IZA and its members are committed to the principle of sustainability, and this commitment is embedded in our sustainability charter and guiding principles. We believe that protection of the environment, open engagement on sustainability issues, and supporting sustainable development practices not only drive long-term prosperity for the zinc industry; they enable our customers to become more sustainable through the use of zinc products.

The United Nations introduced the Sustainable Development Goals to measure progress toward a more sustainable future. These goals address a wide range of global challenges, many of which Zinc and the Zinc industry play a key role.

No Poverty

IZA Members Contribute:

  • Teck supports a UNICEF pilot project to train rural health workers in Namibia. Today, 1,500 health workers are paid a government salary and have helped reduce child mortality in remote and rural regions of Namibia.
  • In 1989, Teck launched an innovative operating agreement with the Indigenous Iñupiat people in Northwest Alaska to develop the Red Dog Mine and create jobs and economic opportunities. Over $5 billion in local benefits – including wages and royalties – have been generated since mining began, and Red Dog directly creates about 550 high-paying local jobs in a remote area of Alaska with few economic opportunities.
  • Hindustan Zinc Limited partnered with Indian Institute of Skill Development (IISD) to create new opportunities for imparting job oriented training for local youth.

Zero Hunger

Zinc Contributes:

  • Zinc is essential for crop growth and survival and has been identified by the FAO as the most common micronutrient deficiency for crops in the world. By applying zinc in fertilizers to zinc deficient soils, the crop yields improve, nutritional quality of staple foods increase, mortality rates decrease, and healthier societies emerge.
  • By applying zinc in fertilizers to zinc deficient soils, the crop yields improve, nutritional quality of staple foods increase, mortality rates decrease, and healthier societies emerge. Already in 2008 the Copenhagen Consensus, a project that seeks to establish priorities for advancing global welfare using methodologies based on the theory of welfare economics, using cost–benefit analysis identified vitamin A and zinc supplementations as key measures for combatting hunger and malnutrition.

IZA Contributes:

  • The 'Zinc Nutrient Initiative' (ZNI) seeks to address the critical and linked issue of zinc deficiency in soils, crops and humans with the long-term and sustainable solution of zinc-fortified fertilizers to improve food & nutrition security, ultimately improving human health.

IZA Members Contribute:

  • Teck has initiated the 'Zinc Alliance for Child Health' (ZACH), a $25 million program dedicated to scaling up access to life-saving zinc treatments, improving local supply chains, and training health care workers to strengthen health systems in sub-Saharan Africa and India. To date, 44 million episodes of childhood diarrhea have been treated with zinc and oral rehydration salts, and 60,000 health care workers have been trained about the importance of zinc for child health (see also ICMM case).

Good Health and Well-Being

Zinc Contributes:

  • Zinc is an essential element. Without zinc, there is no life; all living things need zinc to grow and function. In the human body, zinc has numerous jobs. Zinc is used to generate cells, to activate growth and development of bones and major organs, and to enable brain functions such as memory, sensory messaging, and cognition. Zinc is a critical element for child growth and development, of all the micronutrients, has the strongest effect on our immune system, preventing disease and fighting infection.
  • The "Cancer in Australia 2010" report compiled by a government agency revealed that the sun-drenched, beach-loving nation has the globe's highest rate of deadly melanoma. In 2017, over 1800 persons were expected to die from melanoma of the skin ("Cancer in Australia 2017"). Zinc oxide protects against skin cancer from UV radiation.
  • Hearing aids prevent people from in addition to losing their hearing capabilities to also loose their social contacts. These small, sophisticated machines need energy, and zinc-air batteries provide them with electrical power in the smallest and longest lasting way.

IZA Contributes:

  • 50,000 children are at risk of dying every year due to the impact of zinc deficiency on diarrhea, pneumonia and other infectious diseases. Zinc is a critical element for child growth and development and the proper functioning of the immune system. A few extra milligrams of zinc daily can make a huge difference. Zinc supplements are an effective and inexpensive remedy and are readily available. IZA's Zinc Saves Kids is a collaborative initiative with UNICEF focused on zinc containing supplementation programs to improve the survival, growth and development of young children in developing countries such as Nepal and Peru who are affected most by zinc deficiency-related health problems.
  • IZA funds and organizes international conferences on zinc and health that bring together renowned scientists, initiating knowledge transfer and innovative programs.

IZA Members Contribute:

  • Peñoles-Foundation UNAM alliance: The partnership between Peñoles and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) Foundation makes it possible to offer free services and specialized care in optometry and dentistry to groups of children, young people, and vulnerable adults in the local communities neighboring their operations. In 2017, the partnership extended this care, benefiting communities in Durango, Sonora, Zacatecas, and the State of Mexico. In total, 2,165 dental exams, 2,312 optometric exams and the donation of 2,138 pairs of glasses were provided.
  • The 1000 Day Project is a tailored program of nutritional support for families during the first 1000 days of life. By partnering with UNICEF and the Lao Ministry of Health, MMG is building wealth for host communities by supporting programs that provide lasting benefits to national child and maternal health. The 1000 Day Project commenced in 2012 with funding from MMG of US$1.38 million.
  • Glencore’s health programs include the families of its workforce. In southern Africa, HIV/AIDS is particularly prevalent. Glencore offers free testing, counseling, and treatment to its workforce, along with education and awareness programs in communities. Glencore’s HIV Care program offers testing and treatment to employees, their dependents, and the local community. It is aims to increase access to antiretroviral treatment (ART) and quality HIV-related care.
  • Teck is a founding partner of The 25th Team, a network of Canadian women who have committed $6 million to advance UNICEF’s maternal and child health interventions and reduce preventable deaths. The Government of Canada has matched every dollar, making it a $12 million movement for maternal and child health. As a result of 25th Team funding, UNICEF will help ensure improved nutrition, birth registration, and stronger health systems for 3.8 million mothers and children by 2020.
  • MMG is supporting the UNICEF-International Zinc Association (IZA) ‘Zinc Saves Kids’ program through UNICEF’s charity gifts campaign. UNICEF’s charity gifts give donors the opportunity to purchase a nutrition package that will make a difference to children in need in developing countries. MMG matches public purchases of Micronutrient Powder bundles or gifts up to $20,000.
  • Hindustan Zinc Limited has reached out to the families of its contract workers through the initiative 'Bridging Community Through Safety.' Safety officers visit the families to share experiences of workplace safety and personal health, offer a free home safety audit, and distribute emergency instruction pamphlets and safety kits. Thirty households received this education in 2014, with families reporting improved confidence in taking responsibility for personal safety and health.
  • Through the Fit for Life program, Nyrstar encourages and supports its employees to lead healthy lifestyles. The program is an integral part of Nyrstar’s safety and health strategy and involves a number of initiatives. Examples include general health assessments, skin cancer screenings, and, fitness and weight loss programs.

Quality Education

Zinc Contributes:

  • Zinc is an essential has many functions in the body, supporting a healthy brain development and the ability to concentrate among them. It does not pile up in the body and needs to be ingested as part of a regular balanced diet. Enough zinc in the diet is an important contribution to successful learning capabilities.

IZA Members Contribute:

  • Korea Zinc supports to help children through education programs partnered with Duk Shin Primary School, Onsan Junior High School and through scholarships for students via Kyungwon Cultural Federation.
  • 20 Sumitomo Group companies established the Sumitomo Foundation in 1991. The Foundation came about through financial donations provided by 20 Sumitomo Group companies and aims to contribute to the betterment of human society. The Foundation’s operations consist of awarding grants to fund projects in areas including basic science research; environmental research; protection, preservation, and restoration of cultural properties in Japan and overseas; and research and projects in international exchange.
  • Founded in 2017, the Lundin Foundation is a registered Canadian non-profit organization supported by the Lundin Group of Companies, which gave $5.5 million to 22 initiatives. The Foundation's aim is to enhance education and skills training for community members and develop a skilled workforce. One of the four focal fields of activities is education and skills training.
  • Teck’s Quebrada Blanca Operations in Chile have partnered with the Ministerial Secretariats of Education and energy to develop a renewable energy education program for local schools.  After completing the program, students will be able to utilize knowledge about solar and wind power by working at local energy companies.

Gender Equality

IZA Members Contribute:

  • In 2017, the Lundin Foundation funded programs in which 537 refugees were trained in a Business Accelerator program. Together with Impact Invest Sweden, the programs provided training and support to help newcomers enter and navigate the Swedish business environment and develop entrepreneurship skills. Finding meaningful employment for female refugees posed a specific challenge that was tackled.
  • SOMINCOR, a company from the Lundin Mining group, is targeting 15% women participation in the workforce and aims to improve economic inclusion of women in Baixo Alentejo as part of the company's commitment to being a catalyst for sustainable development. Initiatives are aimed at empowering women.

Clean Water and Sanitation

IZA Members Contribute:

  • Through investment in water-related programs such as wells or filtration plants, Glencore helps communities gain access to high-quality water. In 2017, $14.6 million were spent on community water infrastructure.
  • SOMINCOR is a company from the Lundin Mining group aimed at promoting sustainable water management and promoting proper water use to ensure the continuous availability of clean, potable water in the area. This is linked with the provision of free potable water to selected communities along the water line coming from the Santa Clara Reservoir. Five communities received potable and irrigation water from the mine, the municipality of Almodôvar received swimming pool water, and 9 farms along the water pipeline route received irrigation water.
  • In March 2017, Peñoles gave the Torreón, Coahuila Municipal Water and Sanitation System (SIMAS) the 'Zacatecas' water well so that this municipal authority could manage it for the benefit of the communities surrounding the Met-Mex Metallurgical Complex. The well operation was made possible by Peñoles through a collaboration agreement with the city of Torreón and SIMAS, directly benefiting 15,000 families living in the cities and villages near by the company’s facilities, who will now have a sufficient supply of drinking water.

Affordable and Clean Energy

Zinc Contributes:

  • Zinc is the basis for social energy. Galvanized steel is the material of choice for the structures that support and align solar panels, while zinc is also a component of the solar cells themselves and in the infrastructure supporting the electrical distribution network. Researchers using thin layers of zinc oxide have recently fabricated the highest efficiency solar cells ever created
  • Cost efficient generation of wind power: Thermal spraying of offshore windmills reduces costly maintenance and enhances the lifetime contributing to lower costs of offshore wind energy.
  • Reliable and robust power transport: Transport of renewable energy from off shore windmill parks to where the energy is needed via power lines. High voltage pylons are galvanized (duplex coated) to protect the steel from corrosion and damage.

IZA Contributes:

  • Through its TMD programs on Thermal Spraying, Galvanized sheet steel (GAP), and Galvanized Rebar, IZA supports the development of corrosion protection techniques, which are based on zinc and enable the production of renewable energy in a durable, robust, reliable and recyclable way. Protecting steel from corrosion saves resources that otherwise would have to be used to replace damaged steel structures. Less raw material production means less CO2 emissions.

IZA Members Contribute:

  • Teck partnered in the construction of SunMine solar project, located on Teck’s former Sullivan Mine site. SunMine is Western Canada’s largest solar power facility and the first solar project built on a reclaimed mine site. Teck provided use of the land and site infrastructure as well as a $2 million contribution towards SunMine.
  • The captive usage of solar energy is one the core focus areas at Hindustan Zinc (HZL). Solar rooftop projects with a capacity of 200 KW have already been installed at each of their head offices, including the Udaipur and Chanderiya lead zinc smelter.
  • Energy storage helps to balance supply and demand more effectively than the electricity grid. Teck is the primary investor in the development of clean battery technology through ZincNyx Energy Solutions, a Vancouver-based start-up that is working to develop and commercialize zinc-air flow batteries, Since 2012, ZincNyx has been developing a modular energy storage system designed to deliver backup power in the range of 5 to 100 kilowatts over extended periods of time.
  • In 2013, Teck’s Quebrada Blanca Operations partnered with AES Gener, a producer and distributor of electricity in Chile, to guarantee a supply of solar power for the next 20 years. This partnership is part of the strategic development of renewable energy sources for current activities at the operation as well as future activities at Quebrada Blanca Phase 2.

Decent Work and Economic Growth

IZA Members Contribute:

  • Catering Las Peñas is a catering and housekeeping services company founded by former employees of Lundin Gold's Fruta del Norte project in southern Ecuador. The Lundin Foundation provided financing, training, and technical assistance to help create the company, which provides catering and housekeeping services to 700 workers at the developing mine. In just over two years, 200 jobs were created, 75% of which are in the area of influence.
  • Volcan (23% Glencore) and the NGO Prisma designed a program to develop sustainable businesses in Peru. Agricultural and stockbreeding campaigns were developed to improve the productive chain in communities through technical assistance and monitoring for over 2,600 families. Volcan provides resources for productive activities related to agriculture and stockbreeding, promotion of forest production, and strengthening of breeding activities through the development of fish farms. These actions, coupled with the hiring of community-owned business, generates annual revenue of USD 22MM for local economies.
  • Teck has partnered with the Elk Valley communities of Elkford, Fernie and Sparwood, as well as with local First Nations, through the Elk Valley Economic Initiative (EVEI). Teck operates five steelmaking coal mines that employ approximately 4,000 people in this region, and has a vested interest in ensuring the Elk Valley has a healthy economy. The EVEI is working to promote and advance regional economic development initiatives, including addressing infrastructure gaps, workforce developing and training, and business diversification.

Industrial Innovation and Infrastructure

Zinc Contributes:

  • More than 50% of the global zinc production is used as a coating on steel to protect it from corrosion, which prolongs the service life of steel products significantly. Steel is the most important material in infrastructure, such as bridges, construction and building, renewable energy, and mobility.

IZA Contributes:

  • Through its TMD programs on Thermal Spraying, Galvanized sheet steel (GAP), and Galvanized Rebar, IZA supports the development of corrosion protection techniques, which are based on zinc and enable the production of renewable energy in a durable, robust, reliable and recyclable way.

IZA Members Contribute:

  • Nexa's Mining Lab program was conceived with the purpose of supporting efforts from entrepreneurs willing to develop tech innovation projects for the metals and mining sector.
  • Teck has launched an innovative pilot project to use liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a fuel source in haul trucks at our Fording River Operation in southeast B.C., making it the first use of LNG as a haul truck fuel at a Canadian mine site. There is the potential to eliminate approximately 35,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually at Teck’s steelmaking coal operations and potentially reduce fuel costs by more than $20 million annually by adopting LNG and diesel hybrid fuel across the operations.
  • Peñoles has invested in 70 projects for the construction and repair of roads, classroom improvements, drinking water, and electrical infrastructure, sanitary landfills, drainage, paving of sidewalks and streets, construction and/or repair of bridges, public lighting and school domes. In the period 2014-2017, more than $133 million has been invested in six Mexican states where Peñoles has a presence, including Zacatecas, Sonora, Durango, Coahuila, Chihuahua, and the State of Mexico.

Reduced Inequalities

IZA Members Contribute:

  • In 2017, the Lundin Foundation funded programs in which 537 refugees were trained. A partnership with social innovation leaders SoCentral and the city of Oslo, led to BOOST Refugee, an accelerator program to help refugees find jobs through career fairs, courses, mentoring and networking events.
  • With FY2016, Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd. established a framework for promoting diversity at its business sites in both Japan and overseas. The project aims to create workplace environments favorable to diverse human resources.
  • In its Bayalgu indigenous pre-employment training program, Golden Grove conducts one training course every year and seeks to improve Indigenous representation in employment in Western Australia's Mid West region. It plays a valuable role in providing Indigenous Australians living in Golden Grove's host communities with a range of work readiness skills and competencies to support their entry into the resources, civil construction, and associated service industries.

Sustainable Cities and Communities

Zinc Contributes:

  • Steel will continue to play a leading role in building and construction, in mobility and in infrastructure. Zinc coatings make steel more durable, saving resources and thus CO2.
  • Zinc sheet allows for round shape roof forms. In combination with other materials (e.g. wood), these roofs provide variety and comfort to our cities and homes.

IZA Contributes:

  • Zinc is a building material as a sheet and as galvanized steel. To assess the environmental sustainability performance of buildings, LCA nowadays is the tool to be used. IZA provides the underlying LCI and the LCA for zinc mining and production and for zinc sheet.

IZA Members Contribute:

  • MRM (Glencore McArthur River Mine) Community Benefits Trust funds initiatives in the Northern Territory of Australia for enterprise and job creation, environment, arts, culture, health, education, social and community development. Established in 2007, the Community Benefits Trust has invested more than $14 million into around 90 programs to support social-economic development in the Gulf region.
  • Hindustan Zinc has constructed & commissioned Udaipur's first Municipal Sewage Treatment Plant in Udaipur for reduction of pollution load of the lakes in the city.
  • Kimberley, British Columbia was once home to the world’s largest lead-zinc-silver mine, the Sullivan Mine, operated by Teck. After the mine closed in 2001, with Teck's support, the community recognized that the surrounding landscape and existing recreational amenities provided the opportunity to develop a tourism economy. Today, Kimberley is a four-season tourism destination and home to several golf courses, a conference center, and walking and biking trails, it attracts both tourists and a variety of new business opportunities.

Responsible Consumption and Production

IZA Contributes:

  • IZA is a global organization. Among its membership in the different regions of the world, production techniques and standards may differ. Working with its members, IZA informs its members on the newest techniques and regulations to enable them to always aim at the highest feasible standard.

IZA Members Contribute:

  • Zinc products in building applications (sheet and zinc coatings) hold Cradle-to-Cradle ® certificates. Cradle-to-Cradle® (C2C) is a design concept inspired by nature, in which products are created according to the principles of an ideal circular economy. Certified products are characterized by efficiently optimized production with a maximum of circularity.
  • For creating closed material cycles, and reducing the proportion of hazardous waste for disposal from 70% to 3%, Wiegel was nominated for the European EMAS award in 2017.
  • New Century Resources Limited (ASX:NCZ) is an Australian base metal development company restarting Queensland’s Century mine operations. Zinc will be mined from mineralized tailings of the former Century Mine production as well as from remaining ore bodies.
  • The Votorantim (today NEXA) Metais Morro Agudo site, located in Paracatu (MG), has managed to eliminate waste. From waste produced in zinc beneficiation process, which used to be dumped in dams, today agricultural lime powder, also known as Zincal200 is produced. The product neutralizes soil acidity and increases productivity, thanks to the presence of zinc in the formula.

Climate Action

Zinc Contributes:

  • Zinc saves valuable resources and thus CO2 emissions by protecting steel from corrosion. Once the steel construction comes to the end of its useful life, steel and zinc are recycled and used over and over again.
  • Thin-wall and foam casting of zinc save weight in cars, thus making them more fuel efficient. Thinner steel sheets in cars are made of high-strength (HSS) and ultra-high-strengths steel types (UHSS). Tailor made zinc coatings result in enough life time to realize the weight savings efficiently.

IZA Contributes:

  • IZA developed the high fluidity zinc die casting alloy (HF) for thin-wall casting in automobiles, which save weight and increase fuel efficiency.
  • New steel alloys such as high-strength steel and ultra-high-strength steel make cars lighter, but they need sustainable corrosion protection that enhances the steel sheet’s durability. In its GAP program (Galvanized Autobody Partnership), IZA coordinates the development of tailor made zinc coatings for new steel types jointly together with the steel industry.

IZA Members Contribute:

  • Teck is reducing GHG emissions from its activities. Since 2011, Teck has implemented projects and initiatives that have reduced CO2 emissions by approximately 217,000 tons of CO2 emissions as of the end of 2016. Teck also improves energy efficiency. Since 2011, efforts have resulted in reduction projects totaling 1,550 terajoules.
  • In May 2016, Três Marias site (NEXA) replaced their oil-based boiler with a biomass boiler, responsible for providing the plant with steam, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, fueled by eucalyptus chips produced in the region. The Boiler went into operation in 2017. This new structure replaces the former Allborgs Boilers, which were fueled by BPF oil (heavy oil) derived from petroleum and now avoids the emission of 18 thousand tons of this fuel per year.

Life Below Water

Zinc Contributes:

  • Zinc is a naturally occurring element in natural waters (surface-, ground-, and sea water). Organisms living in water need zinc to survive.

IZA Contributes:

  • IZA initiates and coordinates targeted research projects to understand the mechanisms of zinc's presence in waters, in partnership with regulatory authorities when possible.

IZA Members Contribute:

Life on Land

Zinc Contributes:

  • Zinc is a naturally occurring element in soils and rock. Its concentration varies due to the geological surroundings. For plants, animals and human beings, zinc is an essential element and needs to be taken in regularly through the diet.

IZA Contributes:

  • To understand the mechanisms of zinc's presence in soils and rocks, IZA initiates and co-ordinates targeted research projects.

IZA Members Contribute:

  • Hindustan Zinc (HZL) made a conservation plan to conserve peacock and to increase awareness among the people of the nearby village about national bird conservation. A boundary wall was erected around the area and restricted the movement of people and thus providing a safe and protected environment for the endangered birds and developing dense tree plantation of high branches that can provide shelter and habitat for the peacocks. HZL has also planted those species which are conducive to the breeding of insects and reptiles on which the Peacocks feed.
  • Teck's reclamation activities, which are managed by environmental officers at each operation, focus on conserving biodiversity. This work can include the development of diverse wildlife habitats, annual wildlife surveys and aerial seeding in mined-out areas. Our goal is to replace much or most of the structural and compositional diversity of the natural habitats that existed before we developed our mines, creating a positive legacy for the environment and nearby communities.

Peace and Justice

IZA Members Contribute:

  • Teck has carried out Human Rights Assessments (HRAs) at all operations to identify and analyze where there may be human rights risks and, if risks were present, their associated impacts. The process was based on the engagement of multi-disciplinary groups at each operation, including those drawn from Environment, Procurement, Communities and Human Resources.
  • Large member companies of IZA, such as Teck, Boliden, Lundin Mining, Glencore, Penoles, Hindustan Zinc, and MMG engage in and support the work being done to fight corruption by supporting international frameworks such as the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and/or the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

Partnerships for the Goals

IZA Contributes:

  • IZA provides an effective framework for knowledge building and creating a network among zinc experts through conferences and initiatives.
  • Technical conferences on zinc die casting and corrosion protection provide experts with the best available toolbox for an efficient use of zinc in applications that contribute to the SDGs, such as corrosion protection, renewable energy generation.
  • Teck has partnered with the Elk Valley communities of Elkford, Fernie and Sparwood, as well as with local First Nations, through the Elk Valley Economic Initiative (EVEI). Teck operates five steelmaking coal mines that employ approximately 4,000 people in this region and has a vested interest in ensuring the Elk Valley has a healthy economy.
  • The Galvanized Autobody Partnership (GAP) project connects the global steel industry with the global zinc industry and with science. The GAP network assures that, for every innovative steel type tailor-made, corrosion protection exists.
  • The Zinc Nutrient Initiative (ZNI) seeks to address the critical and linked issue of zinc deficiency in soils, crops, and humans with the long-term and sustainable solution of zinc-fortified fertilizers to improve crop yield and nutrition, ultimately improving food security and human health.

Click the sustainability circle to see how Zinc supports each goal!

IZA understands that environment and sustainability programs are integral to the future of the zinc industry and is committed to contributing scientifically sound facts in response to societal concerns and market trends.

Zinc…Essential for Modern Life

Life Cycle Assessment

Zinc extends the life cycle of steel. A longer service life and less maintenance lower the cost of public infrastructure. ››

Material Stewardship

Responsibility extends beyond zinc, it is about caring for society. ››

Environment

Zinc is a natural element playing an essential role in the biological processes of all humans, animals, and plants. ››

Availability

With continued sustainable practices,
Zinc will be available for centuries to come. ››

Recycling

Circularity is key to the sustainability of zinc. The cycle of production, consumption and recycling allows for maximum efficiency and re-use. ››

Resources

Find out more from our library of documents and publications. ››