Safety, although a journey, doesn’t enjoy the luxury of time and acceleration is necessary, says Vedanta Zinc International CEO Deshnee Naidoo.
Vedanta Zinc International CEO Deshnee Naidoo

Naidoo was talking to delegates at the second Sustainable Development Day of Vedanta Resources Plc (Vedanta) in London recently.

Vedanta Zinc International operates the Black Mountain mining operation in South Africa and the Skorpion integrated zinc mining and refining operation in Namibia, and is also currently developing the Gamsberg zinc mining project in South Africa.

Naidoo urged collaboration with other mining majors.

“We must use their learnings and successes. Our current focus has moved from accident prevention to fatality prevention – key is the identification and management of critical hazards and controls.”

“Leadership is the other key enabler to drive the zero harm/zero tolerance culture we are striving towards.”

Vedanta Chairman Anil Agarwal said in his opening remarks: “sustainable development is at the heart of our business and I continue to ensure it is a priority for the company and its subsidiaries.

“We have made substantial progress on our sustainability journey, thanks to the efforts of our management team and everyone who works at Vedanta, and I am committed to the goal of zero harm, zero discharge and zero waste.”

[quote]Agarwal discussed community engagement, including his recent visits to the company’s zinc and aluminium operations, and emphasised Vedanta’s commitment to complete transparency, responsible advocacy and mutual respect, including free prior informed consent to access natural resources and the need for ongoing dialogue with all stakeholders.

Vedanta CEO Tom Albanese spoke about the company’s approach to sustainability risks embedded within the overall business, key focus areas and action to mitigate risk.

Philip Turner, Group Head of Health, Safety and Environment, described the group’s perspective and initiatives underway to develop a culture of safety at Vedanta, both on the ground and at senior management levels, to accelerate its journey towards zero harm.

Vedanta, he said, is committed to reducing its environmental footprint, with a focus on land, water and waste management in the short term and carbon, energy and biodiversity in the long term.

Vedanta hosted its first Sustainable Development Day in London on 1 July 2015, when the company’s 2014-2015 Sustainability Report was unveiled.

Since then, Vedanta has implemented behaviour-based and technical programmes regarding safety standards, job risk assessment and training workshops, among other initiatives.

The company has made significant progress in resource management, site closure practices at Lisheen mine in Ireland and diversity, and was named one of the top 10 most sustainable companies in India with the CII Sustainable Plus Label.