Our approach to sustainability

Boliden’s Board of Directors is responsible for the stewardship of the company and for ensuring that the appropriate corporate governance structures and systems are in place. Sustainability is addressed at each Board and Group Management meeting as well as Business Area and local management meetings. However, the day-to-day responsibility for sustainability work is decentralized to each of our Business Units.

Vision and Values

Guided by our values "Care, Courage and Responsibility", we aim to fulfill our vision to be the most climate friendly and respected metals provider in the world. The values describe how employees shall work together in Boliden’s daily operations. Our employees bring many different competences and skills, and together with our values, shape Boliden’s corporate culture around a common purpose. We strive to be a company governed by these values in that they form the basis for how we develop our business. We expect our employees to promote our values by acting responsibly toward colleagues, business associates and society at large, and to keep in mind that they may even be regarded as representatives of Boliden in their personal lives.

Boliden and the UN Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs)

The UN SDGs are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals that are designed to promote peace and prosperity for people and the planet – both now and in the future. Many of Boliden’s sustainability topics are related to specific SDGs. We support all of the SDGs but have identified the most important goals to our business to show how we contribute to cross-sector international efforts to help solve global development issues. Our work toward these goals has a positive impact on our ability to become a world-class metals company and a sustainable first link in metal value chains.

 

Boliden’s most relevant and prioritized SDGs are:

SDG 8 – ­Decent work and economic growth 
– Boliden promotes sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, productive employment and decent work for all, including in rural communities where most of our mines are located.

SDG 12 – Responsible consumption and production 
– Boliden’s operations produce metals efficiently and with a comparatively low-carbon footprint. Some processes create value from societal waste and secondary materials to contribute toward the circular economy.

SDG 13 – Climate action Boliden is working to reduce its climate impact and to constantly maintain and improve the low-carbon footprint of its metals.

We also consider SDG 5 (Gender equality), SDG 14 (Life Below Water) and SDG 15 (Life on land) to be relevant to our business.

 

Stakeholder inclusion

Stakeholder dialogue is an important part of living up to our values as a responsible and sustainable company. Our stakeholders are defined as groups of people or systems that can be significantly affected by Boliden’s operations. Each stakeholder group is taken into consideration when we identify our most  sustainability topics.

A stakeholder process is in place with clear roles and responsibilities defined. The stakeholder process is applicable for Boliden Group, Business Area Mines, Business Area Smelters and the Business Units. Each unit is responsible for identifying their stakeholders and the type of dialogue that should be carried out, and by whom. Stakeholders are identified throughout Boliden’s business lifecycle - from exploration to sold product.

Different stakeholders have different views and expectations of Boliden, which are taken into consideration when assessing Boliden’s sustainability topics. This includes our impact on the SDGs, the surrounding environment and on societal trends. The topics have also been shaped by engagement with representatives of other stakeholders.

Identifying and selecting stakeholders

Our operations affect many people in a variety of ways, and various stakeholders have different views and expectations on our company. A stakeholder analysis is conducted to help Boliden’s Business Units engage and strengthen dialogue with important stakeholders. By conducting stakeholder dialogues at different levels of our operations, we meet the demand for increased transparency and learn about stakeholder demands and expectations in greater detail.

Stakeholder engagement

We have a wide range of relevant stakeholders from a sustainability performance perspective. Stakeholder management is performed throughout Boliden’s business lifecycle – from exploration to sold product. Stakeholder engagement is conducted in different ways with different groups, for example, through bi-annual employee surveys, open-house meetings with employees and the neighboring community, formal and informal meetings with authorities, as well as capital market days and the Annual General Meeting.

Social impact assessments have been completed in several projects and we have developed a toolbox for different types of stakeholder engagement. For example, we conduct citizen dialogue on the rehabilitation of former industrial areas and during initial exploration work. Public meetings are held if Boliden enters an area of low experience of exploration and mining. Stakeholder engagement is also a central part of project development, application processes for permits as well as rehabilitation. More information about our stakeholder engagement can be found on page 79.

Our stakeholder groups.

Key topics and concerns raised

Our employees are naturally a key stakeholder group for us. Employee dialogues aimed at understanding their desires and demands are essential for the overall success of Boliden’s units. Responses from internal stakeholders (employees) confirm that health and safety is their most important issue, followed by the ability to create value by maximizing the metal yield and driving technological developments.

External stakeholders have high expectations when it comes to our focus on energy efficiency, carbon emissions, biodiversity, responsible business and land use. The common denominator for all stakeholders is an expectation that our innovation and technological development capabilities will benefit both the company and society at large. Sustainability for Boliden means evaluating environmental impact, taking social considerations into account, and ensuring strong economic performance.

Boliden’s stakeholder groupsSustainability areasDialogue and activities

Employees

– Health and safety

– Development plans

– Compensation and benefits

– Climate

– Employee survey

– Worker councils

– Annual appraisals

– Climate program and internal dialogue

Society

– Local communities

– Land use

– Resettlement and closure planning

– Rights of indigenous peoples

– Climate

– Biodiversity

– Public meetings

– Dialogue in application processes for permits

– Citizen dialogue and rehabilitation planning

– Dialogue as part of project development

– Dialogue during operation

– Engaging with local communities and indigenous peoples

Customers

– Financials

– Health and safety

– Climate

– Customer visits

– Dialogue with banks

– Low-carbon metals ESG business partner assessment

Capital markets

– Financial performance

– Risks

– Climate

– Business ethics

– Investor meetings

– Investor Relations days

– TCFD reporting

– ESG rating

– Green Bonds

Suppliers

– Business ethics

– Human rights

– Compliance

– ESG business partner assessments

– Site visits

– Audits

Environment

– Emissions to air

– Discharges to water

– Land use

– Measurements and follow-up

– Studies with universities

– Preventive actions to avoid impacts on air, land, and water

Policies and management system

Our governance model comprises of Group-wide policies, with local instructions, guidelines and tools in a global management system that corresponds to the challenges we face. The overall policy documents, governing documents for the Group, Business Areas as well as local steering documents are all available in the Boliden Management System, which is accessible to all employees on our intranet.

The Boliden Management System is integrated into our business and includes the quality, environmental, occupational health and safety, and energy management systems that Boliden’s operations have adopted. We aim to ensure that all ten operational sites have certificates in accordance with the ISO 14001 environmental management standard, the ISO 45001 occupational health and safety management standard and the ISO 50001 energy management standard. In 2022, all sites had these certifications. In addition, all sites' management systems shall be aligned with the ISO 9001 standard for quality management, which the Group’s five smelters also held certificates in accordance with during 2022. Boliden’s owned forests are managed and certified in accordance with the Forest Stewardship Council's standard for forest management (FSC® COC-000122).

By working with certified management systems, we ensure that our operations review significant issues, set targets, measure performance, follow up on progress and continuously work to improve our performance. The certification schemes also demand the documented delegation of responsibilities on each site and that relevant competencies are maintained.

In addition to the certification standards, we are also subject to various ratings from stakeholders such as rating institutes, as well as verification activities related to for example the membership requirements of the International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM).

Responsibility and monitoring of progress

Boliden’s Group Management has ultimate responsibility for the Group’s sustainability work. Identifying, prioritizing, and selecting the most relevant sustainability issues is an ongoing process involving all units within the Boliden Group. The Group Management includes the Senior Vice President Corporate Responsibility, who ensures that sustainability issues are continuously addressed.

The work is largely carried out through Group-wide networks to facilitate the dissemination of Boliden’s goals and strategies, as well as to exchange expertise and experience between the Business Areas and production units. There are Group councils for occupational health and safety, environment, quality/management system, human resources and the compliance council, and committees for climate and for public affairs. The chairs of the respective councils and committees report to the Group Management.

Environmental performance, sick leave and accident rates are reported monthly. These statistics are also presented at every Group Management meeting and at every Board meeting. Supplier assessments of environmental and labor practices are reported quarterly. We also present our sustainability performance in quarterly interim reports. The Boliden Board of Directors reviews the Group’s sustainability performance data annually.

Membership of associations

We participate in industry organizations that are able to play an important part in the sustainability dialogue. These organizations include: the International Zinc Association (IZA), the International Copper Association (ICA), the European Copper Institute (ECI), the Scandinavian Copper Development Association, the International Lead Association (ILA), the Nickel Institute, the European Precious Metals Federation (EPMF), the Selenium-Tellurium Association, the Galvanizers Associations of Germany/France and the UK, Zinc Info Norden, the International Wrought Copper Council, the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic), the European Electronics Recyclers Association (EERA), the Bureau of International Recycling, Återvinningsindustrierna, Jernkontoret, the Association of Finnish Steel and Metal, SveMin, FinMin, the International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM), Euromines, Eurometaux and the International Council of Swedish Industry (NIR).

Performance validation of ICMM ­requirements

During the spring of 2022, we became a valid member of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), after passing its formal validation process. Since then, each Business Unit has, as part of the ICMM membership requirements, performed an individual self-assessment related to ICMM’s ten mining principles and their total of 38 performance expectations (PEs). The results of the self-assessments, disclosed as a summary below with comments on performance expectations that were not fully met, will form a basis as all ten Boliden Business Units will be third-party validated according to the ICMM mining principles during 2023-2025.

Business UnitMeetsPartially meetsDoes not meetNot applicable

Aitik (mine)

35

1

0

2

Bergsöe (smelter)

33

0

0

5

Boliden Area (mine)

35

1

0

2

Garpenberg (mine)

35

1

0

2

Harjavalta (smelter)

34

1

0

3

Kevitsa (mine)

35

1

0

2

Kokkola (smelter)

34

1

0

3

Odda (smelter)

34

0

0

4

Rönnskär (smelter)

34

0

0

4

Tara (mine)

33

1

0

4

The table shows performance related to ICMM's performance expectations, per Business Unit.

Performance expectation only partially met for seven of Boliden’s business units:

  • PE No. 6.3 on tailings management relates to the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (GISTM), which Boliden has plans to be fully compliant with (thus also meeting ICMM’s PE 6.3) by August 2023 for Aitik and Kevitsa, and August 2025 for Boliden Area, Garpenberg, Tara, Harjavalta and Kokkola.

Performance expectations deemed not applicable:

  • PE 3.6 and 3.7 relating to Indigenous Peoples are not applicable to Boliden’s five smelters or the Tara mine, due to no indigenous peoples being located in their respective areas.
  • PE 4.2 relating to the sourcing of concentrates from Conflict Affected and High Risk Areas is not applicable to Boliden’s mines, nor to the Bergsöe smelter that is a recycling plant for used lead-acid batteries.
  • PE 6.3 relating to tailings management is not applicable to the Bergsöe, Odda and Rönnskär smelters as they have no dam facilities.
  • PE 9.4 relating to local Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) is not applicable to any Business Unit since there is no ASM present in the vicinity of any Boliden operation.