Alumina Limited

Local communities

AWAC is a global enterprise that conducts operations at a community level. The communities in which AWAC operates are diverse in nature, each with their unique issues, values and customs. It is important that interactions are conducted in a way that respects local communities and human rights, are open and transparent and also fosters positive long term relationships for mutual benefit.  

To this end Alcoa has detailed policies and codes of conduct to guide employees. It is also signatory to the UN Global Compact with respect to human rights and the other principles relating to labour, environment, and anti-corruption.

Anti-Corruption Program

AWAC's Anti-Corruption Policy reflects Alcoa's strong commitment to conducting its operations around the globe ethically and in compliance with all applicable laws. Our directors and management believe that the way results are achieved is as important as the results themselves. Vigilance in complying with anti-corruption and ant-bribery was, including those based upon the OECD Convention, the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and other local anti-corruption laws, is critical for a global company.

The Anti-Corruption Program includes:

  • Anti-Corruption Policy
  • Due Diligence Review Process for Intermediaries
  • Gifts and Hospitality Procedure
  • In person and web-based trainings
  • investigations and 24/7 Reporting Line
  • Monitoring, audit and assessment.

Alumina Limited supports Alcoa’s position and has developed similar policies and practices to protect both employees and stakeholder groups.

Annually, Alumina Limited employees are trained on the Human Rights and Anti-corruption Policies.

Community Engagement

Community engagement requires a community approach. Alcoa's Community Framework provides direction to engage community stakeholders through clarity of internal standards, direction on stakeholder engagement, best practice tools and expectations for local management. The Framework also provides guidance for effective engagement with public and governmental stakeholders, employees and the media.  The Alcoa Community Framework outlines the essential processes for our locations to identify relevant issues and engage in open and transparent dialogue with stakeholders to evaluate all perspectives in an effort to agree on the directions and approaches. 

The Alcoa Community Framework is the principal way AWAC facilities manage and measure our engagement with stakeholders at the community level. Since 2014, 100% of AWAC's manufacturing locations were using the framework.

The framework helps each of our locations define the stakeholder groups with which to engage and identifies tools and approaches to ensure that engagement with these stakeholders is robust, effective, and transparent.

Alcoa redesigned the framework in 2014 to accommodate the differing sizes and stakeholder engagement needs of our facilities and accurately measure and compare their efforts. Each year, a location completes a dashboard that evaluates its progress on five key engagement levers (public strategy plan, communications, stakeholder engagement, community partnerships, and employee engagement), taking into consideration its activities around environment, infrastructure, policy, and community relationships.

As part of the framework, many of our locations have formally established community advisory boards (CABs) comprising external community members, NGO leaders, and local officials who are well-versed in the needs of their local communities. CABs meet regularly to provide open, two-way communication channels, ensuring that all challenges and opportunities are discussed and responded to quickly.

In many locations, Alcoa have established community advisory boards comprising external community members, NGO leaders, and local officials who understand the issues and the needs of their local communities. These community advisory boards act as a means of open communication and a forum to discuss mutual matters of importance, accountability and direction.

In 2016 the following key stakeholder issues involving AWAC operations were raised by or discussed with stakeholders..

LOCATIONISSUERESPONSE
Anglesea, Victoria, Australia AWAC/Alcoa were required to develop a revised closure plan for the coal mine and draft master plan for the power station’s freehold land.

Alcoa engaged extensively with the local community and key stakeholders to gather input to help inform both plans. Actions included workshops, community events, newspaper advertorials, briefings and an online engagement platform.

In collaboration with the Anglesea community, Victorian government and Surf Coast Shire representatives, we developed and published Guiding Principles to help inform the develop­ment of both plans.

Plans will be released in 2017. The revised mine closure plan will be submitted for approval to the Victorian govern­ment’s Earth Resources Regulation in mid-2017.

Kwinana, Australia

Two residential developments have been proposed less than 1.5 kilometres (0.9 miles) from the Kwinana refinery’s residue storage area. The majority of these developments fall within the extended Kwinana air-quality buffer adopted by the Western Australian Planning Commission in September 2010.

In 2014, the Alcoa of Australia opposed the residential developments and were successful in proceedings before the State Administrative Tribunal, which prevented progress of the development. This outcome is now subject to a further legal challenge by the property developers.

In 2016, the property developers undertook a judicial review challenge in the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court upheld the 2014 State Administration Tribunal recommendation that development not be permitted within the buffer.

Following the court’s decision, the minister for environment requested that the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) provide advice on the size of the proposed Kwinana indus­trial buffer in relation to impacts associated with current and future land uses in the Mandogalup area. We provided information to inform the EPA’s advice to the minister, which is anticipated in the second quarter of 2017..

 Point Henry, Australia  

We continued decommissioning the site of our Point Henry smelter, which ceased operations in 2014, and engaged com­munity stakeholders on the future of the site.

Following a 12-month community consultation process involving workshops, briefings, community events, newspaper advertorials, an online engagement platform and invited public submissions, we developed a shared vision for the future of the 575-hectare (1,420-acre) site on the Point Henry peninsula.

This shared vision helped inform a draft concept master plan. After the plan’s release in October 2016, Alcoa sought feedback from stakeholders via public events, briefings, an online engagement platform and a survey. The feedback will inform the final Point Henry 575 Concept Master Plan, which will be released in 2017.

 Portland, Australia

From mid-November 2015 to mid-Jan­uary 2016, Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) seafarers employed on our MV Portland refused to sail the ship from the Port of Portland to Singapore for delivery to its new owners.

The Australian Fair Work Commission and the Australian Federal Court had ordered the industrial action to stop. Despite this, the MV Portland remained stranded in port, disrupting port operations and the lives of other crew members and threat­ening the Portland community with the loss of cruise ship visits.

To resolve the issue, Alcoa wrote to and held meetings with the MUA and ASP Ship Management, the crew’s employer.

To explain the issue, Alcoa sent letters to Portland businesses, published open letters to the community in the local newspaper and issued media releases.

After a two-month stalemate, ASP Ship Management and Alcoa took decisive action to end the protracted illegal indus­trial action by replacing MUA seafarers on the MV Portland who had refused to sail the vessel.

 Portland, Australia

The expiration of a 32-year electricity supply agreement with the Victorian gov­ernment in October 2016 exposed the Portland smelter to higher transmission costs and power prices not linked to the global aluminum price. With persistently low aluminum prices, this added sig­nificant pressure to the viability of the smelter.

In December 2016, a fault on the Victorian transmission network caused a significant power outage at the smelter, leading to the loss of one potline and leaving only a portion of the second potline operating in the final weeks of the year.

Alcoa engaged with the Portland Aluminium joint venture partners, the Victorian and federal governments, unions, com­munity leaders and employees in an effort to find a workable solution that secured the smelter’s position in future years. These discussions were conducted in a climate of escalating electricity prices in Victoria, which increased by more than 50 percent in 2016.

At the close of the year and in light of the power outage, we enabled up to two thirds of the workforce to take paid annual leave while production remained curtailed. This ensured a safe and efficient operation and minimized any hardship to families and the larger community while an assessment of the plant was completed.

In early 2017, Alcoa began restarting the lost capacity. It was also announced that four-year agreements with the Victorian state and Australian federal governments and energy supplier AGL had been reached.

 Juruti, Brazil

The mayor of Juruti and the Public Ministry separately asked for additional information regarding the Juruti mine’s Positive Agenda, which is our voluntary commitment to invest in the community

AWAC via Alcoa replied promptly to both requests with updated information and also invited the public prosecutor to tour the mine site and learn more about our operations, which he accepted.

Western Australian Mining Operations

To determine the commercial viability of mining in new areas, we commenced exploration drilling near the township of Dwellingup in 2015 following consultation with nearby landholders.

Alcoa committed to share the results of the exploration program in 2016 with the community.

Alcoa wrote to Dwellingup landowners and tenants in November 2016 to provide the results of initial drilling and to specify how the results impact our long-term strategic plan.

Alcoa wrote letters to local, state and federal government rep­resentatives, held group stakeholder meetings and briefed employees who live in Dwellingup.

Alcoa continue to communicate one-on-one with interested neighbors as required.

The commercial viability of mining ore in one of the drilling areas, Teesdale West, will be further assessed via a detailed feasibility study that is anticipated will be completed in the second half of 2017.

Willowdale and Wagerup, Australia

A devastating bushfire swept through an extensive area in and around the Willowdale bauxite mine and Wagerup alumina refinery in January 2016, impact­ing production at both the mine and refinery.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union claimed we compromised the safety and well-being of employees during the bushfire.

Of the 80 Alcoa-owned houses on residential and semi-rural properties in northern Yarloop, 35 were destroyed. Almost all of the Alcoa houses were let to tenants.

The welfare of employees was paramount, and Alcoa did everything to ensure employees at the mine site and refinery were safe during the two days the fire was a threat. No injuries to employees or contractors were reported as a result of the fire.

To provide relief to tenants of Alcoa-owned houses, Alcoa suspended rental payments and helped townspeople with equipment, such as generators and water tanks. Alcoa volunteers also assisted residents at their properties.

All but one of the destroyed houses were within the refinery’s informal buffer zone (known as Area A in the Wagerup Refinery Land Management Plan). Alcoa made the decision to not rebuild any homes inside the zone and also worked alongside the state government and local shire to clean up the properties to ensure future compatible land use.

Alcoa donated US$74,000 to the Perth Lord Mayor’s Distress Relief Fund, and Legacy Alcoa Foundation provided a US$50,000 disaster relief grant to the Salvation Army to further support recovery efforts. Alcoa also worked with local communities to assist in relief efforts during the months that followed.

Indigenous peoples - Local partnerships

Currently AWAC operates in areas home to indigenous peoples including:  

  • Australia 
  • Suriname and 
  • Juruti, Brazil. 

 

Many of AWAC’s Australian operations engage with local communities to develop an environmental improvement plan, which is a public commitment to continuously improve environmental performance, reduce environmental impacts, and develop more sustainable practices.

 The draft plan undergoes collaborative external review, with adjustments incorporated based upon that review. The final plan, which sets clear targets for improvement, is signed by participating stakeholders. These stakeholders also monitor our progress in achieving the targets and annually review the plan.

During 2016 there were no reported human rights non compliances through AWAC or Alumina Limited. 

Environmental Improvement Plans - Working With Local Communities

At AWAC’s Australian operations, Alcoa have taken a ‘front foot’ approach towards addressing climate change and are reducing greenhouse emissions through energy efficiency, productivity improvements and technological innovation by preparing Environmental Improvement Plans (EIPs) for each location.

Many of our Australian operations engage with local communities to develop an environmental improvement plan, which is a public commitment to continuously improve environmental performance, reduce environmental impacts, and develop more sustainable practices.

The draft plan undergoes collaborative external review, with adjustments incorporated based upon that review. The final plan, which sets clear targets for improvement, is signed by participating stakeholders. These stakeholders also monitor our progress in achieving the targets and annually review the plan.

The EIPs deliver improved transparency and accountability and cover areas such as: 

  • Air quality, including greenhouse gas and energy efficiency;
  • Noise and waste management;
  • Water conservation;
  • Groundwater management;
  • Land management, including visual amenity, rehabilitation and fauna/flora management;
  • Community involvement; and
  • Environmental regulation.

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