2013 was another successful year for the Hamilton Industrial Environmental Association (HIEA), and I’m pleased to have continued in my role as chair of the Board of Directors. Our 12 member companies are proud of the impact they have made in the Hamilton community.
HIEA member companies are committed to the conservation and protection of our natural environment and commit to…
- operating our facilities in a safe, responsible and environmentally responsible manner;
- monitoring our environmental performance, meeting key performance metric targets;
- transparent and open communications regarding environmental performance;
- responsiveness to community enquires, and;
- working in partnership with community stakeholders to promote environmental awareness
Our Environmental Performance...
Each year, HIEA reports on the aggregated environmental performance of its member companies. The Board of Directors are pleased to share the highlights of our 2012 environmental performance both in this annual report and on our website – www.hiea.org
Our Community Support…
By working in partnership with residents and community associations, HIEA continues to provide financial support to initiatives that enhance and protect our local environment. In 2013, HIEA continued its support of local environmental activities by sponsoring various programs including the Bay Area Restoration Council, the Hamilton Children’s Water Festival, the Hamilton-Burlington Earth Day Eco-Festival, the Hamilton Conservation Authority and the Hamilton Naturalist Club. Many of these programs are highlighted later in this report.
Through HIEA’s post-secondary scholarship program at Mohawk College, we were again pleased to award bursaries to 3 students studying in various Environmental Studies Programs in 2013. Congratulations Jocelyne Aichwalder, Stephanie Sta. Maria and Gregory Kaneva!
You’re invited to Join Us …
As a neighbour to our industrial operations, we welcome your involvement. For more information about HIEA’s Community Advisory Panel (CAP) and other initiatives, visit www.hiea.org or contact us at 905-662-2131 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
General Manager, Environment
Opening remarks at the Hamilton Environmental Summit - April 25, 2013
I am proud to say that since our baseline year of 1997, HIEA member companies have spent more than $400 million in capital and operating costs which have resulted in significant improvement to the Hamilton area environment. As a group, we have reduced emissions of Total Particulate Matter by 80%, Nitrogen Oxides by 26%, Volatile Organic Compounds by 25% and Polycyclic Airomatic Hydrocarbons by 75%. We’ve reduced City water consumption by 52% and the discharge of total suspended solids by 89%. In addition to these performance improvements, HIEA contributes an average of $50,000 each year to local community environmental projects. These investments reflect a collective commitment by the local industrial community to environmental improvement in Hamilton.
Good morning, and thank you for being here today. I’d like to begin by congratulating the City of Hamilton for its leadership in organizing this first-ever environmental summit. I’m looking forward to what I am certain will be interesting discussions amongst the broad group of community members here today.
Thank you for taking the time to participate in this important dialogue. As General Manager of Environment at ArcelorMittal Dofasco, I am pleased to be here in my capacity as Chair of the Hamilton Industrial Environmental Association, to represent the efforts of my colleagues at HIEA’s 12 local member companies. HIEA members share a common commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability.
We regularly engage with our neighbours through HIEA’s Community Advisory Panel, which helps us identify and target areas for further improvement. Within our operations, we are of course accountable to regulations, primarily from municipal, provincial and federal governments. One of the items I hope will be discussed today is this multi-tier regulatory structure, and the opportunity and need for a more integrated, harmonized regulatory structure between all levels of government. With harmonized targets and regulations, reporting and analyzing data and performance is simpler and more effective. You are able to compare apples to apples. And this transparency and consistency leads to a better understanding of how we are collectively performing.
More efficient and integrated regulatory policies would also help ensure that resources for environmental initiatives are more optimally targeted at areas that we, as community members, have identified as our top priorities - rather than on duplicate reporting. To be certain, we have all made significant gains over the past 15 years. And as industrial companies we continue to strive for the next level of improvement. As in any improvement project, this gets harder and harder over time. Let me give you an example. Several years ago, the City of Hamilton adopted Sewer Use By-law limits based on what was in place in other cities across Canada, certain limits of which were particularly challenging for industrial cities like Hamilton as opposed to the cities upon which they were based.
To meet the limits, US Steel Canada invested $25 million to build a new water treatment plant and ArcelorMittal Dofasco spent $7.5 million to upgrade an existing facility. These investments have significantly improved our performance, helping contribute to improved water quality in Hamilton Harbour. In fact, ArcelorMittal Dofasco has reduced discharges of water-borne PAHs by 97.5% as a result, tantalizingly close to the targeted 99.5% reduction we need to meet the regulatory limit. However, this last 2% is exponentially more difficult to achieve than the first 97.5%, and could well require a further $2 million capital investment. A legitimate question is whether this is the best, most effective use of environmental dollars? Maybe there are other priority areas where we could get a more significant environmental improvement.
Regardless, what is important is that we continue to seek out solutions and continue to improve. I hope that as we move through today’s agenda and engage in positive discussion, we can continue to pinpoint the biggest issues facing our community and find alignment in how we choose to address them in a balanced way. As for the members of HIEA, I know that we will continue to work diligently to meet our obligations to our many stakeholders -- our community, our employees, our customers, our shareholders and our regulators to deliver the greatest benefit possible to all. I hope that today’s summit will help our community take further steps toward environmental improvement and sustainability.
I encourage you to think about priorities, …
… about initiatives that deliver the greatest environmental benefit for Hamilton, …
… about using resources as effectively as possible, …
… and about working together to build the most sustainable community that we can.
Thank you very much.
To hear interviews from the Summit click here.