Sustainability: What does it mean to us?
We are committed to economic, social and environmental sustainability; it is fundamental to our business and operations.
Evolving international good-practice on sustainability is raising
the ante on measuring and reporting on the natural, human,
social, financial and physical aspects of wellbeing. Globally, these
living standard indicators are coming under increasing strain,
with the onus on private enterprise to lead positive change. We
are meeting this challenge by drawing on the Global Reporting
Initiative (“GRI”) as our guiding framework for annual reporting.
We have identified ten material topics for the sustainability of
our business. For each, we are defining the level of performance
we want to achieve, and how we measure progress against our
goals and targets.
This is the third year of continually strengthening our sustainability
metrics, and the data we collect. As with 2018 and 2019, this year’s
reporting is against material topics spanning socio-economic,
health and safety, environment and governance categories.
The health and safety of our people and the people we interact
with, and compliance with government restrictions during the
COVID-19 pandemic have been our top priority. We are also
actively building the resilience of our business in view of the
related economic downturn that is expected as result of
In New Zealand, climate change and the country’s response
to it loom large in sustainability policy and action. This year
we formalised our position on climate change.
As a coal mining company, we have a key role in ensuring
continued economic prosperity during the transition to a
net zero carbon economy. We will be increasingly focused on
producing coal for steel-making, and working with our industrial
process heat customers to continue their coal supply, while they
contribute towards maintaining New Zealand’s food sovereignty
and their own part in the transition.
We are also exploring what we can do to reduce the CO2
emissions for which we are directly responsible as a business.
We are noticing increasing scrutiny of environmental
management at our sites. The case study we provide illustrates
our commitment to management of biodiversity and freshwater
at our mines. It tells a story of identifying the impacts of mining
on the environment, and how we are dealing with them to
achieve positive outcomes.
Health and wellbeing
Our area of focus in FY20 was our systems management
approach to health and wellbeing in the workplace. We are
conscious that it’s one thing to reduce the risks around slips,
trips and falls and other hazards at sites; it’s another to deal
with longer-term occupational health issues.
We are taking a hard look at how our people are meeting the
daily challenge of the working day while safeguarding their
health and wellbeing. Bathurst’s employee health management
system is now rolled out across the organisation. More detail
is provided in a case study.
Mining’s importance to the West Coast
We surveyed our workforce in 2018 to understand how people
are employed in mining on the West Coast, their involvement
with the community, and how we collectively contribute to the
region. The report we commissioned was updated with the latest
census data in early 2020.
Topics covered include residency times, level of home ownership,
family ties to the community including schooling, work, voluntary
activities, and spending in the local economy. The study reveals
our workforce is a significant and living part of the West Coast
and its people. Further information is provided in our case study.