Chairman and CEO's overview
Chairman and CEO’s Overview.
The entire world is challenged in regards to its response to the climate change impacts of global warming and moving to a lower carbon-based economy and society. The 2016 Paris Agreement on Climate Change, initially signed by countries responsible for emitting over 88 per cent of the World’s Greenhouse Gas emissions, involves efforts towards a long-term goal of keeping the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, ideally aiming to limit the increase to 1.5°C.
The signing of that Agreement has been a catalyst for increased disclosure of climate related risks and opportunities, climate related financial reporting and increased scrutiny of corporate environmental, social and governance reporting. In Australia, corporate regulators are proposing to introduce enhanced standards and reporting on matters concerning the environment, sustainability and/or governance.
It is with this backdrop of change that Alumina Limited and its interest in the AWAC joint venture are reporting metrics on key material aspects of the business in this, the 2017 Sustainability Update. Both Alumina Limited and Alcoa have been reporting for several years, metrics on key matters such as energy, emissions, water, waste and land management. This year we are pleased to include Scope 3 emissions for the first time. Also, this report covers aspects of Health and Safety and engagement with local community.
Alcoa, manager/operator of the AWAC operations is in the process of redefining sustainability strategic long-term goals for 2018 and onwards and where applicable to AWAC, these will be reflected in the 2018 Sustainability Update.
At Alumina Limited we believe that all stakeholders in the Company and the AWAC business are entitled to high quality reporting where possible on sustainability matters and we are committed to that goal. Alumina will review the scope of its reporting and any changes will appear in the 2018 Sustainability Update.
In 2017 the economic, market and operational dynamics were favourable resulting in the best cash returns for AWAC since 2007 with the AWAC refinery assets operating in the lowest quartile on the cost curve. A number of the alumina refineries achieved production records as did the bauxite mines in Australia and Brazil. The gains are in response to AWAC’s strategy to actively manage its asset portfolio making the assets more sustainable to withstand challenging business conditions.
The planned introduction of new technology such as the pressure filtration at the Kwinana alumina refinery has reduced freshwater consumption and reduced the footprint of the residue storage areas. Pleasingly, many of the metrics indicate improvement over prior year performance. However, it is with deep regret that we report two fatalities involving contractors occurred in 2017. AWAC responded quickly to assist the families of the workers and to reassess safety procedures with the goal for zero fatalities.
For further information on sustainability matters, please refer to the detailed content of the 2017 Sustainability Update. We also welcome your feedback regarding the content and detail of information provided.
Chief Executive Officer