Ian W. Delaney’s message to stakeholders came from the Sherritt International Corporation 2009 Corporate Social Responsibility Report
In 2009, Sherritt continued to maintain an enviable record in successfully managing the environmental, health and safety aspects of its business. We recognize that as a diversified natural resource company, our business by its very nature impacts both the natural and social environments of the countries and communities in which we operate.
The nature of our business also demands that we enter into and honour many long-term commitments in multiple jurisdictions in order to cultivate and maintain the social license we must rely upon to successfully conduct business over the long term. We work closely with governments, communities and many other stakeholders on an ongoing basis to demonstrate our commitment to social responsibility. We also demonstrate this long-term commitment through donations and other forms of community investment as well as active engagement of employees in many local initiatives.
Sherritt has always been a safe place to work. We regard this fact not only as being the ethical way to operate, but also as an integral part of operating efficiency. Operating efficiency means doing things right and that includes doing them safely. Cutting corners in environmental, health and safety matters is bad business. It can lead to human loss, reputational loss and ultimately financial loss. We best serve our investors and other stakeholders by conscientiously managing a safe workplace and maintaining our stewardship of the environment.
As an example of our approach to safety, Sherritt aims for zero lost time injuries. In 2009 we came very close to that goal, having achieved results that are among the best in the industry. In practical terms, fewer than one employee in a thousand lost a day of work last year due to an on-the job injury. Each year we strive anew for an injury-free result. All our business Divisions treat safety as a high priority, and each applies the high safety standards and practices appropriate to its industry sector. I commend all of them for their successful efforts and would like to highlight several milestones.
The Genesee coal mine received the John T. Ryan Trophy for its outstanding safety record during 2009, marking the tenth time that Genesee has either shared this award or won it individually since 1995. The Obed Mountain, Paintearth, Poplar River, Boundary Dam, Bienfait and Sheerness coal mines also all achieved significant safety milestones in 2009. In our Metals business, the Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta and Moa, Cuba sites both achieved milestones of three million man hours worked without a lost time injury.
Sherritt also has an excellent record in the areas of environmental compliance and sustainability. As Canada’s largest thermal coal company we move more earth per year than any other company in this country. When we are finished, we reclaim that land to the state that is as good as or better than we first found it. As at the end of December 2009, we have reclaimed about three quarters of the land disturbed over the life of the coal operations.
At the Ambatovy Project, currently being undertaken by Sherritt and its partners in Madagascar, environmental issues are being managed under stringent internationally recognized standards, including the International Finance Corporation’s Environmental Performance Standards, the Equator Principles, the IUCN Translocation Guidelines and the ICMM Good Practice Guidelines for Mining and Biodiversity. In keeping with these standards, the Ambatovy Project is one of the few mining projects today that is audited for environmental compliance by an independent third party that reports to the Project’s
lenders. These activities take place in addition to our own extensive internal monitoring for compliance as well as monitoring by the Government of Madagascar for compliance with its environmental laws and regulations.
As our CSR reporting continues to evolve, we will continue to work hard to ensure that Sherritt remains a safe place to work and that it continues to honour its commitments to sustainability and good community relations.
Approach to CSR and Governance
Sherritt maintains a long-term commitment to responsible practice in all its operations. Environmental, community, workforce and financial considerations are integrated in decision-making so that actions facilitate and build upon positive, lasting relationships with our stakeholders. This commitment to responsibility remains at the core of Sherritt’s operating strategies and actions.
The Corporation’s strong focus on sustainability is one reason Sherritt has been recognized four years in a row by Corporate Knights magazine as one of the Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada.