Investors , Customers Demand Strong ESG Governance , but It ’ s Frontline Workers Who Deliver Success
Martha Lujan ( left ), Manager of Strategic Community Development-Environmental / Sustainable Development , speaks with community member Michael Stevens at the San Carlos Apache Tribe ’ s Earth Day Expo in April .
Every employee is vital to Freeport-McMoRan achieving its environmental , social and governance ( ESG ) commitments that support our overall business strategy – especially the frontline workers , many of whom may be unfamiliar with those concepts .
That ’ s important , as investors , lenders and other key stakeholders increasingly are using their collective influence to encourage companies to embrace environmentally and socially responsible practices . But for Freeport , what it really amounts to is operating in a safe , responsible and sustainable manner – all of which are hallmarks of the company , said Josh Olmsted , President and Chief Operating Officer-Americas .
“ ESG commitments are about doing the right things ,” Olmsted said . “ It ’ s really not much different than what we ’ ve been doing in the past . ESG shouldn ’ t feel like something new but rather a continuous improvement on things that we ’ ve been doing for years and years . It ’ s about doing the right things the right way to produce a valuable product in a responsible manner .”
Mitchell Stashick ( right ), Chemist II-Henderson , describes Henderson ’ s milling process to a group of visitors at the recent Backyard BBQ hosted by the site to build key community relationships .
Olmsted does not want frontline workers to get distracted by the company ’ s focus on ESG commitments . By remaining focused on doing their jobs well – safely and responsibly – they will naturally contribute to the company ’ s long-term success while helping meet its responsible production objectives .
For example , operating equipment efficiently can reduce fuel consumption and maintenance costs , saving the company money . It also can help to protect the quality of life in surrounding communities and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change , both of which are important components of responsible production .
“ We don ’ t achieve any of our goals without the folks on the ground who do the work , day in and day out ,” Olmsted said . “ The importance of what every one of our employees does every single day in achieving our goals is key . Without them , none of it is possible .”
WAY OF DOING BUSINESS
The company ’ s ESG strategy underpins and supports the focus on delivering responsibly produced copper and molybdenum to the global economy . There are various goals , commitments , operational practices and reporting metrics to help define and track performance in protecting the environment , ensuring worker safety and collaborating with its host communities .
Central to an ESG program is a company structure that fosters integrity , transparency and diversity . At Freeport , responsible production practices are ingrained in the company ’ s culture and part of decision-making processes and operational objectives .
The company ’ s Board of Directors has a dedicated Corporate Responsibility Committee comprised of independent Board members , which provides recommendations and oversight to management on its ESG strategy and environmental and social performance . In addition , other Board committees oversee various aspects of ESG matters .
Performance transparency is another key element of a leading ESG program . Data on Freeport ’ s performance on ESG issues is regularly tracked and disclosed publicly through the company ’ s annual sustainability and climate reports , and in its annual and quarterly financial reports . Freeport also maintains a risk register , which quantifies potential environmental and social risks at each site and prioritizes actions to address them .
FINANCIAL PRESSURE TO RECOGNIZE AND MANAGE ESG RISK
Increasingly , much of the pressure to embrace evolving ESG practices is coming from investors , said Alexandra Barrows , Director-ESG Relations and Capital Financings . Major investment firms , including many large Freeport