Teck is Canada’s largest diversified resource company, committed to responsible mining and mineral development with major business units focused on copper, steelmaking coal, zinc and energy.
In 2011, the company launched its Sustainability Strategy, including a vision and long- and short-term goals in six key focus areas, one of them being ecosystems and biodiversity.
As part of Teck’s commitment to responsible mining and mineral development, the company supports efforts to strengthen governance by improving transparency and accountability and supports the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). In addition, Teck is a member of the International Council on Mining & Metals (ICMM) and is committed to implementing the ICMM Sustainable Development Framework.
As part of its Sustainability Strategy, Teck has identified biodiversity and the protection of ecosystems as one of its key focus areas. Teck is committed to achieving a net positive impact on biodiversity by maintaining landscapes and ecosystems that lead to viable long-term and diverse land uses.
Overview of the initiative
Teck has developed an internal Biodiversity Guidance Manual which provides practical tools to identify and address key biodiversity concerns at each stage of the mining life cycle.
Reclamation and closure of mines is a major issue for Teck. The company approach to closure is to reclaim mine sites progressively during operations and to establish and follow closure plans to ensure long-term environmental protection. As part of this strategy, the company is committed to developing and maintaining strong relationships with conservation organisations in order to protect biodiversity and conserve nature for future generations.
Teck has won a number of industry and government awards for its innovative approaches to reclamation. Its Elkview mine won a 2010 award for noted excellence in coal mining reclamation from the BC Technical & Research Committee on Reclamation (TRCR). Elkview’s approach to reclamation is consistent with Teck’s overall vision of biodiversity conservation, featuring specific activities such as: development of diverse wildlife habitats, annual winter wildlife surveys, documentation of wildlife using trail cameras, aerial seeding of high wall benches, and the development of a wildlife tracking database to monitor rare and/or unusual wildlife sightings.
Other projects led by Teck show its commitment to best practices. The Lennard Shelf Pillara Mine in Western Australia was closed in 2008 and by October 2010 over 90% of the reclamation had been completed, with particular attention given to the prevention of soil erosion. Also, Sphinx Lake, a mined pit, has been reclaimed into a thriving trout habitat at Teck’s Cardinal River Operations.
Exploration and mining activities are considered critical to the global economy but they also have significant effects on the associated ecosystems, biodiversity and the community. Teck explores and operates in many regions including tropical and arctic areas, boreal forest and deserts, so limiting the environmental impacts of its operations and reporting its activities to its communities of interest are essential to building trust and maintaining a sustainable business.
Why did Article 13 select this initiative?
As per the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) third generation (G3) guidelines, including the Mining and Metals sector supplement, Teck reports at the A+ level. These guidelines call for detailed reporting which requires improved transparency and employee involvement when collecting the data from various services.
As a member of the International Council on Mining & Metals (ICMM), Teck incorporates elements from that framework which help bring best practices into its sustainability strategy.
© Article 13 – CSR Case Study Series, April 2012
Do you have any comments on this profile? Would you like your organisation to be profiled? For further information, please contact Article 13 on 020 8840 4450 or email@example.com.
Other sustainability case studies: