|Download (in Microsoft Excel) detailed performance numbers for the following information sets:|
- Corporate statistics
- Canada statistics
- U.S. statistics
- Australia statistics
- Systemic indicators
Use the tabs at the bottom of the excel spreadsheet to view the respective sets of information.
Discussion and notes on numbers
TransAlta continues to improve the accuracy and completeness of sustainability performance reporting to stakeholders. We have reviewed our processes and controls relating to the measurement, calculation, consolidation and reporting of some of our key sustainability data. As a result, we have revised historical data to reflect these improvements. If you would like additional information on the nature of the changes for specific indicators, please contact us at email@example.com.
Several footnotes appear throughout the statistical summaries and are intended to provide clarity on specific boundary conditions, changes in methodology and definitions.
1. Represents the number of facilities that were audited during the year. In past reports, we reported the number of audits conducted in the year. We audit facilities simultaneously if we have several facilities in a region with one integrated Environment, Health and Safety (EH&S) management system. The figures do not include audits that were conducted that were outside of the scope of this statistical summary.
2. Nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions are expressed in tonnes of nitrogen dioxide.
The methodology used to estimate the 2008 and 2009 mercury emissions from the Alberta coal-fired plants uses the capture performance monitoring results of the mercury control program. This improved methodology produces more accurate emissions than the method used historically. Numbers are as reported to government agencies.
The Australia emissions (NOx, SO2, and PM) reported within this report will differ from those reported under the National Environment Protection Measures legislation, due to differences in reporting criteria.
3. In keeping with the reporting format recommended by the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol, TransAlta reports the impact of each GHG separately. GHG’s have been converted into tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), using global warming potential factors developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
We have revised historical corporate emission intensities and emission totals to reflect better emission factors and improved calculation methodologies at some facilities and this has resulted in differences between the data in this report and previous reports.
The Australia greenhouse gas emissions reported within this report will differ from those reported under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act, due to differences in reporting criteria.
4. With the implementation of mandatory GHG reporting in Canada and an anticipated Canadian climate change regulatory regime, as of 2003 TransAlta has not reported offsets, credits, net GHG emissions or net GHG emission intensities. The concept of net emissions (direct emissions reduced by offsets and credits) has been subjective, and, while satisfactory in a voluntary reporting world, can be confusing in one that is regulatory. Therefore, TransAlta will report our GHG gross emissions consistent with the requirements of federal and provincial reporting policies. We will continue to undertake emission reduction actions through international and domestic offset purchases and internal projects that have GHG benefits. In a compliance regime, these will ultimately take the form of compliance instruments or credits used to meet reduction obligations and are, therefore, treated as proprietary information.
5. Non-hazardous waste includes, but is not limited to, the disposal of water treatment chemicals, coal refuse, paper, rubber, cardboard and building materials. In previous reports, the quantities of by-products disposed were not included in this total. However quantities of fly ash, bottom ash and gypsum that cannot be sold for other uses are classified as non-hazardous wastes and are included in these revised totals.
6. Byproducts include ash, gravel, gypsum and cenospheres.
7. Due to the tracking process at our head office in Calgary, Alberta, the quantity of paper recycled by TransAlta cannot be determined separately from other building tenants. This results in a quantity of recycled paper that is greater than that used.
8. Land reclaimed includes the percentage of mined land reclaimed at the Whitewood and Highvale coal mines at Wabamun, Alberta, and our surface mine in Centralia, Washington.
9. Total water consumed by TransAlta’s operations as measured by total water removed from the environment and total water returned to the environment. These values are estimates only.
Water is used primarily for cooling by the thermal power plants and evaporative losses from the cooling ponds and cooling towers account for over 95 per cent of the consumptive use. The water lost to evaporation is not returned directly to the water body but the water remains in the hydrologic cycle. The amount of water used for domestic and boiler water usage amounts to less than 5 per cent of the total consumption.
10. Due to the methodology used to calculate water intake and discharge, the consumption intensity tends to be overstated as these figures do not account for precipitation gains or evaporation and transpiration losses from our cooling ponds. These values are estimates only.
11. Other environmental incidents are incidents that may impact the environment, but are out of the scope of air, land and water contraventions that require reporting to an external regulatory agency. Examples could include equipment failures and permit non-compliance.
12. Contraventions reported to an external regulatory agency and resulting in a fine, penalty or corrective action.
13. The substances released to the environment include, but are not limited to, glycol, diesel, oils, and Freon.
14. Megawatt hours used to calculate intensity indicators in this report differ slightly from electricity production reported in our 2009 annual report due to the exceptions noted in the Inclusion Principles section of About this report.
15. Cash flow from operating activities only and does not include cash flow from investing or financing activities.
16. One of three stock-based compensation programs offered to TransAlta employees. The company grants stock options to employees based on the market price of the shares as determined on the date of the grant. Historic stock option share values have been updated per restatements in the 2009 Annual Report.
17. Includes TransAlta’s registered pension plan with defined benefits and defined contribution options and a supplemental defined benefits plan. All employees have a future benefits plan, although the defined benefit of the pension plan ceased for new employees on June 30, 1998.
18. Includes all expenditures for environmental protection, such as environmental monitoring, pollution abatement, waste management and administrative costs. The increases of expenditures can be attributed to growth in site reclamation and focus on environmental protection and restoration of wildlife habitat.
19. All TransAlta employees on December 31. The 2009 values include employees hired as part of the Canadian Hydro Developers acquisition.
20. Accounts for all TransAlta employees who have full time environment, health and safety roles. Each non-full time employee (part-time or contingent) is the calculated equivalent of 0.70 full-time employees.
21. Turnover rate includes dismissals and voluntary leave for all full-time, part-time and contingent workers. Terminations resulting from our late-2006 decision to sell Centralia mining operations numbered over 500 resulting in a higher than average turn-over rate in 2007. Terminations of employees resulting from our decision to sell the Mexico assets are included in the 2008 turnover rate.
22. Corporate and Canadian health and safety data includes performance data from the Poplar Creek Power Station, as all employees at this site are TransAlta employees and contractors hired by TransAlta.
23. Health and safety incidents resulting in a regulatory enforcement action. Enforcement actions could take the form of a warning letter, fine or non-financial reprimand or restriction on operations.
24. The injury frequency rate (IFR) measures work-related medical aid and lost-time injuries per 200,000 hours worked. IFR is calculated using a combination of actual and estimated exposure hours. During the course of the year, all work-related safety incidents are investigated. These investigations may provide new information which would result in an incident being reclassified.
25. The disabling injury frequency rate is based on the number of injuries requiring absence from work (lost-time incidents) only.
26. Reflects the number of days lost due to absenteeism from work, up to six months in duration. Absence may be due to work-related incidents or injuries incurred outside of work.
27. Reflects the number of employees absent from work for more than six months. Absence may be due to work-related incidents or injuries incurred outside of work.
28. Community investments include all community donations and community sponsorships and are aggregated based on budget allocation, not location of recipient.
29. Volunteer activities organized by TransAlta such as volunteering during work hours as part of United Way campaigns. This does not include volunteer activities that employees and retirees engage in outside of their employment at TransAlta. Historic data has been revised as a result of improved employee demographic data availability.