Alumina Limited believes that business sustainability is dependent on the integration into the business plan of, relevant and meaningful sustainability objectives that, among other things, result in sensible management of the environment. This is emphasised by the resource intensive business of alumina refining and smelting.
Resources – AWAC’s core business of producing alumina (the raw material used to produce aluminium) requires the mining of bauxite, the ore that contains alumina from ecologically sensitive forested regions in Western Australia and the Amazon in Brazil. As a result a strong sustainability focus is placed on land management, land rehabilitation and biodiversity and water management.
Energy - The refining of bauxite ore into alumina and the subsequent smelting of aluminium require significant energy resources resulting in the significant stewardship issues of energy efficiency and emissions management. AWAC’s latest operating mine at Juruti in Brazil commenced in September 2009 following in-depth studies and environmental impact assessments prior to licencing. Assessments included but were not limited to monitoring surface and underground water, impact of mining on freshwater, fishing, local farming, impact on territorial and aquatic flora and fauna.
We believe the key is responsible resource management that minimizes the impact on the immediate natural environment and communities in which AWAC operates and products that contribute to the betterment of the environment going forward.
We believe that through demonstrating effective and responsible environmental stewardship, society will continue to provide natural resources for alumina and aluminium production.
AWAC’s operations are fundamentally resource intensive so minimising the end-to-end life-cycle impact of alumina and aluminium production is essential.
Alcoa is an experienced and internationally recognised environmental manager, with a sophisticated system for managing, monitoring and mitigating environmental impacts through new technology and evolving operational processes.
In 2015 there was one major environmental incident that resulted in the resulted in the accidental release of some caustic liquid into a river causing the death of 200 river fish. The incident was not reported in Alcoa’s financial statement as a significant spill as it did not result in a significant financial impact and did not constitute a significant environmental non-compliance either from Alumina Limited’s activities or AWAC’s global operations.