Engagement with our Communities of Interest (COIs) and other stakeholders helps us to ensure we understand the positive and negative impacts of our business, as well as the risks and opportunities associated with those impacts. It enables us to manage impacts in a responsible and effective manner, and understand the effectiveness of our management actions.
We organize our engagement with COIs into three levels: information disclosure, dialogue and participation. Guided by our HSEC Management Standards and our SMART Framework, our operations, exploration sites, projects and closed properties identify and prioritize local and regional stakeholders, undertaking broad, inclusive and regular engagement activities.
Those responsible for engagement are trained to take a people-centred approach to dialogue that is focused on genuine relationships, rather than on issues management. This helps ensure that engagement is productive and constructive, and that it directly contributes to the building and maintenance of long-term, trust-based relationships.
Our sites and activities can have significant economic, social, environmental and cultural impacts on our COIs. Impacts are understood as an influence or an effect from our company’s activities on a community’s or stakeholder’s well-being. Wherever possible, Teck seeks to anticipate and avoid any negative impacts and maximize any positive impacts.
Where negative existing or potential impacts are identified, mitigation strategies are developed and their implementation is consistently monitored. Sites prioritize any impacts, real or perceived, that are identified as being of highest significance to COIs. Regular, effective COI mapping, engagement and operational feedback mechanisms also support impact management efforts, as well as helping the company identify any vulnerabilities and potential human rights risks related to our activities.
Operations equally seek to leverage existing opportunities for positive impact, identified through impact assessments, social baselines and annual social risk assessments. This includes ongoing efforts to maximize mining activities to contribute to the well-being of host communities and countries by generating economic and social value through tax and royalty payments, local hiring and procurement, and direct community investments.
Managing Community Feedback
Teck provides direct feedback mechanisms at every operation and project and in every exploration region to specifically ensure that those who want to provide feedback — whether it’s a comment, question, concern, complaint or compliment — are able to do so easily and, if they wish, anonymously.
Feedback mechanisms may include dedicated phone lines and in-person or online platforms. Feedback received is recorded using a database system called TrackLine and categorized by topic and severity. This system allows for the tracking of feedback management performance and trends over time, to support operational continuous improvement efforts. Negative feedback items, sometimes called grievances, are specific issues of concern to community members that require a response and potential further action from the company.
Grievances that result in significant disputes3 are tracked and reported on annually. Operations are required to follow up to evaluate any negative feedback, to identify and implement appropriate improvement actions as necessary, and to communicate this information in a timely manner back to the complainant. Significant negative feedback items may be subject to further analysis or investigation. Corporate guidance, tools and the sharing of best practices supports the feedback mechanism at each operation.
Through annual opinion surveys, community stakeholders are also able to provide feedback on Teck’s activities. This information is used as a check on our efforts to improve our social management activities while continuing to address our most significant social risks.
Teck defines an incident as an “undesirable event arising from company activities that is both unplanned and uncontrolled, regardless of the severity of consequences”. Company-wide criteria have been established for sites to identify, report and evaluate the severity of consequences, with respect to community incidents. Sites are expected to follow up on all incidents identified to understand the impacts and implement corrective actions wherever possible, with more significant incidents potentially subject to root cause investigation.
3 Significant disputes are those that cannot be resolved with a reasonable time frame, that are repeated or widespread, or that represent significant financial, legal or reputational consequences for the community or company.