For complete details on the outline below, download our latest Sustainability Report in our Reporting Archive section.
Mining and mineral processing make a vital contribution to world development by providing the essential raw materials for products for modern society. Cliffs recognizes that extraction and processing of the earth’s mineral resources must be accomplished in a responsible manner that minimizes impacts on the environment and the community. The Company believes that stewardship with proper concern for the environment is an essential element of a successful business strategy and subscribes to the tenets of sustainable development.
As we identify opportunities to grow our operations organically, we are developing and embedding strong environmental management systems and procedures. This enables us to be strategically positioned for continued responsible growth while protecting the human and natural systems for long-term success. Our strong belief in environmental stewardship provides the path forward to explore, operate and grow.
Our management approach uses sound science as a foundation, supported by a variety of standards and policies, including:
Environmental Management Systems
Strong operating systems are critical to sound environmental management. We are committed to implementing independently certified International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001 Environmental Management Systems (EMS) across our operations. Using EMS processes and practices enable us to manage our environmental impacts and increase our operating efficiency. The ISO 14001 EMS framework provides consistent control over operations, improving the environmental performance of the Company.
We currently have seven facilities with ISO 14001 systems operational with two additional facilities on track for implementation in 2012. Our goal of having ISO 14001 systems in place by 2011 was delayed at our Pinnacle mine due to an interruption in operations caused by elevated carbon monoxide levels in the mine and at Oak Grove due to a devastating tornado. By systematically monitoring our environmental performance, we are better able to implement meaningful improvements at our sites.
Cliffs’ Environmental Policy provides the basis for uniform environmental performance through an Environmental Management System (EMS) that conforms with the ISO 14001 Standard. ISO 14001 certifications are a corporate goal that will have greater significance as the company expands its international interests. An objective review of our performance is regularly provided through a formal audit conducted by independent professionals and is just one of the mechanisms used to push for continual improvement.
To facilitate monitoring of emissions and operating parameters and to comply with the Taconite Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) Rule, an Environmental Information Management System (EIMS) and improved emissions controls have been installed at Cliffs’ U.S. operations. The EIMS has the capability to be expanded to support other operating functions with the ability to provide useful, timely information that improves environmental understanding and facilitates improved environmental performance.
Cliffs has a number of specific initiatives in the works to continue its attempt to reduce its environmental impact.
Our commitment to the global community is evident in the ways in which our facilities engage at the local level. In addition to adopting corporate-wide initiatives, each facility has the flexibility to design and implement local outreach efforts. Information on Cliffs Foundation giving and other philanthropic contributions can be found in our our latest Sustainability Report in our Reporting Archive section.