Tuesday, December 22, 2009

BlueScope Steel's 2009 Community, Safety and Environment Report


Steel is one of the most versatile and durable materials and essential to our world today.

We depend on steel in every aspect of our lives – from use in our homes and commercial buildings, cars, trains and roadways to tools and equipment, and even in materials and products to help improve the environment.

Steel demand is growing rapidly, particularly in the developing world as infrastructure improvements are made to further advance its industrialisation. With the infinite ability to be recycled, yet maintain its strength and durability, steel is an ideal material for a sustainable world.

BlueScope Steel is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and this remains a priority for the Company. Our safety performance for the year was very good and despite the most difficult trading conditions, BlueScope employees continued to live up to Our Bond in our communities.

Environment and being responsible

BlueScope Steel is an environmentally responsible company and we continue to invest in improving our environmental footprint. We have invested close to $500 million over the past 15 years towards environmental projects to improve air quality, energy efficiency and waste management and reduce water consumption.

For example, at Port Kembla Steelworks, our largest production facility, over 16 billion litres of recycled water has been used since its recycled water project started in 2006.

At BlueScope, we are committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. In order to make major reductions in steel's carbon emissions, an alternative to using coal must be found. We are participating in research – both in Australia and overseas – to find new, lower carbon steelmaking technologies.

At the time of writing this message, the Senate has rejected the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS). Amendments had been made to the CPRS which would have reduced the cost of the scheme to BlueScope Steel and its Australian operations. BlueScope Steel welcomed the amendments to the CPRS. Notwithstanding these improvements, the CPRS would have still imposed material costs on BlueScope's Australian operations.

It is imperative that Port Kembla Steelworks and Western Port remain internationally competitive, both in order to continue to compete against imports and to export.

BlueScope Steel has been committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and this remains a priority for the Company. We believe government policy needs to provide incentives for major abatement projects, such as the Port Kembla Steelworks Co-generation Plant, and the Company is having ongoing discussions with the Federal Government about this project.

Environmental Results

This online version of our Community, Safety and Environment (CSE) Report, as we have done each year since BlueScope commenced operating, outlines our annual results for our water use, material efficiency, steel recycling, air quality and greenhouse gas emissions as well as our potential energy savings at our major manufacturing sites. Please take the time to review our results.

Safety is at the heart of what we do

The safety of our people has always been at the forefront of everything we do at BlueScope Steel. We're proud of our record but know that we must continue to work hard every day to stay safe and focus on achieving Zero Harm.

In a year of multiple and significant challenges, our safety performance was very good.

In FY09, the Company's injury levels remained at world best standard. During this year in which we undertook one of the Company's most critical and essential projects, the reline of the No. 5 Blast Furnace, our Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) remained below one for the fifth consecutive year. The Medically Treated Injury Frequency Rate (MTIFR) also finished at a record low level.

New safety milestones were reached in many of our businesses across all our regions.

For the first time ever, our Indonesian business experienced no Lost Time or Medically Treated Injuries for the year. Our New Zealand Steel operation was LTI free as well. They join the honour role of other BlueScope businesses that have retained their LTI free record.

Zero Harm is our goal. All of us at BlueScope are working diligently every day to achieve this goal.

Our communities are our homes

Our success relies on communities supporting our business and products. We conduct a variety of programs every year aimed at improving our communities and making a positive impact on people's lives.

Nowhere was this more recognised than through the support of our people in the bushfire relief following the tragic ‘Black Saturday' bushfires in Victoria, Australia, that occurred last February.

BlueScope Steel employees pledged more than $140,000 to the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal. The Company also pledged $1 million in steel building products to help rebuild communities destroyed by the bushfires. In addition to financial donations, many BlueScope employees personally donated food, clothing and their time to help the relief effort.

In our communities around the world, BlueScope Steel also supports a variety of humanitarian and local community programs. Over this last year, BlueScope Steel China donated a new building to the Xingren school in Mianyang City to replace a school building destroyed in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

The new school building is a fine example of technical innovation. The structure is a highly engineered, lightweight yet strong, steel frame designed to withstand severe earthquake loads. It is resistant to fire, earthquakes, mould, and decay, giving the students a safe and healthy schoolroom environment. The building was built to the highest environmental standards, and the use of Clean COLORBOND® steel products reduces the maintenance required.

So despite the most difficult trading conditions, BlueScope employees continued to live up to Our Bond in our communities.

We hope this year's online version of the Community, Safety and Environment Report is of interest to you and we invite you to write to us with your comments

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