“Industries such as mining, which inherently have a large social and environmental impact, have long recognised the interdependence of reputation and the success of mining endeavours. Countries and their citizens realise that the extraction of the mineral wealth needs to be balanced with the mitigation of environmental damage and the creation of new livelihoods.”
Joseph Mathews, CEO of ArcelorMittal Liberia from 2006 to 2010
ArcelorMittal recognises our responsibilities towards our employees and the communities where we do business. It is in our interest to ensure that we have a healthy, educated workforce and we extend these benefits to the whole community, as shown by our commitments in Liberia, Brazil and Kazakhstan.
ArcelorMittal’s Community Development Fund supports infrastructure improvements, educational investments and agricultural projects in the areas surrounding our operations.
The ArcelorMittal Foundation has reopened two hospitals for employees and local residents in Yekepa and Buchanan. We have also entered into a partnership with agencies including Liberia’s Ministry of Health & Social Welfare and USAID to reduce the prevalence of malaria. The programme includes insecticide spraying and the distribution of mosquito nets and antimalaria drugs. We also work to control breeding sites, for example by filling in potholes to prevent the standing water where mosquitoes breed.
To provide education for the children of our staff as well as people from nearby communities in Yekepa, the ArcelorMittal Foundation has reopened two elementary schools and a high school. The Foundation has also helped to build Grand Bassa County Community College in Buchanan, the first post-secondary academic institute in Liberia’s biggest seaport city.
ArcelorMittal Vega, our steel mill in the Brazilian island city of São Francisco do Sul, offers an industry benchmark in the use of utilities (water and energy) and environmental performance. The plant re-uses 98.8% of water in its production processes and recycles 95% of solid waste.
When this mill was still at the planning stage, we enlisted the expertise of Veolia Environnement, the international environmental services company, for utilities management on site. The project, which is located on an island with a protected area of biodiversity, presented a unique opportunity to both companies to develop a system of resource management that has the least possible impact on the region’s ecology.
ArcelorMittal Brasil created a subsidiary, CLE Brasil, to provide the plant’s utilities management, which is managed by Veolia Environnment. To ensure that we gained a full understanding of the local environment, 60 associates for the subsidiary were recruited locally and we also have collaborations with local suppliers.
As signatories of the UN Global Compact, both ArcelorMittal and Veolia Environnement delivered on their commitment to create more responsible industrial practices through this project.
We have been in Temirtau, north-east Kazakhstan, since 1996. Our social investments during that time have included scholarships for high-school students, apprenticeships and summer camps for local children. Our infrastructure investments have included upgrades to local hospitals and schools, paving roads, providing heat and electricity, and modernising bridges and railways.
Among our biggest projects was the Temirtau city skating palace, as well as the construction of a sports complex in Shakhtinsk, where ArcelorMittal has mining operations.
Dr Frank Pannier, ArcelorMittal Temirtau chief executive until October 2011, says: “We understand our responsibility not just to make profit for our shareholders but also to help our employees and local communities prosper. We know that investment within the company cannot be successful without social investment too. We want our employees, their families and other stakeholders to be confident that we will cooperate with them for the benefit of everyone.”