Sustainable development

Sustainable development

Rio Tinto Aluminium's commitment to sustainable development is integrated into everything we do. Our operations give us the opportunity to bring long-lasting positive change to the communities, regions and countries where we work, and our aluminium is transformed into end products that contribute to higher living standards.
Building on more than a century of experience, Rio Tinto Aluminium is delivering a responsible future through:

• Clean energy
84 per cent of the power we use in primary aluminium comes from clean hydropower.

• Best-in-class AP Technology™
Our smelting technology gives us the lowest energy and carbon footprint in the aluminium industry.

• Product stewardship
We seek to reduce the impact and increase the benefit of our products across their lifecycle.   Visit the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) to learn more about this unique aluminium value chain initiative that will create the first Responsible Aluminium Standard.

• Commitment to innovation
We invest in R&D to ensure leadership in smelting and alumina refining technology - improving technical capabilities for customers and minimising the environmental impact of our product.

• Operational excellence
We strive to continually improve with priority placed on safety and quality.

• Promotion of recycling across all applications
We work with our customers to promote recycling programs.

• Social commitment
We build active partnerships with our communities and other stakeholders based on mutual respect and sustainable benefit across generations.

Adopting a responsible approach ensures we gain and maintain our licence to operate. It means we provide confidence to our stakeholders, and improve our access to the resources, people and capital we need.

Our focus on sustainable development provides us with a competitive advantage. This includes helping us to manage risks effectively, reduce environmental impacts, engage with our communities, decrease operating costs, provide additional business opportunities, attract high calibre employees and ensure their health and safety, and ultimately to deliver better returns for our shareholders.

Our Sustainable Development framework

In 2011, Rio Tinto Aluminium conducted a materiality assessment to determine which issues and indicators within overarching sustainable development principles would be of most relevance to external stakeholders and to our Product Group. The Rio Tinto Aluminium Sustainable Development wheel below reflects the outcome of this assessment and serves as the basis for our reporting and communications.

Our reputation for acting responsibly plays a critical role in our success as a business and our ability to generate shareholder value. That reputation stems from our four core values: accountability, respect, teamwork and integrity. The way we work, our global code of business conduct, supported by our global policies, standards and guidance notes, in conjunction with the requirements of local law and our voluntary commitments, forms the basis of our governance systems.

Respect for the environment is central to our approach to sustainable development. Wherever possible we prevent, or otherwise minimise, mitigate and remediate, harmful effects of the Group's operations on the environment. We have developed a number of practical programmes for environmental management, which include input from our local communities, as well as from experts in these fields.

We're committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for our employees where their rights and dignity are respected. We set out to build enduring relationships with our neighbours that demonstrate mutual respect, active partnership, and long-term commitment. In the long run, the trust that is engendered by these solid relationships will reinforce our ability to gain preferential access to resources.

Sustainable development is underpinned by sustainable economies. Our continuing financial success is based on our ability to secure access to land, people and capital. We use our economic, social, environmental and technical expertise to harness these resources and create prosperity for our shareholders, employees, communities, governments and business partners.