The NAC Sustainability Journey

Toward Sustainable Mining

NAC and other members of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) signed the Mutual Cooperation and Licensing Agreement with the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) to adopt, as mandatory program, MAC’s “Toward Sustainable Mining” (TSM) initiative.

NAC Chairman and CEO Gerard Brimo who is also the current chairman of the COMP, declared that the adoption of TSM is a move to institutionalize mining practices that secure the mining industry’s contributions to national development.

NAC fully supports the TSM initiative of which programs are consistent with the Company’s commitment to responsible mining. In fact, NAC is widely recognized for its world-class operations, processes and programs, serving as a model of responsible mining in the Philippines.

The Company takes concrete steps in educating the communities, its various stakeholders, the anti-mining groups, and the public in general on how responsible mining can help both the national and local economy in building a better future for the people in the mining communities.

NAC makes an effort to open communication channels in order to reach out to various, relevant audiences with reliable facts and information. Guests are welcome to visit and inspect the mine sites where technologies and processes that mitigate environmental impact can be demonstrated, and to showcase people-focused programs within the mine site. The Company takes every opportunity to exhibit the rehabilitation of mined-out areas as a strong case for responsible and sustainability mining.

Management Approach to Sustainability

It is therefore expected that NAC would be among the industry leaders to first support the COMP’s adoption of the Declaration of Commitment to Responsible Minerals Development in the Philippines, otherwise known as “The Baguio Declaration”.

First, because the Company considers sustainability as an essential business goal, its management approach is already fully aligned with the five main principles of the Baguio Declaration:

  1. Responsible Minerals Development is People-oriented.
  2. Responsible Minerals Development protects and enhances the environment.
  3. Responsible Minerals Development respects the rights and welfare of indigenous peoples whose ancestral lands and domains contain most of our mineral resources.
  4. Responsible Minerals Development contributes its fair share to the national economy.
  5. Responsible Minerals Development is efficient, competitive, and complies with international standards.

Second, because it is also a natural progression for NAC’s programs which, since 2016, have been aligned with the UN SDGs of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which seeks to end all forms of poverty through “strategies that build economic growth and addresses a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection.” This vision of sustainability as a path to economic growth, fiercely advocated by NAC founder Manuel B. Zamora Jr., is a strong and inspiring ideal that has radiated and been adopted by all NAC employees.

So it was with confidence in the future that, last August, Manuel B. Zamora Jr. relinquished his post as Chairman of the Board, allowing a smooth transition of power for the organization.

The Board of Directors appointed Gerard H. Brimo as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer and Martin Antonio “Dennis” G. Zamora as President.

The smooth transition demonstrates how succession planning is a key component of a good sustainability strategy paving the way for a new generation of leaders to rise to the challenge of engaging and managing the workplace.

Stakeholder Engagement

In the pursuit of transparency and accountability, the Company utilizes a variety of channels and modes of engagement to keep stakeholders informed of its actions and decisions, the conduct and results of its programs and initiatives, and of emerging issues and challenges. It is the policy of the Company to actively maintain open communications with its stakeholders and to create opportunities for dialogue to make the case for responsible mining as the right approach to sustainability.

Materials Aspects of Sustainability

As prescribed by the GRI standards, the Company has continued to apply the five-stage process to identify material aspects of sustainability and its level of criticality for its stakeholders. This practice of regular re-assessment provides stakeholder with relevant information that are meaningful and helps keep programs relevant.

Our Sustainability Performance

“The economic and social benefits derived from mining shall, first and foremost, be utilized for human resources development, uplifting the lives of the residents of its host communities and the industry’s employees under the framework of sustainable development.”

— Excerpt from The Baguio Declaration

PUTTING PEOPLE FIRST

NAC appreciates the value of each employee and their contribution to the Company’s continued growth.

The Company strongly supports the protection of human rights, practices non-discrimination and equal employment opportunity, helps develop potentials through continuous learning, and compensates fairly commensurate to role and performance.

By end 2018, the Company had a total of 2,914 people in its workforce, majority of whom are male and between 30 to 50 years old, which has long been the industry norm. Predictably, the management roles were filled predominantly by male leaders, with women leaders holding around 1.8% of managerial posts.

However, women are slowly learning that the mining industry can offer career opportunities for them, albeit not the kind that is traditional or predictable. For instance, there were enough great women drivers in CMC that it was able to hold a successful Volvo I-shift Driving Competition. This had the support of the Women in Mining (WIM) group that believes these women drivers are equipped for the next level of competition in the national and international arena and deserve a career in this industry.

NAC also practices Impact Sourcing by prioritizing local hires whenever possible, opening the same opportunities to Indigenous Peoples in the communities.

And to support people in their work and career path, the Company provides continuous training and development opportunities. These training modules ensure that the employees have the right skillset to enable them to enjoy a safe and productive work life with the Company.

These training and skills development opportunities are just some of the benefits that NAC offers.

It is worth noting that the Company offers competitive compensation and benefits packages. For instance, TMC’s compensation and benefits packages are very competitive in the Caraga Region. The average compensation and benefits for a regular rank-and-file employee is more than three times the prevailing daily minimum wage rate in the Caraga Region. The benefits include, among other items provided in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), two sets of uniform, denim pants, Labor Day shirt, monthly housing and lighting allowances, monthly rice subsidy, water jug, three long sleeve shirts, back pack, safety shoes, boots, raincoat, group life insurance, and health care through HMO partner Intellicare.

One of the most important intangible benefits is parental leaves, which demonstrates how the Company understands what is important to the people. These are among the things that help build a strong relationship between the Company and its workforce.

Another important benefit is the Company’s commitment to the people’s Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining. The Company always looks for win-win solutions when discussing with the various unions.

TMC has one union, the Taganito Labor Union, which represents the regular rank-and-file employees. TMC acknowledges the union’s legitimacy and value, considering the group as important partner in business. Through the Labor Management Committee (LMC), labor management relationship is enhanced and sustained through mutual trust and respect, teamwork, proactive policies, openness in terms of information sharing, discussion, consultation and negotiations.

HMC also has a union called HIMLU which is affiliated with KMU. HMC management and HIMLU representatives hold monthly Labor Management Conference every third Friday of the month.

Meanwhile, CMC’s existing Collective Bargaining Agreement also provides for a monthly Labor Management Conference every third Friday of the month on concerns that are not related to wages/ salaries and benefits. Respective department heads are invited in these conferences to address relevant concerns. The union is allowed to conduct Executive Committee Meetings whenever necessary to allow the officers and stewards of the union to discuss pressing matters concerning membership or labor-management issues.