Top executives from the CEO downwards to shopfloor employees, armed with garbage bags, went around the Essar Steel Algoma campus at Sault Ste. Marie, in Ontario, Canada, on April 20, cleaning up their business area and neighborhood.
The clean-up was part of the Earth Day celebrations undertaken by the City of Sault Ste. Marie, which had organized Hands down, a 20-minute makeover as a green initiative. It was part of the country-wide Pitch-in Canada Week campaign, designed by non-profit organization Pitch-in, which asked businesses, groups and citizens to spend 20 minutes in cleaning up their neighborhood and business area.
Employees at Essar Steel Algoma extended their participation to a day-long housekeeping blitz, with departments from across the steelworks conducting a clean sweep around the perimeter of the facility. Large teams of Essarites across hierarchy, chipped in to tidy up at the four company gates and along neighboring boulevards.
The clean-up was an eye-opener, as the teams recovered a huge amount of garbage that had accumulated during winter. Besides the usual suspects like paper debris, cigarette butts, coffee cups and plastic water bottles, there were some more unique finds like a work boot, a fax machine and a screen door.
Of course, Earth Day celebrations on April 20 may have been symbolic, but Essar Steel Algoma’s commitment to environmental stewardship will be reflected in its ongoing efforts over the coming weeks and months. This includes plans for a site-wide aesthetic revival, targeted landscaping of open areas by planting trees, grass and flower gardens, and helping reduce the amount of airborne dust stirred up by prevailing winds and material movement.
Additional paving is also planned for parking lots and heavy traffic areas; importantly, the installation of an acoustic wall at the Bonney Street property boundary is currently underway and is on track for completion by month end. The company is investing $600,000 in the sound wall to reduce the noise from its operations, while building upon its ongoing property beautification program.
Indeed, Essar Steel Algoma recognizes the benefits of sound waste management and house-keeping practices toward improved safety and reduced environmental impact. It strives to provide a clean and professional work environment for its employees and also to be a good corporate neighbor.
The company is committed to carrying out its business in a manner that ensures reasonable and responsible consideration is given to the protection of the environment. Essar Steel Algoma will continue to conduct its business and operations in compliance with applicable environmental legislation through pollution prevention practices for the continual reduction and control of environmental releases and wastes.
The company recognizes the spirit and intent of all applicable government standards and regulations and aims to act responsibly in the absence of regulation. The fact that it takes its environmental responsibilities very seriously is reflected by the fact that all of its facilities are registered to the world-wide ISO 14001 Environmental Management System Standard.
As a member of the Canadian Steel Producers Association (CSPA), Essar Steel Algoma strives for continuous environmental improvement in every phase of steel production. Together, member organizations work to develop new or improved processes, practices or technologies; to maximize resource efficiency; and to develop new steel products that help other industries to improve their environmental performance.