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Human Rights

Anticipating and preventing impacts on the human rights of the people foreseeably touched by our activities, particularly people in our supply chain and living near our operations.

GRI Indicators
412-103, 412-1

Human Rights

There is a growing amount of national and regional legislation requiring corporations to disclose that they identify, prevent and mitigate impacts on human rights, and indicate how they address potential impacts on human rights. These impacts can arise from their business operations and, in certain cases, relationships with suppliers.15 As the regulatory landscape evolves, it is anticipated that more transparency in reporting and clearly defined indictors to measure due diligence on human rights will continue to develop.

In recent years, ensuring that human rights are not being impacted has been a significant objective for the mining sector and a key aspect of sustainable development. Organizations such as the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) are fully supportive of the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGP) on Human Rights, and were deeply involved in the consultations that led to their development. 

While Teck operates in jurisdictions that are characterized by generally stable and positive political and economic conditions, we recognize that the potential remains for our activities to impact human rights. We are committed to improving systems for identifying potential human rights issues/risks and to managing and resolving these issues/risks and any human rights-related incidents, impacts and grievances. 

15 Putting people first: progress & priorities in corporate respect for human rights. World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). Issues Brief. 2018. 

Our Approach to Human Rights

The Board of Directors, through its Safety and Sustainability Committee, broadly oversees health, safety, environment and community policies, systems, performance and auditing, including implementation of our Health, Safety, Environment and Community (HSEC) Management Standards. 

The following senior leaders are involved in implementing the management of human rights:

  • The Senior Vice President, Sustainability and External Affairs reports directly to our CEO and is responsible for sustainability, health and safety, environment, community, and Indigenous affairs

  • The Vice President, Community and Government Relations leads activities related to social management and responsibility, community engagement and community investment, and Indigenous affairs

Teck has an internal Human Rights Working Group (HRWG) to align and focus efforts across the organization in support of Teck’s Human Rights Policy. Members of HRWG work together to enhance Teck’s human rights management and reporting, to increase awareness and internal alignment on human rights, and to strengthen the network of human rights practitioners at Teck. 

Table 1: Human Rights Working Group Members


Team at Teck

Member of HRWG

Hiring and training security personnel and protecting assets

Risk, Security and Insurance

Director, Risk, Security & Loss Control

Ensuring everyone goes home safe and healthy every day 

Health and Safety

Director, Health and Safety

Impacting and managing water 


Director, Permitting and Closure

Supporting employees, working with unions

Human Resources

HR Business Partner, Talent Management

Procuring goods/services

Legal & Operating Excellence

Corporate Counsel

Building major projects

Project Development Group

Director, Project Services

Ethics and anti-corruption programming 

Legal Counsel

Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary, Spokane

Working with communities

Community and Government Relations

Director, Social Management and Responsibility

Working with Indigenous Peoples

Corporate Counsel

Working with communities and Indigenous Peoples

Director, Social Management and Responsibility, Chile

Supporting employees, working with unions

Human Resources

Director, Human Resources, Chile

Internal communication

Corporate Affairs

Manager, Internal Communications

Our Human Rights Policy outlines our commitment to respecting the rights of our employees, the communities in which we operate and others affected by our activities. Table 2 below provides additional details on Teck policies that addresses particular human rights components.

Table 2: Teck Policies Relevant to Human Rights Issues

Teck Policy

Human Right Covered within Policy

Health and Safety Policy

Right to Safe Working Conditions, Right to Health

Indigenous Peoples Policy

Right to Land and Livelihood

Water Policy

Right to Water, Right to Health

Human Rights Policy

Right to access remedy, Right to health, Right to life

Teck’s Expectations for Suppliers and Contractors

Right to safe working conditions, Right to work

Charter of Corporate Responsibility and Code of Sustainable Conduct

Right to safe working conditions, Right to work, Right to freedom from child labour

Code of Ethics

Right to safe working conditions, Right to freedom from discrimination

Teck works with numerous local, national and international organizations and programs to support human rights.

Teck has adopted the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework as a means to progressively identify and remedy human rights impacts as part of our work and report upon those activities. Underscoring these principles is the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which identifies a duty of the state to protect human rights but equally a duty of business to respect those rights, and for both to ensure there is effective access to remedy.

Through our Social Management and Responsibility at Teck (SMART) Framework, we take a rights-based approach to relationships with communities and individuals, and work to ensure that all of Teck’s activities are evaluated based on actual and potential impacts. Protecting rights remains a core objective across Teck’s operations and we continue to evolve our approach to meet changing needs. Further information is available in Teck’s Approach to Relationships with Communities document.

In implementing our framework, Teck undertakes activities under the three pillars outlined in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Human Rights Management Framework 
Improving Policy and Governance 

Teck assesses enterprise-level human rights risks on an ongoing basis and implements policy and practice improvements when possible. Teck’s Board of Directors and senior management team regularly consider human rights impacts and risks associated with ongoing activities and material incidents.

We play an active role in working with our industry sector partners such as the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) and the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) in identifying and sharing best practices in human rights. We also work with established human rights specialist groups, such as Business for Social Responsibility and Shift, to evaluate our strategies and support improvement in human rights management.

Responding to Negative Feedback and Incidents 

All operations have implemented site-based feedback mechanisms, which allow for the identification of grievances with human rights relevancy. Operations are required to follow up to determine cause, implement appropriate improvement actions, and communicate this information in a timely manner back to the complainant. 

See Our Approach to Relationships with Communities for more information on feedback mechanisms.

Embedding Human Rights Due Diligence 

We conduct ongoing due diligence to identify, prevent, mitigate and remedy any adverse human rights impacts through our regular social risk assessments. Identified risks are integrated into management plans and activities as outlined in our Social Management and Responsibility at Teck (SMART) toolkit. Significant risks related to human rights are acted upon and responses, communicating how issues are being addressed, are tracked. 

In alignment with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, we determine and report on our salient human rights issues. These are human rights that the company’s activities have the greatest potential to positively or negatively impact and are reported each year in our sustainability report.

Security Forces

We have third-party security personnel at some of our sites, including Trail, Antamina, Carmen de Andacollo and Quebrada Blanca. 
Where we have security personnel, contracts require adherence to the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights. Training for security personnel is completed annually, and is overseen on a regular basis by Teck's Risk Group. Training also occurs if and when we change security companies at our operations.


Although Teck’s requirement for resettlement has been limited to date, we recognize that it is a complex, personal and emotional process, requiring thoughtful consideration and management. When it is necessary, Teck conducts resettlements in compliance with accepted international standards, including World Bank Operational Policy 4.12 and the International Financial Corporation Performance Standard 5. Teck’s SMART Framework also includes a specific set of guidelines for resettlement planning that include the development of a socio-economic baseline and impact assessment, planning a census survey and an asset inventory, and providing guidance on engaging with those people affected by the project. 

Artisanal and Small-Scale Miners 

We regularly monitor our sites for the potential presence of artisanal or small-scale miners on or adjacent to our operations, particularly in Chile. Should these instances occur, our approach focuses on the improvement of health, safety and the environment as well as the community impacts of small-scale mining extraction. These efforts help strengthen the livelihoods of these miners by providing guidance on occupational safety and best practices, in collaboration with the government. Such activities also seek to establish agreements between the small-scale miners and the government on security, mining and rehabilitation.

Human Rights Management at Operations

Teck undertakes specific multidisciplinary human rights impact assessments every two years with our operations to identify local issues of potential human rights risk. Teck has further integrated the consideration of human rights into our ongoing assessments of social risk and social management plans as part of our SMART Framework. Teck continues to focus corporate policy, guidance and best practice development on those human rights issues most salient to the company.

Human Rights Management During Exploration

Prior to entering a country to conduct exploration activities, we assess a range of social risks associated with operating in each jurisdiction, including those relating to: 

  • National security, including terrorism, social unrest, border conflict, religious conflict and ethnic conflict
  • Personal security, including kidnapping, extortion, hijacking and robbery
  • Personal health, including access to safe water, pollution levels, sanitation and disease

Based on the results of these assessments, we decide whether it is appropriate for us to pursue exploration activities in a given location. 

Human Rights Management at Projects 

Our approval process for new projects and major investments integrates social risk considerations, including risks to human rights, from the start. As a result, social and human rights issues are taken into consideration during project design, evaluation and decision-making. 

Human Rights Management in Joint Ventures 

We ensure that human rights impacts are identified and addressed in collaboration with our joint venture partners. Teck has several joint venture partners, including, for example, Goldcorp. Teck partners with Goldcorp on NuevaUnión, a joint venture in the Atacama Region of Chile that combines the former El Morro and Relincho projects. Teck and Goldcorp are committed to ensuring that the project undertakes meaningful engagement with communities to better understand current human rights conditions and the risks and opportunities associated with human rights in the region.

As a responsible company operating globally, we are committed to respecting and observing all human rights, as articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the ILO Core Conventions.

We are committed to engaging with our communities of interest on our human rights impacts through our SMART Framework and other activities, and to reporting on our performance.

Table 3: Human Rights Audits



Items Audited


Mining Association of Canada: Towards Sustainable Mining audit

Community of Interest (COI) identification

Effective COI engagement and dialogue

COI response mechanism



International Council on Mining and Metals: Sustainability Report assurance

Total number of significant disputes relating to land use and the customary rights of local communities and Indigenous Peoples

Principle 3: Respect human rights and the interests, cultures, customs and values of employees and communities affected by our activities

Following each of these audits, applicable management teams use the results to inform future actions and Teck’s five-year planning process. 

Our Performance in Human Rights in 2018

Embedding Human Rights

Teck is focused on ensuring that human rights perspectives are integrated into our broader social management practices. We believe that awareness and active management of human rights-relevant issues should be aligned with our broader approaches to managing social performance across the business. We work to ensure Teck’s Human Rights Policy is recognized and applied across the company through promotion of our policy, integration with other policies, and integration into communication and training for employees. 

In 2018, we participated in advancing the International Council on Mining and Metals development initiatives targeting improved human rights practice, specifically on the following topics: security and human rights, community support and economic opportunities for communities. 


Training efforts to increase human rights awareness involved senior leaders at operations as part of the human rights assessment process, and senior leaders at Teck’s head office in Vancouver as part of the human rights saliency review process, as shown in Table 30.

Salient Human Rights Issues

We proactively identify areas of highest human rights risk so we can prevent adverse impacts from occurring. This year, we undertook human rights assessments at every operation with more than five years of anticipated mine life. The reviews were conducted through a detailed interview with site General Managers and Superintendents. The results of the human rights risk assessments inform Teck’s overall salient human rights issues and also identify potential risk areas to integrate into ongoing social risk assessments and management activities at individual sites. We maintain a company-wide plan to mitigate human rights risk, which is articulated in our Health, Safety, Environment and Community Management Standards and other relevant company policies and guidance, including rights-related Social Management and Responsibility at Teck (SMART) tools. A selection of actions taken in 2018 in response to these risks are described in Table 29. We review human rights practices and performance on an annual basis and conduct assessments of human rights management at our sites on a biennial basis. 

As part of the UNGP, we determine and report on our most significant or salient human rights issues. A company’s salient human rights issues are those human rights that are most at risk of being impacted as a result of the company’s activities or business relationships. In 2018, we undertook a corporate saliency review workshop with members of our Human Rights Working Group and additional subject matter experts from sites and corporate offices. The purpose of the workshop was to confirm our current analysis of human rights issues that are salient to Teck. During this workshop, no changes to our current list of salient issues were identified. 

Table 36: Human Rights Issues that are Salient to Teck(1)

Salient Issues Category

Associated Rights

Examples of Mitigation Actions in 2018


Freedom of association, assembly and collective bargaining(2)
Right to safe and healthy working conditions(3)
Right to not be subjected to slavery, servitude or forced labour (specific to supply chains)(4)
Right to work(5)
Right to non-discrimination(6)

Quebrada Blanca Operations signed new collective bargaining agreements with two unions. 

All operations continued implementing Courageous Safety Leadership 4 training to embed a culture of safety with employees and advanced our Occupational Health and Hygiene strategy, which requires all operations to implement Exposure Reduction Plans. There was also an ongoing focus on leadership development, safety training, new-hire training, cross-training, and Respectful Workplace training.


Right to clean water and sanitation(7)
Right to health(8)

All of our sites continued to implement environmental management plans. For example, Highland Valley Copper Operations continued implementation of water quality and dust management plans and Carmen de Andacollo Operations continued implementation of blasting and dust management plans to minimize environmental and community impacts, and to meet government regulatory requirements.

Land and Livelihoods

Right to land(9)
Right to work(10)
Right to take part in cultural life(8)

At our steelmaking coal operations in the Elk Valley, we continued implementation of our Impact Management and Benefit Agreement, which is inclusive of employment and procurement, environment and land stewardship, and cultural resource management. As part of the Baldy Ridge Extension, operations partnered in the establishment of the Sparwood Advisory Committee to independently identify opportunities to improve community livability.

Red Dog Operations supported and participated in the Subsistence Committee with community representatives to promote and advance cultural subsistence-based activities in the region.

Personal Security

Right not to be subjected to torture and the right to liberty and security of person(11)
Freedom of association and right to protest, speech and expression(11)

Carmen de Andacollo and Quebrada Blanca operations continued existing or established new working tables with local communities to identify and address local impacts, manage emergent issues, and identify opportunities for local development and community investment.

(1) In addition to the protection of all human rights, Indigenous Peoples also hold a unique set of group rights called Indigenous rights. 
(2) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), International Labour Organization Core Conventions (ILO).
(9) UDHR (privacy and property), ICCPR (no forced eviction), ICESCR (no forced eviction). (10) UDHR, ICESCR. (11) ICCPR.


Resolving Human Rights-Related Feedback and Incidents

A consistent and rigorous approach to feedback and grievances is not only fundamental to ensure strong social management overall, but also ensures that any issues with actual or potential human rights implications are identified and acted upon. If issues or new risks are identified, they are brought to the attention of senior leadership through our HSEC Risk Management Committee and Teck’s Safety and Sustainability Committee of the Board.

In 2018, we worked to ensure appropriate management and remedy of negative feedback and significant incidents, through continual improvement of our feedback mechanisms and the reporting and management of incidents. This included a specific focus on improving tracking and reporting of grievances through reporting technologies and practices. 


Outlook for Human Rights

In 2019, we will remain committed to respecting and observing human rights and to aligning our practices with the UNGP. We will continue to drive governance, policy and reporting through continued identification of human rights issues and risks, with a specific focus on expanding awareness training for employees and senior management. We will also focus on continual improvement of our feedback and incident management practices, including a specific examination of improving the effectiveness of grievance mechanisms consistent with criteria established by the UNGP.


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