Clement Pelletier: After Three Years, Looking Forward to a Sustainable Future

Clement Pelletier: After Three Years, Looking Forward to a Sustainable Future

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017 - 8:10am

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After over three years on our Board Sustainability Committee, one of them as the committee’s Chair, Clement Pelletier says, “Sustainability is all about legacy – what we leave behind after the mine closes. Whether that legacy is environmental, or whether it’s social or economic, we must always be aware that the land and the community will outlast the mine.”

A process chemist/metallurgist by training, Pelletier spent 14 years in the mining industry and 36 years in resource-related environmental consulting. In 2014 he joined our Board, where he was immediately named to the Sustainability Committee. “Goldcorp’s commitment to sustainability comes right from the top, from the CEO down. That makes an incredible difference.”

For Pelletier, Goldcorp’s Sustainability Committee is a very active team, taking strong roles in the management and direction of sustainability issues across the company. “We don’t just stay at home reading reports. We visit the mines and projects in person, as many as four times a year. We go underground and engage with the mine’s employees, and check out the operations for ourselves. We look at environmental and social issues – and as a professional with a long history of environmental work, I know the technical side. We visit the towns, meet with mayors and members of the local communities. After each visit, the group makes a list of recommendations. Then, when we come back a couple of years later, we check to see what’s been done and how we’ve improved.”

He feels that our spirit of innovation is key. “There’s real support for innovation in this company. The backfilling of the open pit with tailings at Marlin and El Sauzal were very innovative. This initiates the move toward dry tailings, as we’re doing at Éléonore, which is very innovative.” This past year, we took a powerful stance with the announcement of the Towards Zero Water initiative. “This is very exciting. We plan to put our best engineer and scientist minds to the task of significantly reducing the water intake at our mines. With recycling and conservation and yet-to-be-developed refinements of dry tailing–type technologies, I’m certain we will get there. It is a long-term objective. It will not happen overnight. But this is a very bold position for a company to take.”

Looking forward, Pelletier feels that we have plenty of work to do, but he’s confident in our ability to succeed. “I think the future looks good from a sustainability perspective. Look at what we’ve done so far. We’ve faced issues – not always easy ones – and tackled them head-on. With innovation and persistence, we have solved them. Sustainability is a state of mind.”

For further information on Goldcorp’s commitment to sustainability, visit our 2016 Sustainability Report