– David Pathe, President and Chief Executive Officer
The theme of this year’s report is “Supplying a Sustainable Future.” At Sherritt, creating sustainable prosperity for all is at the core of our Purpose as a company. Sherritt’s products have important roles to play in a sustainable future. Each contributes to the development of goods and services which can provide a safe, healthy, and secure existence for all. It is impossible to go through their normal day without interacting with products that have been created with nickel, cobalt, oil, gas and electricity.
As a natural resource miner and refiner, we have a responsibility to do so in a way in which we are creating value for our shareholders and the communities in which we operate, while mitigating undue environmental and social impacts. We expect to be a responsible operator ourselves, but, more than ever, our internal and external stakeholders demand that of us too.
In 2017, there were changes both locally and globally that affect our businesses. Changing customer expectations around responsible supply chain are having knock on effects in many industries, including ours, where the expectations to demonstrate responsible operations is even greater. Alberta developed and announced new climate regulations over the course of the year. In Cuba, former President Raúl Castro announced he would not seek another term and in April 2018 we saw President Miguel Díaz-Canel assume leadership in the country. Our focus is carrying out our Strategic Priorities and staying true to “Our Purpose and Our Promises”, which includes a promise to be agile. In the face of continuous change, we aim to position ourselves to take advantage of new opportunities as they arise.
2017 Sustainability Performance
The safety of our employees and local communities is of utmost importance to me. Safety is a core value of the company and I am personally committed to ensuring that everyone goes home safely at the end of the day. I am pleased that Sherritt’s safety performance continues to be peer-leading. Over a three-year period, Sherritt’s total recordable injury frequency (TRIF) decreased by 33%, while our lost time injury frequency (LTIF) decreased by 14%. In 2017, we met our TRIF target of less than 0.28 injuries per 200,000 work hours, but did not achieve our LTIF target of less than 0.11 injuries per 200,000 work hours.
However, we are not content at simply being best in class. We set challenging targets for continuous improvement. We acknowledge much work remains to be done with respect to safety culture and fatality prevention at our sites. I believe this work is never finished.
Once again, Sherritt’s operations were subject to major storm events: Cyclone Enawo in Madagascar and Hurricane Irma in Cuba. Both storms had serious local impacts; however, our emergency preparedness resulted in limited impacts to our operations. We supported local disaster relief in the days and weeks after the storms including: supplying potable water, materials to rebuild homes, and equipment for road repairs in Cuba and meals for relief workers, repair work at local schools, hospitals and roads, and donation of flight time to fly reconnaissance during the days after the storm in Madagascar. In both cases, donations were made to United Nations agencies conducting relief activities on the ground.
There are many things within our control as a company, but the occurrence of storms is not one of them. We can, however, control how we prepare and respond to them and I am very proud of the work Sherritt has done and continues to do on this front.
Throughout the year, we did not experience any high-severity environmental incidents. Our greenhouse gas emissions dropped by 4% over the previous year, thanks in large part due to the investment that was made at Moa for a new acid plant, which, in addition to making the operation more efficient and self-sufficient, also reduced the need to burn additional fossil fuels.
During the year, through community investment, taxes and royalties, local procurement and wages, we contributed more than $840 million in economic benefits to host communities and countries in 2017. Sherritt and its joint-venture employees reported over 6,000 volunteer hours in our local communities.
In 2017, Sherritt formally joined the Mining Association of Canada and as such, is committed to implementing the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) program. We have built our management system based on the globally recognized program for a number of years, but this represents one more step in holding ourselves accountable to a level of performance in sustainability that is quickly becoming the expectation of our stakeholders.
Continuing our journey to being a more diverse and inclusive workforce, Sherritt joined Catalyst in 2017 and signed the Catalyst Accord 2022. We are proudly supporting the inaugural International Women in Resources Mentorship Programme and remain committed to the 30% Club of Canada. I personally believe that an inclusive and diverse organization is a strong organization and we aim to be an industry leader on this front.
Today & Looking Ahead
2018 sustainability priorities for Sherritt include:
- Continuing our journey to zero harm through building a strong safety culture and implementing best-practice standards;
- Beginning to implement our five-year enterprise-wide sustainability goals;
- Implementing MAC’s Towards Sustainable Mining initiative at our divisions and continuing to develop our own Sustainability Framework; and
- Continuing to implement our diversity and inclusion plan globally.
David V. Pathe
President and Chief Executive Officer
Sherritt International Corporation
For commentary from David Pathe on Sherritt’s 2017 financial and operational performance, please read his annual letter to shareholders.
Our 2017 Sustainability Report – which covers the period between January 1 and December 31, 2017 – describes Sherritt’s sustainability approach and performance for the year. This report was prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative’s Standards (Core Option), which is widely considered industry best practice. As required by GRI, Sherritt has notified GRI of the use of the standards and made them aware of the publication of this report.