Four Million Trees Towards a Net Positive Impact on Biodiversity
Teck Resources Limited
Working towards securing a net positive impact on biodiversity in the areas in which we operate.
- Conserving, Restoring & Growing, Enabling
- This pledge will take place from
- 2021 to 2030
The mining sector provides metals and minerals essential to maintaining and improving the quality of life for billions of people around the world, including supplying critical metals such as copper that are needed to tackle global challenges like climate change.
At the same time, mining operations have the potential to directly and indirectly impact biodiversity and ecosystems. Teck’s operations are adjacent to or within areas of high biodiversity value, including temperate and arctic areas, mountains, forests and deserts. This proximity, combined with the nature of our operations, makes land and biodiversity management a high priority. As such, we work collaboratively with stakeholders and Indigenous Peoples to develop integrated approaches to land use and employ the biodiversity mitigation hierarchy to avoid, minimize, rehabilitate or offset our impacts.
To achieve our strategic priority of working towards securing a net positive impact (NPI) on biodiversity in areas affected by our activities, all our operations have biodiversity management plans that they will continue to implement over the next decade.
For Teck, achieving NPI means that biodiversity gains realized through mitigation activities in the regions where we operate exceed biodiversity losses from the impacts of our operations. Our operations use quantitative metrics to demonstrate NPI on natural terrestrial, marine and other aquatic habitats and ecosystems; on critical landscape functions; and on biodiversity elements prioritized by stakeholders and Indigenous Peoples, including irreplaceable or highly threatened populations and species of plants and animals.
Between 2021-2030, we plan to plant four million trees in addition to shrubs, forbs and grasses at our North American sites as part of our mine rehabilitation works and efforts to achieve NPI.
Actions in this pledge
Conserving trees and forest landscapes
- Permanent conservation
- Secure a forest through acquisition or legal agreement to avoid planned or unplanned deforestation or degradation, and/or ensure permanent conservation of land
- Conservation support activities
- Support the operating costs and activities of existing conservation areas, including advocacy for conservation policy
In 2013, Teck purchased 7,000 hectares of land in southeastern British Columbia for conservation, and in 2020, finalized a Joint Management Agreement with the Ktunaxa Nation Council under which the Ktunaxa Nation and Teck will jointly manage the land for conservation purposes. In addition, Teck donated 940 acres of rare Ponderosa Pine/bunchgrass habitat in the East Kootenay Rocky Mountain Trench, east of our Sullivan mine near Kimberley, British Columbia. These properties augment an existing wildlife corridor held by the Ministry of Environment which provides protection for important grassland species such as mule deer and elk. This donation increased the size of the wildlife corridor from 660 to 1,600 acres, providing protected habitat for several plant communities that have been red listed by the British Columbia Conservation Data Centre as well as eight red or blue listed plant species.
Restoring and growing trees and forest landscapes
- Re-establishment of forest through planting and/or deliberate seeding on land classified as forest, that has been degraded or where trees are unlikely to regenerate naturally
On a progressive basis, Teck rehabilitates areas in order to re-create biodiversity values and reclaim areas with a view to closure. Reclamation practices can replace much or most of the diversity of the natural habitats that existed prior to mining. Responsibly closing our sites and managing our legacy properties also plays an important role in protecting biodiversity on the lands where mining once took place. We apply the principle of “equivalent land capability” to reclaim land to the equivalent capability that will support species that live in the area, according to reclamation and land use objectives. Our reclamation activities focused on conserving biodiversity include aerial seeding in mined-out pits and the development of diverse wildlife habitats. This is supported by monitoring, such as annual wildlife surveys, documentation of wildlife using trail cameras, and the development of tracking databases to record rare and unusual wildlife sightings.
Restoring & Growing
- 4 million
Enabling activities for trees and forest landscapes
- Nursery and seedling development
- Establish tree nurseries, including actions such as identification and collection of seeds and/or growing seedlings
- Sustainable forest management
- Activities that support the stewardship and use of forests (including by local communities and indigenous peoples), to maintain their biological diversity, productivity, and regeneration capacity, as well as their potential to fulfil relevant ecological economic and social functions
- Education and capacity building
- Forest / tree species conservation and restoration education programmes, targeted educational and behaviour change campaigns, training and capacity building, including promotion of local and traditional knowledge and practices
- Youth engagement
- Engagement of young people and/or youth networks to catalyse a restoration generation
- Data collection, management and technological tools
- Activities that provide data and/or technological tools to support conservation and restoration (e.g. monitoring etc.)
Teck also enables tree and forest landscape activities by operating our own nursery and supporting local First Nation-owned seedling nurseries to supply trees used for seeding. Our activities support the stewardship and use of forests (including by local communities and Indigenous peoples), to maintain their biological diversity, productivity, and regeneration capacity, as well as their potential to fulfill relevant ecological economic and social functions.
In addition, Teck supports forest and tree species conservation and restoration education programs, targeted educational and behaviour change campaigns, training and capacity building, including the promotion of local and traditional knowledge and practices. We support activities that support land rights, resolve land tenure conflicts, support Indigenous people’s rights, and other institutional and policy measures that support and facilitate conservation and restoration.
Our ecologically and socially responsible approach
At Teck, we recognize the role we play in taking decisive action on climate change. We are a signatory to the Paris Pledge for Action and are working to reduce emissions at our operations with the goal of being a carbon neutral operator by 2050, and we advocate for effective climate policies and responsibly produce the metals, minerals and energy that are essential for building the technologies and infrastructure needed to transition to a low-carbon economy. Additionally, we strive for a Net Positive Impact (NPI) at all our sites, with help from our site-specific Biodiversity Management Plans, which are informed and screened by subject-matter experts to ensure we fulfill our duty to ensure our operations are conducted in a way that protects the environment and that biodiversity gains realized through mitigation activities in the regions where we operate exceed biodiversity losses from the impacts of our operations.
To be socially responsible means responding to the needs of local communities and ensuring equity, empowerment and inclusion in systems of governance and ensuing economic opportunities. At Teck, those responsible for engagement with local communities and Indigenous Peoples are trained to conduct dialogue that is focused on building and maintaining relationships and addressing issues important to those communities. This helps enable engagement that is productive and constructive, and that directly contributes to the building and maintenance of long-term, trust-based relationships. Our engagement with our workforce, communities, civil society and Indigenous Peoples also supports our commitments to respecting human rights and Indigenous rights across Teck.
We are working at locations across Canada.
Teck is one of Canada's leading mining companies committed to responsible mining and mineral development with major business units focused on copper, zinc and steelmaking coal, as well as investments in energy assets. Headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, we own or have interests in 10 operating mines, a large metallurgical complex, and several major development projects in the Americas.
Our implementation progress
Pledge implementation progress reporting is managed in collaboration with IUCN’s Restoration Barometer, and is required annually from the year following pledge publication.