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 lwas, 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. In 2015, 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 2015 the following key issues involving AWAC operations were raised at the community advisory boards and some were escalated to regional or global level.

LocationIssueResponse
Anglesea, Victoria, Australia Following the closure of the Point Henry smelter, some members of the anlesea community called for the Anglesea power station and coal mine to be shut down instead of sold. The power station and mine had provided power to the now closed Point Henry aluminium smelter. Consultation occurred via community metings, face-to-face meetings with key stakeholders and newspaper advertorials to keep interested community members informed of progress relative to the sales process. After a sale counld not be concluded, the power station and mine were shut down in August 2015. Grnats totalling US$168,750 were provided to 14 long-term community partners to help them transition to a future without the Alcoa/AWAC presence in the community. This was in addition to the US$3.75 million contributed to the Geelong Refion Innovation and Investment Fund to support job creation projects to strengthen and diversify the regional employment base. Alcoa continued to engage with the local community in 2016 regarding the final mine closure plan.
Alcoa of Australia The Australian Conservation Foundation released a report examining the top 10 greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters in Australia. The report used the latest publicly available GHG emissions data for each company. Alcoa of Australia was seventh. No formal inquiries were received from stakeholders regarding the report. By its nature, aluminium production is energy intensive, creating a significant greenhouse footprint. For more than two decades, Alcoa of Australia have been actively engaged in efforts to reduce our GHG emissions. 
Kwinana, Australia

Two residential developments have been proposed less than 1.5 kilometers (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 2015, briefings with local and state government representatives, the Kwinana Industrial Council (KIC), and the KIC community consultative committee were held to call for greater controls to protect the industrial area from development. Via a public statement on our website, Alcoa of Australia welcomed the state government’s proposed legislation to formalize a protection area around the western trade coast industrial area, which includes the Kwinana refinery. The legislation is an important planning tool that will help protect the state’s valuable Kwinana industrial assets and avoid future land-use conflicts. Alcoa of Australia have endorsed the legislation, which will be introduced in 2016.
 Kwinana and Pinjarra, Australia  Two separate potential low-level asbestos-exposure incidents involving contractors occurred at the Kwinana and Pinjarra refineries. These resulted in an audit of our asbestos-management procedures by the Department of Mines and Petroleum, which recommended minor modifications to further strengthen our asbestos-management controls.  The director of health and chief medical officer said in workforce meetings and media statements that the risk of any health impact to the contractors working on the jobs was considered extremely low. This was due to their limited exposure to asbestos-containing material, the type of asbestos, and the short duration of the tasks undertaken.
 Pinjarra,
Australia
 The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union started a petition calling for WorkSafe to conduct an inquiry into alleged workplace bullying at our Pinjarra refinery. This issue and mental health concerns were also raised in the Western Australian Parliament.  It was highlighted to the unions and employees via face-to-face and written communications the avenues available to report workplace bullying and complaints. Also many initiatives, services, and employment conditions in place to help equip employees and their families to deal with various work and life challenges were promoted. In addition, we provided mental health awareness training to all employees.
 Wagerup, Western Australia  In June 2012, Alcoa of Australia were granted approval to allow the emission of noise to exceed or vary from the prescribed standard. This approval does not allow increased noise emissions from AWAC’s Wagerup refinery, but rather brings current noise levels within the regulations.  A noise monitoring program required as part of the approval showed refinery noise emissions during 2014 and 2015 were demonstrably lower than those recorded at the same locations during 2002 and 2003. We undertook noise monitoring during weather conditions most conducive to noise propagation to measure refinery noise levels compared to the assigned levels. This monitoring found refinery noise was lower than the assigned levels most of the time. Elevated noise levels were recorded on a small number of occurrences in specific areas of the refinery. We are implementing action plans to address the noise at the source. We shared the results of the monitoring program with the Wagerup Community Consultative Network, the Department of Environment Regulation, and interested parties through face-to-face meetings, advertisements in local and state newspapers, and publication on our website.
 Western Australia Mining Group  Exploration drilling near the Dwellingup commenced in 2015 following consultation with nearby landholders at the end of 2014. The initial phase of the program resulted in some concern about disturbance of the forest in drilled areas.  Commitments were made to modify our drilling practices, where safe and practical, to reduce the disturbance and visual impact of drilling. We also committed to restoring formal paths and tracks impacted by the movement of drilling equipment. These measures were communicated to landholders in a July 2015 program update letter and have continued to communicate one-on-one with interested neighbours as needed. The results of the exploration program will be shared with the community in the second half of 2016.
 Portland, Australia  To reduce costs at the Portland Aluminium smelter, it was decided to sell our 27-year-old MV Portland vessel and secure a license to use foreign-flag vessels for 12 months. After the MV Portland’s final voyage in November 2015, members of the Maritime Union of Australia refused to sail the ship to Singapore to be sold. The Australian Fair Work Commission and the Australian Federal Court ordered the industrial action to stop. Despite this, the MV Portland remained stranded in the Port of Portland at the end of 2015.  To resolve the issue, Alcoa of Australia met with and wrote to the union and ASP Management, the crew’s employer. To explain the issue, we sent letters to Portland businesses, published open letters to the community in the local newspaper, and issued media releases.
 Portland, Australia  Due to its electricity intensity, the aluminium smelting industry would be greatly impacted by the Australian federal government’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme to a far greater extent than any other Australian industry. Estimates show the RET liability associated with Australian aluminium smelting to be in the range of US$52.5 million to US$60 million a year and likely to increase.  After formally engaging relevant stakeholders through face-to-face meetings and written correspondence, support was welcomed from both major political parties to exempt the aluminium smelting industry from RET. This will enable the industry to remain internationally competitive and a significant employer in regional Victoria.
 Juruti,
Brazil
 The mayor of Juruti requested an update on pending items from the Juruti mine’s Positive Agenda, where we committed to voluntarily invest in community initiatives in education, health, security, infrastructure, and social assistance in the Juruti region. AWAC via Alcoa met several times with members of the prefecture to convey that we are progressing on the remaining six of 54 agenda items and that we aim to complete them in 2016. 
 Suriname  Production capacity at AWAC’s Paranam, Suriname refining was fully curtailed in November 2015.  Employee and stakeholder information sessions were conducted prior to and at the time of the curtailment announcement. Also multiple negotiation sessions were held with representatives of both hourly and salaried employees to establish fair and equitable severance packages. A total of 221 of 224 salaried employees accepted the final severance proposals. Alcoa Foundation also provided grants to support entrepreneurial efforts. The union representing the hourly employees filed a court action in December 2015 seeking continued negotiation of the severance package. A hearing in March 2016 resulted in the judge asking the parties to continue to negotiate, and an agreement was reached later that month. Discussions have continued with the government of Suriname regarding options to sustain the bauxite industry in the future while acknowledging the need to curtail production at the Paranam refinery.
 Point Comfort, USA  Partial curtailment of production capacity A meeting was held with community leaders to provide insight into the market conditions behind the curtailment and reinforce Alcoa’s commitment to the community. Re-established the Point Comfort Citizens Panel and Community Advisory Board, both of which had been dormant for several years. We also met frequently with local union leaders to fully co-ordinate communications and procedures for offering a voluntary quit package to collective bargaining unit members. 

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 2015 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.