Vale Oman has contributed to fostering the social and economic development of the territories where it operates by investing in sustainable and long-lasting projects
Vale has sought to build relationships and bonds with its stakeholders from an inclusive approach that seeks to understand deeply the realities of the territory where it operates. It means bringing the perspective of territory not only to the management of its social investments, but also to the national economic growth, job generation and environmental controls.
“Our social agenda in Oman has its own identity in implementing sustainable and long-lasting social projects, benefiting our target stakeholders. Our social investment pillars encompass a wide range of areas such as education, health and environment, sports and culture and entrepreneurship, and we build partnerships with governmental entities, NGOs and community members aiming to contribute to the sustainable development of the Sultanate,” says a senior spokesperson of Vale Oman. He adds, “These partnerships helped Vale in Oman to be a social agent in the country reflecting its commitment towards the national economy, social development, job generation and environmental controls.”
Also as part of Vale’s social investment strategies, the company has collaborated with ORPIC and Sohar Aluminum to establish Jusoor Foundation as a first CSR entity in the Sultanate to implement social projects in larger and national scale.
Vale has implemented a series of social investment benefiting its surrounding communities, based on its social investment pillars. The following are some of the community investments of the company:
Agriculture research project: Partnership between Sultan Qaboos University and Universidade Federal de Viçosa (Brazil) to research advanced biotechnologies and cutting-edge preventative methods to improve the cultivation of dates, mango and lime trees in North Al Batinah.
Leadership programme for students with Outward Bound Oman (OBO): Leadership and self-discovery course to train 216 local school students from Liwa, Sohar and Shinas.
Creation of artificial reefs and demarcation buoys: To enhance the biodiversity in non-restricted fishing areas through increasing the catch of healthy stock for local fishermen in Liwa.
Vale Al Kurawiyah project: project with Samba Futsal Center and Al Salam Club in Liwa aiming to contribute to the young local footballers’ development and reinforce the football as a national passion in Oman, through the formation of citizen-athletes and the systematisation of practical training, adding value to the communities.
Road safety curriculum: Vale sponsored the traffic safety curriculum to reinforce the sense of road safety among the new generation.
Aquaponic system for local schools: An educational unit, implemented in three local schools aimed at raising the awareness of students to sustain natural resources, which is a real reflection to Vale’s mission to transform natural resources into prosperity and sustainable development.
Knowledge centre in Liwa: Developing a local library in Liwa to be utilised as a knowledge centre, by providing materials and equipment necessary for the operation of the centre.
Vale volunteers programme: Aiming to promote the volunteering culture within the company and encourage employees to be socially responsible, as well as strengthen social dialogue in order to contribute to the development of the areas in which the company operates.
Vale accords top priority to building reliable and sustainable relations with the community and institutions and to sustain good relations with its main stakeholders. The company has actively implemented several small-scale projects in areas related to education, health, sport, social service, environment and entrepreneurship. “We aim to contribute to improve the community’s living conditions, strengthen relationships and communication with the community and stakeholders,” says the spokesperson.
Since the day one of setting-up its operations in Oman, Vale has emphasised on developing local SMEs and contributing to the in-country value. During project phase, which cost almost $2bn, more than $380mn were invested with local companies. In addition, as a part of the company’s supply chain development, around $773mn were spent through contracts and purchase from local companies from 2010 to 2016. The company works closely with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, as well as OCCI to contribute to the growth of local companies.
Vale also works for continuous improvement of management and technology aiming to mitigate the impacts of its industrial process. Some of the innovations include:
- The Wind Fence, used to slow down the speed of the wind and reduces airborne dust emissions
- Water spraying system, used at the stockyard area and belt conveyors continuously in order to control and reduce the volatility of fine particles
- The green belt, which works as additional protection to minimise dust emission
- Closed Conveyer belts. More than 5000 metres of closed conveyer belts are used to minimise the flying of fine particles from the transported materials over these belt conveyors
- Wash Boxes were set up at transfer points in operations
- Storage Silos Encasing, covering the storage silos to reduce dust emissions during the handling of the stored materials
- Bag filters. For de-dusting system, 4500 bag filters installed in the grinding system in order to reduce dust emission
- Wet scrubbers, installed in many belt conveyors around the plant in order to clean the belts in the return cycle
- Electrostatic Participators ESPs technology that works to collect dust from the pelletising process based on the magnetic attraction via the electrical composite plates
- Emission Monitoring System, including 12 internal emission-monitoring towers and nine emission-monitoring probes on the stacks in order to control and improve the process
- Continuous Emission Monitoring system. There are two external air stations in the vicinity to monitor the air quality
“Vale seeks to go beyond the impact management of our projects and operations, contributing voluntarily through partnerships with governments, other companies and civil society to build a sustainable regional legacy,” says the spokesperson. “Our corporate social responsibility pledges have placed us as one of the benchmarks locally and globally in fostering social and economic growth”. He says having 57 per cent of Omanisation rate testifies how Vale is committed to localise the jobs and open the window for Omani skilled workforce to lead its pelletising industry locally. Also, the recognition that the company has received in both national and international platforms reflects its commitment towards the national sustainable development. They include the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) prize; the Best Dry Bulk Terminal in the world – IBJ Awards, the Best Initiative for Learning and Professional Development and the Best Initiative for Talent Management – Takatuf and the Best Corporative Company with the Labor Union – General Federation of Union.