Read below to learn more about how we manage our social, environmental and economic commitments.
Doe Run operates with the consent of the community. We recognize the importance of their goodwill and the responsibility we have to operate safely, economically, soundly and in an environmentally sustainable manner. Our local communities expect us to be a fair and responsible community member. We demonstrate this in part by providing higher-than-average local wages, sourcing materials from local vendors where possible, supporting community organizations, and including the concerns of the community in our decision-making process. When we honor our commitments, we build trust with our stakeholders, including those in the communities in which we operate.
When we developed our Sustainability Principles, it was important to us that we address being a good neighbor, specifically:
- We respect community values, priorities and interests in our business decisions.
- We provide enduring benefits that enhance our communities.
- We maximize the economic benefits we provide to our stakeholders.
Each of our operations has community engagement plans that guide community outreach, communication and support. We are able to provide both immediate and lasting benefits to the community by:
- Purchasing locally wherever possible.
- Hiring locally where possible, and paying higher-than-average local wages overall.
- Paying royalties to governments and private landholders, as well as our fair share of taxes.
- Supporting educational opportunities through a STEM curriculum in area schools, tours when possible, internships, summer jobs, doctoral candidate projects and academic scholarships.
- Providing donations to local charities that improve the quality of life for people in our community.
We also aim to share information in a transparent and proactive manner. Although we are a privately held company, we choose to report annually on our social, economic and environmental performance in our Sustainability Report, so community members, customers, legislators and other stakeholders know how we are doing. We also regularly conduct community surveys to determine the interests, concerns and disposition toward our company of those living nearest to our operations. In this way, we can adjust our community engagement and communications efforts to better meet the community’s needs.
By sharing information openly, being an active member and supporter of the community, living in and near the communities in which we operate, and engaging in two-way dialogue, we believe we can support the sustainability of the local communities, and produce and deliver our products more efficiently.
The Doe Run Company’s values – safety, integrity, collaboration, respect, stewardship and sustainability – affirm our organization’s culture and commitment to sound and ethical business practices. This starts with how we treat our employees and employee candidates. Our goal is to attract and retain the best employees in order to help us achieve our goals, so it is important that we strive to respect and invest in our people and consider workforce and industry best practices. We do this by paying our employees overall higher-than-average local wages, offering tuition reimbursement opportunities and providing affordable health benefits. As the largest employer in the area, it is important to the local economy that we continue to provide quality jobs and remain a sustainable company that can employ the next generation.
Our approach to employment and workers follows the principles of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action in all employment policies and practices, including our recruiting, hiring, compensation, benefits, transfers, training, promotions, company-sponsored events and other employment activities. We track and report on employment rates annually, as well as employee health and safety monthly (see Management Approach to Health and Safety), to ensure we are meeting those principles.
Our employee handbook outlines our business code of conduct, hiring practices, time and attendance policies, anti-harassment policies, compensation and pay practices, benefit and leave policies, and much more for employees. We provide helpful resources, such as the EthicsPoint 24-Hour Hotline, which allows employees to report anything that might be illegal or unethical, or violations of company policy. We introduce all new employees to these materials during orientation, and regularly review them with employees when and if changes are made to a policy, or if a need is identified.
We support a culture of respect, continuous improvement and safety by identifying competencies that are aligned directly to our values and have built them into our talent management practices. We assess and review talent for our critical positions companywide on an annual basis, and offer tools for learning to plan for succession and prepare our workforce for future success. We recognize and respect that every employee has a voice and opinion that matters; diversity in experience, thought and ideas is encouraged.
Building a culture of respect and investment in our people is a strategic priority, but it’s increasingly important as the entire mining industry faces a growing demand for talent to replace retiring employees. How we attract, build and retain top talent will directly impact our long-term success as a company and an industry. That is why we aim to be viewed as a preferred employer by promoting a culture of safety and environmental compliance, teamwork and collaboration, fairness and consistency, oversight and standardization, communication, and advocacy.
Health and Safety
We depend on one another to operate safely and to protect each other, the community and the environment. Because we operate in a heavy industrial environment, we have inherent safety risks. Safety is a foundational value. Our employees, their families, local communities and the government want to know how we are meeting our safety goals. We share updates internally on a monthly basis, report incidents according to regulatory requirements and share our annual results in this Sustainability Report.
Doe Run’s approach to employee health and safety includes continual training and protective standards that meet or exceed industry and regulatory expectations. Training is critical to helping us keep our employees safe and is required to meet certain compliance and regulatory guidelines, as well as to cover essential work-related skills, techniques and knowledge. We ensure that our employees possess the right skills to help our business succeed, and conduct refreshers to address changes in guidelines, technology, processes, etc.
As a part of training, Doe Run also provides employee development opportunities, which are important to help employees perform their best, build new skills and enable the company to thrive. We believe this approach fosters greater employee satisfaction, so that they stay with us, become great at what they do and help others become so, too.
We track our training hours for each employee, along with course titles and dates of completion. This data is collected by the training facilitator/subject matter expert, verified and entered into our training database. Supervisors are responsible for confirming that all employees receive required trainings, as well as annual refreshers and/or continuing education as needed. In 2022, employees participated in more than 37,000 hours of environmental, health and safety training.
Doe Run also tracks and reports on key health and safety metrics on a monthly and annual basis to identify opportunities for improvement. We track our workforce’s blood-lead levels (the trace amount of lead the body may absorb through exposure), accidents and incident rates. Monthly reports are shared all the way up through the executive level.
Our mining, milling and recycling activities have the potential for employees to be exposed to airborne lead particles. Doe Run employees are trained in proper lead handling and personal hygiene processes to reduce their exposure. Personal protective equipment, like respirators, are worn in areas of exposure, and employees who work in certain areas are required to wash thoroughly and change clothes and shoes before eating or going home each day.
Doe Run’s standards for workforce exposure to lead are more stringent than government requirements, and progress is measured to the microgram, or one millionth of a gram. The lead industry voluntarily self-monitors and self-reports on employees’ blood-lead concentrations in micrograms of lead per deciliter of whole blood (μg/dL). Doe Run reports this information in our Sustainability Report. In addition, on a monthly basis, we track and monitor internally those employees whose blood-lead levels are 15-19 μg/dL (mildly elevated) and employees whose levels are greater than 19 μg/dL (moderately elevated). Doe Run counsels employees who cross a certain threshold to identify particular areas of exposure, and work on individualized plans to address those areas. Employees whose levels exceed 25 μg/dL are temporarily reassigned to a job area with reduced exposure. By comparison, the adjusted OSHA standard for medical reassignment of an employee is 53 μg/dL.
We use a variety of tools to assist in identifying safety improvement opportunities, and we involve employees to develop solutions to address them. Some examples of routine safety steps employees take include pre-shift equipment inspections and daily inspections of their work areas to identify any potential hazards, and reporting near misses – situations that could have resulted in an accident but did not – to help prevent potential injuries.
Doe Run has won the prestigious Sentinels of Safety mine safety award 28 times and has operations that have gone decades without a lost-time incident. We also have two award-winning mine rescue teams that undergo monthly training and compete in mine rescue competitions to keep skills sharp in case they need to aid employees during a real mine emergency. Safely returning our workers home to their families and loved ones at the end of each day is the ultimate goal of our safety and training programs.
We report on our environmental performance each year for the sake of transparency regarding potential environmental impacts and to inform our neighbors and other stakeholders about our efforts to minimize such impacts.
Doe Run’s mining, milling and recycling activities involve permitted emissions into the environment, which is why we have robust management systems in place to mitigate any potential impact to the environment and maintain permit compliance. Such emissions are monitored and reported, as appropriate, to regulatory bodies, including the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
We have a number of measures in place to minimize, treat and prevent emissions in order to ensure a safe work environment and to meet regulatory requirements with respect to water, air, and soil quality. Water released from our property must meet limits established in facility-specific operating permits. Air emissions also must meet standards. Doe Run uses baghouses, scrubbers, ventilation systems and enclosures, among other methods, to manage these emissions. Our air emissions are regularly monitored and reported, and ambient conditions are evaluated by air monitors designed to measure concentrations on-site as well as beyond our property line. We also use a system that enables us to monitor air emissions continuously.
The vast majority of our emissions are caused by the discharge of tailings (ground-up rock that is the byproduct of milling and mining, from which we have effectively removed the minerals) to land in permanent permitted areas on our property.
To further monitor and improve in this area, we maintain International Organization for Standardization (ISO) environmental management certifications covering multiple facilities.
Our Sustainability Principles reflect that Doe Run is a steward of not only the minerals we extract, but also the energy we use in our operations. Energy consumption constitutes one of our largest operating costs for both the mining and metals divisions. Doe Run is one of the largest electricity consumers in Missouri because electric motors run much of our operations, including conveyors, pumps, ventilation fans, rock crushers, grinding mills, hoisting equipment, air scrubbers, baghouses, and water treatment. Total energy consumption includes electricity, fuels (i.e., furnace coke, diesel, propane, gasoline), and explosives. The electricity we use is purchased from our local utilities, which generates the majority of its electricity from fossil fuels. Energy usage and costs are tracked monthly for each of the operations.
Because fossil fuels produce carbon emissions, we continue to explore other ways to conserve energy and use cleaner energy options for the good of the environment, society and the health of the company. We have initiated several energy efficiency projects, including LED lighting replacements, installing variable-frequency drives on vent fan motors, and installing shut-off switches on pumps that do not need to run continuously. We also installed an electric underground haulage system to significantly reduce the use of diesel trucks above ground at one of our sites. As mines age, transportation efficiency over longer haul distances becomes even more important. Conserving energy, reducing costs and/or looking for alternative energy sources are critical to the future of our mines and the economic value they bring our stakeholders.
One of our Sustainability Principles is to “minimize the impact of our operations on the environment.” Understanding our product streams, as well as the amount of materials we are able to recycle through our process, helps us measure and manage the resources we consume. By using recycled materials, we support a more circular economy and reduce overall waste to landfills.
Our stakeholders care about the environment and jobs, so effectively managing natural resources and providing value to the local community by sourcing locally are two examples of steps we take to address those concerns. Another important topic for our industry is the reuse of materials to limit waste, which is why we report on 301-1(EN2). We recycle an average of 8 million batteries per year, along with other lead-bearing materials, at our Resource Recycling facility. These materials are sourced from battery manufacturers and other business partners. The recovered materials can be reused again and again, as part of a circular economy. Additionally, active Doe Run facilities work to continuously improve processes to minimize waste generation through programs, such as recycling of cardboard and shrink wrap from raw material packaging.
We measure all materials we use so we can better evaluate purchasing habits, material sourcing and product options, among other material needs. We continue to look for opportunities for improvement, such as sourcing more materials locally (which can reduce shipping impacts) and choosing alternative renewable materials where feasible.
Doe Run utilizes this data to inform our purchasing decisions, evaluate contracts and select vendors who share our vision for sustainability. By working together, we can improve efficiencies throughout our supply chain and responsibly source cost-effective materials. Preferences are put on materials that deliver value to the organization, support jobs in local communities and have as little environmental impact as possible.
In Southeast Missouri, many creeks, streams and river tributaries run near our operations. These waterways provide recreation for the community, and responsible use of these resources is important to us, as well as our neighbors. We are dedicated to protecting water quality. We work to ensure that water emitted from our operations safely meets permit levels before being returned to the environment.
We measure our water discharge data to track our progress in returning clean water to the environment. Approximately 62 million gallons of water come into contact with our operations every day, naturally flowing through our mines, falling as rain on our property or used in our processes. We pump water that comes from the mines and mills to large tailings storage facilities on our property, where it is temporarily stored prior to treatment in site-specific water treatment facilities.
Five water treatment plants process water from mine tailings storage facilities, and three water treatment plants cover our Herculaneum, Glover and Resource Recycling facilities. Our water treatment plants use a chemical technology, similar to that of municipal water treatment plants, to sufficiently remove metals and impurities. We monitor the water to ensure it meets regulatory requirements administered by the State of Missouri, prior to discharging to local waterways.
Our water management approach with these high-tech facilities allows Doe Run to process and discharge water more efficiently and meet stringent water quality standards. The water treatment plants have also increased our capacity to handle high surges of water in the event of heavy storms.
At Fabricated Products, Inc. – a wholly owned subsidiary of Doe Run – they rely on two retention basins to collect rainwater runoff at the lead fabrication plant in Casa Grande, Arizona. This reduces the load on the municipal storm water and sewer system.
Additionally, we keep the quality of water in mind when remediating historic mine sites. At some remediation sites, we have greatly improved water quality in streams and created stormwater diversions to manage water quality. We have also capped slag and chat piles, and have taken other measures to reduce wind and water erosion, to limit or prevent such materials from being carried into nearby water sources.
Our activities are subject to a wide range of laws and regulations governing worker health and safety, land use, environmental protections, and many other areas. Compliance in this regulatory environment is crucial to our business and our reputation. By operating a responsible business, we are able to continue to protect our shared environment, employ our people, support our local economy, and provide necessary minerals and metals to a global society.
Our commitment to conduct business in a manner that adheres to all applicable laws and regulations is stated in our Employee Handbook and Standards of Business Code of Conduct.
We also participate in key voluntary compliance and reporting programs to demonstrate our commitment to transparency and good governance. We hold International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certifications at nine of our facilities to help us maintain environmental (ISO 14001) and product (ISO 9001) quality standards. These sites undergo third-party certification to ensure ISO standards are met. Our Environmental Management System (EMS) follows ISO standards to help Doe Run ensure that measures are properly implemented to meet environmental regulations. Within this program is the Environmental Task Management System (ETMS), which integrates our environmental tasks into a calendar system with reminders that allows us to track the completion of reoccurring tasks, such as sampling events. This system is critical to our ability to manage compliance efforts and meet ISO standards.
In addition to internal efforts to verify performance, regulators closely monitor our activities. Sites are frequently inspected by state and federal government agencies that review our operational, health and safety, and environmental performance. Our facilities are subject to regulation by, among others, the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. These agencies conduct inspections on a regular basis.
Doe Run generates financial value by mining and milling lead, copper, and zinc ore; producing concentrates; manufacturing lead products; and recovering lead metal through the recycling of 8 million lead batteries each year. As a major employer in the region, our business has an impact on the community and local economy, as well as the local suppliers and nonprofits who rely on our partnership.
We engage in a rigorous annual planning process in which we allocate the resources generated by the business. During that process, we try to balance our investments in a way that is most fair to all our stakeholders by reinvesting in our business and employees, protecting the environment, and improving the local economy.
Doe Run takes this approach in order to appropriately allocate resources to each of our priorities, balancing the changing needs of each one.
- We strive to ensure that we invest sufficiently in the community, through donating to local causes, and paying fair wages to employees.
- It is important that we continue to reinvest in our operations to ensure our long-term sustainability.
- We are also committed to the environment in which we live and operate, and invest significant resources into monitoring, mitigating and improving our impact on the environment.
Doe Run follows rigorous procedures for its internal control systems. Read more about these procedures in the corporate governance section of the report.