A successful business needs to be sustainable, maintaining profitability but at the same time recognizing the importance of good social and environmental results. Making our business sustainable is about recognizing and managing the full spectrum of risks, thereby making the best opportunities available to us. We are committed to sustainable development not only because we need to safeguard the health of our planet for the future generations, but also because it makes sound business sense. By earning a good reputation for our care of the environment and for our contribution to social improvement. within a strong governance structure, we can gain improved access to land, people and capital, the three critical resources on which our business success is built.
We believe that such a policy will give us important benefits such as:
· Better return for our shareholders;
· Reduction in our operating costs;
· Greater business opportunities;
· Smaller impact on the environment;
· Better development opportunities for and improved relations with local communities where we operate.
All of these factors are part of ASEC policy. The Group’s Sustainable Development Steering Committee, develops policies and guidelines, sets targets and objectives. At subsidiary level, the Managing Directors fully endorse their duty as promoters of the implementation of these policies and guidelines, through chairing the local Sustainable Development Steering Committees. Group Standards, setting minimum requirements to be applied everywhere and filling gaps in local regulatory frameworks, help management to establish practicable action plans. The SD committee on social and environmental accountability ensures that we have the policies, standards, systems and people in place to meet our social and environmental commitments and that our businesses, projects, operations and products are developed and implemented in line with our commitment to sustainable development. To help explain the concepts of sustainable development, both to existing employees and newcomers, we continue to use training and awareness raising tools throughout the Group. In 2010 we launched and implemented our "Zero Harm" project in order to raise the Health, Safety and Environment awareness of the employees and contractors in all the plants to demonstrate better and safe ways of working. Finally, open and effective engagement with employees, suppliers, customers, partners and other involved stakeholders is essential for helping the Group to create value, confirming our living commitment to sustainable development.