2009 GRI social performance indicators
Note: Core indicators are bolded
|Social performance indicators||TransAlta response|
|LA1 Workforce by employment type||Please refer to the Workplace Practices and Diversity indicators in the Numbers section of this report.|
|LA2 Rate of employee turnover||Please refer to the Workplace Practices indicators in the Numbers section of this report.
Turnover rates include dismissals and voluntary leave of all employees, including contingent employees (temporary hourly, retiree consultants, etc.).
|LA3 Benefits provided to full-time vs. part-time or temporary employees||No benefits are offered to temporary (defined as less than a six-month term) or casual employees. Benefits offered to all other employees include extended health, dental, life and accident insurance, employee assistance program, pension, and group registered retirement savings plan.
Long-term disability coverage is not available to part-time hourly, term hourly, or International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) turnaround employees. Long-term disability coverage is at the employee’s expense for those eligible to enroll. Short-term disability coverage is not provided to IBEW turnaround employees. Stock options and an employee stock purchase plan are only available to full-time and part-time permanent employees.
|LA4 Employees covered by collective bargaining agreements||TransAlta respects the right of employees to be represented by a bargaining agent. We are committed to bargaining in good faith to reach collective agreements that balance the needs of the business with a responsible package of wages and working conditions. We have 11 collective agreements, representing 1,037 employees or approximately 45 per cent of TransAlta staff.
Please refer to the Workplace Practices indicators in the Numbers section in this report.
|LA5 Minimum notice period(s) regarding operational changes||Most of TransAlta’s collective agreements do not require minimum notice periods regarding operational changes. Those that include notice require anywhere up to six months. Regardless, if operational changes will result in job loss, we adhere to provincial/state legislation regarding notice.|
|LA6 Workforce represented in formal joint management worker health and safety committees||TransAlta does not currently track this indicator.|
|LA7 Rates of injury, occupational diseases, lost days and absenteeism and number of work-related fatalities||Please refer to Health and Safety indicators in the Numbers section of this report.|
|LA8 Education, training, counseling, prevention and risk control programs regarding serious diseases||TransAlta offers employees and their families counseling services at all locations. We also test employees for exposure to substances such as dust, noise, asbestos and lead, and test and survey hearing and pulmonary functions if required. Additionally we provide flu immunizations, and undertake programs for hearing conservation, respiratory protection, heat stress and MSI/ergonomics.
In preparation for the H1N1 flu epidemic in 2009, TransAlta took a proactive, supportive approach to the global pandemic situation with the goal of maintaining critical operations while supporting our employees through a time of uncertainty. Our corporate pandemic plan has been designed to be incorporated into site emergency contingency plans. Each site identified skill sets and cross-trained to ensure that even with up to 30 per cent absenteeism, critical operations could be maintained. To help with prevention, TransAlta initiated H1N1 awareness programs and ordered protective equipment for all sites such as hand sanitizers, hard surface cleansers, masks and gloves to help employees stay as healthy as possible.
|LA9 Health and safety topics covered in formal agreements with trade unions||Our collective agreements address safety incident investigations and health and safety committees. The committees handle specific health and safety subjects.|
|LA10 Average hours of training per year per employee||Hours are tracked for environment, health and safety training. Please refer to Training and Development indicators in the Numbers section of this report. Other training courses are tracked for each employee, but course time is not tracked.|
|LA11 Programs for skills management and lifelong learning||TransAlta is committed to ongoing employee learning and development to support skill and capability development, performance enhancement and long-term career development.
TransAlta employees develop training plans with their supervisors to determine skills and training required for their position. Training is available for technical skills, compliance requirements and “soft skills”. TransAlta offers approximately 140 different training courses to employees. A combination of online courses, in-house classroom training, hands-on skills training and outsourced courses are offered. Environment, health and safety training is mandatory to ensure worker safety and protection of the environment. Additional training (e.g leadership, mentoring) will be offered to employees to enhance skill development and learning provided it aligns with career development.
TransAlta provides educational assistance for employees working toward a degree, diploma, or certification at an accredited institution when supervisors consider the content to be beneficial to the employee’s career development. A course that will help an employee move to a different area of the company for a career change may be approved if the desired career change is realistic. Financial support offered is approved on a case-by-case basis.
Employees who are released involuntarily (excluding instances of just cause) are provided access to a career transition services vendor. These vendors assist released employees with job search skills, interview skills, resume writing and career planning.
|LA12 Regular performance and career development review||One hundred per cent of TransAlta non-union employees receive quarterly performance reviews and career development plans each year.|
|LA13 Composition of governance bodies and employees per category according to diversity indicators||TransAlta’s Board of Directors is comprised of 11 members, nine of whom are male and two of whom are female.
Please refer to the diversity indicators in the Numbers section for gender and age group diversity indicators. Currently, TransAlta tracks the ethnic diversity of its workforce in the U.S. Following non-discrimination regulations and policies in Canada, ethnic diversity indicators are not tracked.
U.S. (Centralia) Minority Group Representation (categories have been grouped to avoid individual identification):
|LA14 Ratio of basic salary of men and women||Ratio of basic salary of women to men by TransAlta workgroup category:
|EU16 Policies and requirements regarding health and safety of employees and employees of contractors and subcontractors||All TransAlta employees, contractors and subcontractors are required to comply with all of TransAlta’s health and safety policies. Unsafe work practices are not tolerated. Policies to ensure safety include: high standards for use of personal protective equipment; mandatory reporting of all safety incidents, hazards and near misses to ensure thorough investigation and preventative planning; mandatory health and safety training depending on work performed; safety orientation and regular meetings; alcohol and drug standards for employees and contractors; and not allowing driving and cell phone use. Depending on the task, employees and contractors will be required to review site-specific safety procedures that must be followed. Site leaders conduct regular safety inspections to ensure work is following safety standards.|
|EU18 Percentage of contractor and subcontractor employees that have undergone relevant health and safety training||All of TransAlta’s contractors conducting safety-sensitive work are screened to ensure they have required safety training before they can conduct business with TransAlta. Once approved, all contractors are required to complete a safety orientation at the work location.|
|HR1 Human rights screening or clauses in Investment agreements||We have not screened investment agreements for human rights issues.
TransAlta’s Human Rights and Discrimination policy indicates that TransAlta will strive to ensure its contractors, suppliers, partners, and customers respect fundamental standards of human rights through consultation, training, or contractual requirements. Where possible, TransAlta will avoid doing business with entities that do not observe human rights standards.
|HR2 Human rights screening of suppliers and contractors||TransAlta has not typically screened suppliers for human rights requirements. However, in 2009 TransAlta implemented a formal Human Rights and Discrimination Policy. The following is an excerpt of that policy which explains our approach:
TransAlta will ensure that its personnel policies and practices in its operations around the world will respect the following fundamental rights:
Through consultation, training, or contractual requirements, TransAlta will strive to ensure its contractors, suppliers, partners, and customers respect these fundamental standards of human rights.
|HR3 Employee training on human rights policies and procedures||In 2009, TransAlta implemented a formal Human Rights and Discrimination Policy. All employees were required to review the policy through online communication.
TransAlta requires every employee to read, understand and sign off on its Corporate Code of Conduct. The following outlines requirements relating directly to human rights which are outlined in the Code: “TransAlta enforces a policy of zero tolerance for demeaning, offensive, harassing or discriminatory behavior. TransAlta practices the principle of equal employment opportunity without regard to race, religion, national origin, gender, age, physical disability or political affiliation. All employees are responsible for ensuring there is a safe and secure working environment.”
TransAlta also conducts training on the duty of accommodation, our Harassment Free Workplace Policy and our Disability Management Policy at all of our sites. These policies include human rights components.
|HR4 Incidents of discrimination and actions taken||TransAlta had one formal complaint of discrimination raised in 2009. The incident is under review.|
|HR5 Operations in which the right to exercise freedom of association and collective bargaining may be at significant risk||TransAlta has no operations at which the right to exercise freedom of association and collective bargaining is seen to be at risk as our operations are located in Canada, U.S. and Australia.|
|HR6 Operations having significant risk for incidents of child labor||TransAlta has no operations identified as having significant risk for incidents of child labor as our operations are located in Canada, U.S. and Australia.|
|HR7 Operations having significant risk for incidents of forced or compulsory labor||TransAlta has no operations identified as having significant risk for incidents of forced or compulsory labour.|
|HR8 Percentage of security personnel trained in the human rights procedures||TransAlta has no security personnel who have received human rights training, as it does not apply to our business because we operate in Canada, U.S. and Australia.|
|HR9 Incidents of violations involving rights of indigenous people||TransAlta has had no incidents of violations involving rights of indigenous people.|
|SO1 Programs to assess and manage the impacts of operations on communities
EU Sector : Nature, scope, and effectiveness of any programs and practices that assess and manage the impacts of operations on communities, including entering, operating, and exiting
|TransAlta works collaboratively with all communities in which we have operations. We also participate on a number of community advisory groups which meet regularly with local stakeholders to share information, hear stakeholder concerns and work to mutually agreeable solutions. In 2009, we implemented an enhanced stakeholder database to ensure more diligence in tracking issues and actions at our Alberta coal operations. All stakeholder concerns are reviewed and addressed. Our Alberta coal facilities encompass the majority of our operations, as well as a great deal of current and future growth, including the Keephills 3 expansion, Pit 8 expansion and carbon capture and storage (CCS) work.
Consultation for any new operations includes open houses, public meetings, community presentations and meetings with local community advisory groups. Exit strategies include community consultation and support that is tailored to the community, as was the case when we ceased mining operations in Centralia in 2006.
Please refer to the Community and Economic sections of the report for more details. A detailed study of the impacts of TransAlta’s operations to the Centralia community was conducted and is described in the Economic Section.
|SO2 Business units analyzed for risks related to corruption||As part of TransAlta’s Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) adherence, fraud assessments have been undertaken on 100 per cent of our operations.|
|SO3 Employees trained in anti-corruption policies and procedures||All of TransAlta’s employees are required to review and sign the Corporate Code of Conduct each year. This document includes anti-corruption procedures. Formal training in anti-corruption policies is not conducted.|
|SO4 Actions taken in response to instances of corruption||We took no actions regarding instances of corruption in 2009, as there were no reported violations.|
|SO5 Public policy positions and participation in public policy development and lobbying||TransAlta is considered a trusted industry advisor in policy development. We frequently provide industry perspective to policy development in all of our jurisdictions. This includes environmental regulations, technology discussions, and issues such as wind power generation and transmission.
We advocate primarily through industry associations and have six lobbyists in various capacities as well as one firm on retainer.
TransAlta is engaged with government policy making on climate change both independently and through industry associations in all regions of our operations. We are particularly active in the Canadian Electricity Association, the Pew Center for Climate Change, the International Emissions Trading Association, and the Edison Electric Institute, as it relates to assisting governments with rational policy development.
In 2009, TransAlta supported the passage of Bill 50 in Alberta. This legislation will provide a process by which the Alberta Electricity System Operator (AESO) can approve transmission infrastructure. TransAlta supported the passage of Bill 50 because it provides certainty around the process for approving critical transmission infrastructure.
Our participation is these discussions are governed by Policy 125 Government Relations.
|SO6 Total value of financial and in-kind contributions to political parties||TransAlta does not publicly report contributions to political parties or institutions. We ensured these contributions are in accordance with Policy 124 Community Investment.|
|SO7 Legal actions for anti-competitive behavior, anti-trust and monopoly practices||In 2008 there were no legal actions for anti-competitive behavior, anti-trust or monopoly practices.|
|S08 Significant fines and sanctions for non-compliance with laws and regulations related to accounting fraud, workplace discrimination, corruption, etc.||TransAlta had no fines or sanctions for non-compliance relating to accounting fraud, workplace discrimination, corruption or health and safety issues.|
|EU 19 Stakeholder participation in the decision making process related to energy planning and infrastructure development||TransAlta works closely with stakeholders in all communities when planning new developments, operating facilities and developing exit strategies. Socioeconomic impact assessments are conducted prior to the development of any new facilities and we commit to identify potential impacts as well as positive opportunities, and work with stakeholders to develop effective mitigation strategies.
Please also refer to the Stakeholder Engagement section.
|Disclosure on management approach||TransAlta’s core business is power generation and wholesale marketing of electricity. Therefore we relinquish stewardship of our product early in the supply chain. The Chief Operations Officer is responsible for producing electricity and marketing our core business product and by-products. Our health, safety and environmental risks of producing electricity and its associated by-products are managed using ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 based management systems. These management systems are supplemented by annual management system audits and periodic environment, health and safety compliance audits to ensure the safety of our employees, contractors and suppliers and adequate protection of the environment. Our long-range forecast planning tool also assesses environmental, social and economic impacts of projects from the initial conception stage through to operations, maintenance and the reclamation stages of our operations. We manage our industrial customers expectations through regular meetings, periodic surveys and by managing our business to achieve our availability and production goals. Due to the nature of our business we have limited general public interaction but ensure that any marketing and communications we do promote our business and our core product is done in a responsible manner that meets local regulations and guidelines.|
|PR1 Life cycle stages in which health and safety impact of products and services are assessed||The health and safety of employees and contractors involved in the production process are assessed through planned inspections, annual management system audits and periodic compliance audits.
As a power generator and wholesale marketer of electricity it is difficult to assess the health and safety impacts of providing electricity and other products to transmission and industrial customers as TransAlta does not interface with the end user of the electricity. Gypsum, fly ash, gravel and coal are typically sold to industrial customers who use these products to produce their own products. TransAlta has little or no contact with the end users of these products.
|PR2 Instances of non-compliance with regulations concerning health and safety effects of products and services||As a power generator and wholesale marketer, TransAlta has little or no contact with the end user of these products (gypsum, fly ash, gravel, coal and electricity) as we typically sell them to industrial customers. Health and safety effects of using the products created from TransAlta’s products would be directed to the manufacturing companies who use the gypsum to manufacture wallboard, fly ash to manufacture cement and gravel to construct transportation corridors.
TransAlta had no instances of non-compliance with regulations concerning health and safety effects of products and services in 2009.
|PR3 Product and service information required by procedures||Electricity cannot be labeled. We provide safety data sheets for other products that we sell to industrial customers.|
|PR4 Instances of non-compliance with regulations concerning product and service information and labeling||In 2009, there were no instances of non-compliance with regulations concerning product and service information.|
|PR5 Practices related to customer satisfaction||TransAlta undertook a survey of customers and business partners in 2007. Feedback was incorporated into our business processes.
We did not undertake any further measurement in 2009.
We meet with our industrial customers regularly to discuss operational and environmental issues.
|PR6 Adherence to laws, standards, and voluntary codes related to marketing communications||TransAlta complies with all laws and regulations regarding communication in all regions in which we operate. Due to the nature of our business we do not market our products and services to the general public.|
|PR7 Instances of non-compliance with regulations concerning marketing communications||In 2009, there were no instances of non-compliance with regulations concerning marketing communications.|
|PR8 Complaints regarding breaches of customer privacy and losses of customer data||In 2009, there were no substantiated complaints regarding breaches of customer privacy and losses of customer data.|
|PR9 Fines for non-compliance with laws and regulations concerning the provision and use of products and services.||TransAlta did not incur any fines in 2009 for non-compliance with laws and regulations concerning the provision and use of products and services.|