Environmental Stewardship is one of our Core Values. It is an ethic that embodies responsible planning and management of our resources.

Maintaining our social license to operate requires us to be a leader in sustainable mining practices. To achieve this, it is essential we apply the same rigor to our environmental systems and performance as we do to safety, quality and profitability. Most importantly, we do not compromise our safety or our environmental practices for the sake of production. Ethical, safe and environmentally responsible behaviors are the backbone of our business.

Compliance

Government agencies authorize mining activities by issuing environmental permits. These permits define how the Company must comply with the applicable environmental regulations to protect human health and the environment. Respecting these obligations is non-discretionary and necessary to preserve our stakeholder social license to operate. Without these permissions, there is no mining.

We have acquired hundreds of environmental permits throughout our operational and exploration portfolio that prescribe obligations relating to mining activities, infrastructure such as tailings basins/dikes, and associated aspects related to air, water, waste and land management impacts. These permits can be hundreds of pages and create millions of discrete compliance obligations over the course of a year.

Being compliant is the minimum standard; doing better than the minimum and going beyond compliance is the essence of our environmental stewardship Core Value and demonstrates social responsibility. To meet this challenge, we have implemented and continually improve our International Organization of Standardization (ISO) 14001 certified Environmental Management Systems (EMS) as the management tool to facilitate improved environmental performance. Please see our prior year report for a list of our operations that are currently ISO 14001 certified.

Our EMS establishes procedures, assigns responsibility and includes monitoring to verify myriad compliance obligations are being properly executed. It helps us anticipate and address potential impacts before they occur, which satisfies our permission to operate and preserves the environment for future generations.

Gauging Performance

We have embedded processes that detect environmental incidents. One example is our "Road to Zero" program, in which we establish corporate and operational objectives and targets to improve performance and reduce the likelihood of environmental incidents. Our efforts particularly focus on reducing the impacts associated with emissions and water intensity at our operations. These represent some of our stakeholders’ greatest concerns.

We are making significant progress in reducing environmental incidents. However, our stakeholders' expectations related to environmental performance are increasing, as are our own. In response, we are accelerating improvements to our management systems to further improve upon our environmental performance.

Cliffs’ sustainability reports are comprehensive looks at operational highlights for the year, including how we embraced successes and addressed challenges associated with key sustainability topics in our business.

2013
Focused. Aligned. Disciplined.

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Full Report 1.39 MB
Summary Report 5.59 MB

2012
Embracing our Past, Securing our Future

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Full Report 11.53 MB
Summary Report 1.01 MB

2011
Explore. Operate. Grow.

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Full Report 4.81 MB
Summary Report 1.41 MB

2010
Common Values. Global Growth. Shared Benefit

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Full Report 8.42 MB
Summary Report 5.04 MB
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