copper Operations
  • Preparing for Closure of Coal Mountain Operations
  • Air Quality and Dust Management at our Elk Valley Operations
  • SDG 5 Spotlight: Advancing the Diversity Dialogue with Gender Intelligence Training
  • Standardizing Our Aviation Safety Expectations
  • Partnering to Save Lives through the Zinc Alliance for Child Health
  • Advancing the Diversity Dialogue
  • We Are… The Women of Teck
  • Teck Cheers on India Sherret
  • Improving Aquatic Habitat at Greenhills with the First Calcite Management System in Canada
  • 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
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    Teck is a diversified resource company committed to responsible mining and mineral development with business units focused on copper, zinc, steelmaking coal and energy.