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 that provides jobs at a fair rate, sources materials from local vendors where possible, supports community organizations, and includes the concerns of the community in our decision-making process.
When we developed our Sustainability Principles, it was important to us that we address being a good neighbor, specifically:
- We will respect community values, priorities and interests in our business decisions.
- We will provide enduring benefits that enhance our communities.
- We will 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.
- Providing supplier procurement programs that help local vendors operate more sustainably.
- Hiring locally where possible, and paying higher-than-average wages.
- Paying royalties to governments and private landholders, as well as our fair share of taxes.
- Supporting educational opportunities through tours, internships, summer jobs, doctoral candidate research projects and academic scholarships.
- Providing donations to local charities that improve the quality of life for people in our communities.
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 operations 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.
Doe Run’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 we can in order to help us achieve our goals, so it is important that we strive to respect and invest in our people, and follow fair labor practices.
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, social recreation programs, company-sponsored events, and other employment activities. We track and report on employment rates annually, as well as employee health and safety (see Management Approach to Health and Safety) monthly to ensure we’re meeting those principles.
An employee handbook outlines our business code of conduct, hiring practices, time and attendance policies, anti-harassment policies and procedures, compensation and pay practices, benefit and leave policies, and much more for employees. We provide helpful resources, such as the Your Voice 24-Hour Hotline to support all employees if they would like to report anything that might be illegal, unethical or a violation 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 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 idea is encouraged.
Building a culture that respects and invests in our people is always a strategic priority, but it’s increasingly important as the entire mining industry faces a growing demand for talent. Approximately 50,000 new employees are needed to meet demand and replace retiring employees over the next 5 to 10 years. How we attract, build and retain top talent will directly impact our long-term success as a company and an industry. That’s why we aim to be viewed as an employer of choice 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, to protect each other, the community and the environment. Safety is our most foundational goal and our employees, their families, local communities and the government want to know how we are meeting our safety goals.
Doe Run’s approach to employee health and safety includes continual training and protective standards that meet or exceed industry 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 annual 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, develop 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, annual refreshers and/or continuing education as needed. Each year, employees participate in approximately 16,000 hours of training.
Doe Run also tracks and reports on key health and safety metrics for the mining, milling and lead metal production industries on a monthly and annual basis to identify opportunities for improvement. These include 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 monthly progress is measured to the microgram, one millionth of a gram. Doe Run monitors exposed workers’ blood-lead levels and tracks the number of employees with a blood-lead level greater than 19 micrograms of lead per deciliter of whole blood (“μg/dL”) in the calendar year at both its Southeast Missouri Mining and Milling Division (SEMO) and Metals Division. 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 who exceed 30 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.
Safety is a core value. We use a variety of mining and manufacturing industry tools to assist in identifying safety improvement opportunities that involve employees in developing solutions to address them. One example is our Job Safety Analysis program, which encourages employees to evaluate jobs before they begin to identify the safest tools and correct methods to proceed. Employees document that information for coworkers and future employees.
Doe Run has won the prestigious Sentinels of Safety mine safety award 28 times and has operations that have surpassed 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.
One of the reasons we report on our environmental performance each year is to be transparent in our environmental impacts, and to keep our neighbors and other stakeholders informed of our efforts to minimize the impact of our operations.
Doe Run’s mining, milling and recycling activities have the potential to result in releases to the air, water or land. Our releases 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 or prevent releases in order to meet permitted levels. For example, water released from our property must meet limits established in facility-specific operating permits. Doe Run has five water treatment plants in the Viburnum Trend that treat and release an average of 34.5 million gallons of water per day. Doe Run utilizes baghouses, ventilation systems and enclosures to manage our emissions and meet standards. The vast majority of our land releases are made up of tailings (the sand-like, non-mineralized portion of ore), which are stored in permitted areas of our property.
We also use an environmental management system that enables us to monitor air emissions and adjust our processes in real time to reduce our impact. To further monitor and improve in this area, we maintain ISO environmental management certifications at all of our active facilities.
When we created our Sustainability Principles, we considered how Doe Run must be a steward of not only the minerals we extract, but also the energy we use in our operations. Energy consumption is one of our largest operating costs for both the Southeast Missouri Mining and Milling Division (SEMO) 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 and hoisting equipment. Total energy consumption includes electricity, fuels (furnace coke, diesel, propane, gasoline), and explosives. Most of the energy consumed is derived from fossil fuels, which produce carbon emissions. Energy usage and costs are tracked and reported monthly for each of the operations. Historically, energy consumption has increased with the expansion of operations over time and is directly proportional to production trends.
To reduce carbon and other emissions, the SEMO Division has adopted 85 percent bio-diesel usage underground. We continue to explore other ways to conserve energy and use cleaner energy options for the good of the environment, society and the bottom line.
In 2016, we formed an energy team with members from both the SEMO and Metals Divisions. The team is charged with evaluating energy efficiency and conservation opportunities. So far, the team has 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 constantly.
The energy team is looking at a number of other projects to manage our energy use, such as bringing a natural gas pipeline to the Viburnum Trend to reduce our propane usage, and switching diesel trucks to run on natural gas and electricity. We also are installing an electric underground hauling system to replace the use of diesel trucks aboveground at one of our sites. Since our mines have declining ore grade, the ability to conserve energy, reduce costs and/or look for alternative energy sources will be important 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 direct and indirect input materials, as well as the amount of materials we are able to recycle through our process, helps us measure and manage the resources we consume.
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 why this matters to our stakeholders.
By measuring materials, we can better evaluate things, like purchasing habits, material sourcing and product options, in order to look for opportunities for improvements, such as sourcing more materials locally (which can reduce shipping impacts); choosing alternative materials where possible that may be renewable or have lower environmental impacts.
Doe Run captures this data, which is reviewed by the company’s purchasing group, which evaluates contracts, vendor selection and material options, with the assistance of on-site process owners. Together, this team is able to determine an efficient purchasing path and cost-effective material. Ultimately, measuring our direct and indirect input materials ensures that we purchase materials that deliver value to the organization, support jobs in local communities where possible, and are renewable or have as little environmental impact as is possible and practical.
When we created our Sustainability Principles, we considered how Doe Run must be a steward of not only the minerals we extract, but also the energy and water we use in our operations. Water is particularly important in Southeast Missouri, where 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 measure our water discharge data to track our progress in returning clean water to the environment. At the Southeast Missouri Mining and Milling Division (SEMO), an estimated 35 million gallons of water come in contact with our operations, either naturally flowing through our mines or used in the milling process. We pump water that comes from the mines and mills to large tailings ponds on our property, where lead, zinc and copper particles can settle out of the water. At some locations, we are able to pump mine water directly to our mills for use in the milling process first, then discharge the process water to the tailings pond.
Five water treatment plants pump water from the tailings ponds and process it using a chemical technology, similar to municipal water treatment plants to remove metals and impurities. Runoff water from storms is also treated at the plants. We monitor the water to ensure it meets permit limits, then discharge it into local streams.
Since overhauling our water management approach with these high-tech facilities, Doe Run has been able to process and discharge water more efficiently and meet more 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.
A water treatment plant is located on-site at the Resource Recycling facility, where water used in the lead battery recycling process is treated to remove metal particles. This plant also treats storm water on the property. Similar plants also operate at Glover and Herculaneum, the other sites that make up Doe Run’s Metals Division.
At Fabricated Products, Inc. – a wholly owned subsidiary of Doe Run – we rely on two retention basins to collect rain water 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 rerouted streams or patched the walls of old mines to prevent metals from leaking into the water. We are currently working on a meander system at the Elvins/Rivermines remediation site in Park Hills, Missouri. The system contains water and allows metal particles to settle out of the water before it slowly flows away from the chat piles. We also sometimes cap slag and chat piles, so wind and erosion cannot carry these particles 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 securing our license to operate and protecting our reputation.
Our commitment to conduct business in a manner that adheres to all applicable laws and regulations is stated in our Business Code of Conduct and supported by our policies and standards.
We also participate in key voluntary compliance and reporting programs to demonstrate our commitment to transparency and good governance. Our Environmental Task Management System (ETMS) integrates our environmental tasks into a management system that allows us to track the completion of reoccurring environment tasks, such as sampling events. All our sites undergo third-party certification of our environmental management systems to the internationally accepted ISO 14001 standard.
In addition to internal efforts to verify performance, each regulatory regime in which we operate closely monitors our activities. Sites are frequently inspected by state and national government agencies that review our operational, health and safety, and environmental performance. Our mines in the U.S. are subject to regulation by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). MSHA personnel conduct inspections on a regular basis.
Some of these inspections may result in alleged violations, which may result in citations and orders. These citations and orders may result in fines or penalties. We take these alleged violations seriously and work with the issuing agency to informally and formally contest the issued citations.
When we are out of compliance or when a significant event occurs, we commit to transparently disclose and mitigate any impacts.
Doe Run generates financial value by mining and milling raw materials (concentrates) to produce lead, copper and zinc, and recovering metals (lead) through the recycling of nearly 13.5 million lead batteries each year.
We engage in a rigorous planning process each year 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 of our stakeholders by reinvesting in our business and employees, protecting the environment, improving the local economy, and providing a return to our investors.
Doe Run takes this approach in order to appropriately allocate resources to each of our priorities, balancing the changing needs of each one. This will allow us to continue serving a valuable role in the community for years to come.
- We strive to ensure that we invest sufficiently in the community, through paying taxes and royalties, 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 we live and operate in, and invest significant resources into monitoring, mitigating and improving our impact on the environment.
As a privately held company, Doe Run is not legally bound to meet the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. This act was passed by Congress in 2002 to help restore confidence in publicly traded companies after several major corporate and accounting scandals. However, Doe Run has chosen to adopt certain Sarbanes-Oxley requirements that can be applied to privately held companies. These include good documentation procedures, rigorous internal accounting controls based on a proper segregation of duties, and strong internal audits and reviews. We also undergo annual external audits by the accounting firm of Crowe Horwath LLP, which adheres to Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS) as established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Our decision to take these steps is consistent with our desire to conduct business ethically and responsibly. Following this control framework also supports our efforts to maintain International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certifications at several operating sites.