Alcoa Makes Sustainability Integral to Business Strategy, Uses EHS Information to Drive Operational Excellence

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Courtesy of IHS

Alcoa is one of the world’s leading producers of primary aluminum and fabricated aluminum. For several decades, Alcoa has also been widely recognized for its leadership in addressing a broad spectrum of sustainability issues. As its website says, 'At Alcoa, sustainability is defined as using our values to build financial success, environmental excellence, and social responsibility in partnership with all stakeholders in order to deliver net long-term benefits to our shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers, and the communities in which we operate.' Alcoa's ability to achieve commercial success while continuing to raise the bar on sustainabilty may be surprising to some, but not to Alcoa's environmental, health and safety (EHS) team.

'Sustainability is integrated into our core business strategy and impacts decisions and actions at every level of our organization' said John Rind, Senior EHS Consultant for Global EHS Services at Alcoa. 'That's why Alcoa takes a comprehensive approach to sustainability management, addressing it through a variety of enterprise-wide programs and standards, all working together. Our team supports those efforts by collecting, analyzing and communicating EHS performance information from all across our company.'

In 2009, Alcoa completed the first phase in its deployment of a global EHS and sustainability software platform, IHS Essential Suite. Since then, Alcoa has continued deploying the system at locations worldwide, serving a total of 170 facilities in 32 countries. The system now contains more than 40,000 contacts and at least 10,000 named users, including 4,500 active users, working in 13 languages.

By combining this global system with complementary technolologies, the EHS information management team plays a critical role in the pursuit of Alcoa's strategic sustainability goals: financial success, environmental performance and social responsibility. The team uses EHS information to not only ensure compliance with regulations, standards and policies but also drive continuous improvement of core work processes and enable a culture of operational excellence.

'It's all about treating sustainability information with same rigor as we do financial information,' said Travis Morse, Manager of EHS Systems for Global Business Systems at Alcoa. 'It's got to be transparent and auditable so we can share it with our stakeholders. And it's got to be actionable so we can trace problems all the way back to their source at the equipment level – or, better yet, address issues proactively, before trouble occurs – in order to keep us moving forward on our journey to sustainable growth.'

The Challenge

  • Integrate sustainability with business to enable financial success, environmental excellence and social responsibility
  • Ensure full compliance with regulations, standards and company policies
  • Continuously improve management processes to drive operational excellence

The Solution

  • IHS EHS & Sustainability Solutions with IHS Essential Suite and IHS CyberRegs content

The Results

  • Deployed global information system at 170 facilities in 32 countries, serving 10,000+ named users in 13 languages
  • Complied with 1,200+ active permits, including 2,500+ rules and 225,000+ requirement citations, across 250+ jurisdictions worldwide as well as 87 Alcoa corporate standards
  • Tracked 20,000+ tasks in 2012 with >85% of case-related tasks completed on time
  • Delivered EHS metrics for public use from Sustainability Scorecards, Quarterly Business Reports, Sustainability Report
  • Supported company-wide safety standards and programs that emphasize the ability of all users to access and drill into real-time data

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