– Leon Binedell, President and CEO
I am pleased to introduce Sherritt’s 2020 Sustainability Report, which covers our performance and activities for an unprecedented year during which we saw significant changes around the world due to the global COVID-19 pandemic and many other societal challenges.
The rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus and the changes it brought to our daily lives significantly impacted individuals, families, and companies. I am proud of the rapid and flexible response implemented by Sherritt, to adapt our business and protect and support our employees and local communities. The health and safety of our employees and host communities has always been our top priority. I am proud at how we protected the health of employees by pivoting to essential work at our operations and offices, improving flexible work policies, and expanding mental health offerings during the COVID-19 lockdowns. We did all this while maintaining safe and steady production.
Among the many challenges, we have worked to build a strong foundation for the future, launching our net-zero greenhouse gas emission target in 2020 to help us to further drive long-term value and make a positive contribution to society. We also set some near-term targets as milestones towards the longer term goals. We started implementing renewable energy initiatives and started to identify further opportunities to decarbonize our operations and develop innovative technologies that enable the mining and oil industries to reduce their carbon footprint and environmental impact.
We have developed a climate plan that includes risk and opportunity assessments, adaptation measures, measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and innovation elements. I am also pleased to announce that in 2020 we achieved an overall decrease of 12% in Scope 1 GHG emissions compared to 2019, mainly due to a 24% decrease in emissions at our Oil & Gas and Power operations.
In keeping with our climate commitments, in 2020 we partnered with Cowater, Global Affairs Canada and the Government of Cuba to co-fund a multi-year project to install renewable energy solar panels while empowering women's leadership and participation in Cuba's renewable energy sector. Overall in 2020 we generated more than CAD$500 million in economic benefits for host communities and countries.
We are a world leader in the responsible production and supply of nickel and cobalt for today’s needs and the low-carbon future. In 2020 we completed a baseline independent Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)-aligned audit of our responsible production and supply policies and due diligence management systems. This resulting action plan will only strengthen our ability to demonstrate to customers, investors, and other stakeholders that our minerals are ethically produced. Year-over-year we also improved conformance with the OECD 5-Step Framework for Responsible Supply Chains.
Our stakeholders are increasingly requesting companies to align their disclosures to various Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) disclosure frameworks, and we have launched efforts to align our sustainability disclosures with increasingly recognized frameworks such as Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), and the CDP.
Although Sherritt did not receive a Church of England tailings disclosure request, this is the second year we disclose information on our tailings management facilities that aligns with the Church of England recommendations.
I am very pleased with the traction that our diversity and inclusion initiatives have gained. We have implemented a number of events, campaigns, training sessions, and employee resource groups to help us achieve our goals of increasing women in the workforce to 36% by 2030. We condemn any form of racism or discrimination, and as a result, we were pleased to sign the BlackNorth pledge in 2020. This Pledge acknowledges the existence of anti-Black systemic racism and commits the organization to the removal of anti-Black systemic barriers negatively affecting the lives of Black Canadians.
I look forward to working with the Board of Directors and management to continue to drive our business forward.
Leon Binedell (signed)
President and Chief Executive Officer
Sherritt International Corporation
Our 2020 Sustainability Report – which covers the period between January 1 and December 31, 2020 – 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) and other applicable frameworks where indicated. As required by GRI, Sherritt has notified GRI of the use of the standards and made it aware of the publication of this report.