UN Global Compact - ESG
Vale reaffirms its commitment to the UN Global Compact Principles
Vale is committed to the UN Global Compact. Vale was a member of the UN Global Compact since 2007 and part of the LEAD group between 2011 and 2018. Due to the tragedy of the Brumadinho tailings dam rupture, out of respect for the institution and its members, Vale requested to be delisted in May 2019.
Since then, Vale has committed to the full reparation of the impacts caused and focused on stepping up its governance, sustainability commitments, operational excellence (operational risks and asset management), health & safety, amongst others.
The company has diligently implemented the 10 UN Global Compact Principles and engaged with the Global Compact secretariat annually.
The UN Global Compact and its principles are extremely relevant for Vale. Being part of the UN Global Compact network provides secretariat and peer support, helping companies better address Sustainability and Human Rights challenges while the Principles provide key guidance and compliance mechanism.
José Luciano Duarte Penido, president of the Board
Eduardo Bartolomeo, Chief Executive Officer.
Alignment SDG and Vale
See below the evolution of Vale in relation to the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact:
#1 Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights.
Vale's Human Rights management is anchored in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. In addition, the topic is part of Vale policies, the company´s Global Integrated Risk Map, and the management system (Vale Production System).
We follow the macroprocesses: Policy commitment and integration; risk and impact assessment; Grievance mechanisms and Whistleblowing mechanism; remediation; monitoring and reporting results and actions.
Policy Commitment - Vale´s Global Human Rights Policy , released in 2009 and revised for the second time with public consultation in 2019 , reinforces the guidelines related to Human Rights management and allows for greater alignment with the Guiding Principles. According to the Policy, Vale also adheres, among others, to the International Charter of Human Rights, the conventions of the International Labor Organization (ILO), and established international standards such as: the United Nations Global Compact Principles, the Performance Standards of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
Training - Vale employees have a double role with regards to the respect for human rights: they are both Rightsholders and agents of Rights. In 2021, training in Human Rights became mandatory for all employees (by August 2021, more than 67 thousand direct employees, 92% of the total, had been trained in Human Rights).
Integration – Human Rights management is present in all phases of the life cycle of Vale´s enterprises, from mineral exploration to mine closure and in all business lines. Vale has been inserting the Human Rights lens in policies and fronts related to the topic such as risk management, supplier management, business security (i.e., Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights of which Vale is a member), facilities/accommodation, and human resources, among others and in the company decision-making processes.
#2 Businesses should make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.
Risk and impact assessment - There are ongoing risk and impact management processes established in operations and projects, focused on identifying, preventing, mitigating, and treating risks and negative impacts on human rights with a focus on people - direct employees and/or contractors and community members - including people indigenous peoples and traditional communities.
Vale´s risk management is based on the concept of lines of defense. As the first line of defense, operations have primary responsibility for and directly manage risks (including Human Rights risks with regard to their identification, assessment, treatment, prevention, and monitoring). With the review of governance and risk management of Vale, the Human Rights area of the Executive Management of Social Performance, the second line of defense specialized in the subject (as well as Health & Safety, Environmental Management), started supporting operations (first line of defense) in the identification of risks in Humans Rights, elaboration and implementation of preventive and mitigating controls and continuous monitoring. Finally, the third line of the defense consists of the Internal Audit and the Ombudsman, which work independently from the administration.
100% of Vale operations have Human Rights risks registered in the company risk management system. They develop and implement action plans to address critical risk situations. Through the Bowtie method, the probability of occurrence and the severity of the impact of the risk of violation of Human Rights are evaluated, and preventive and mitigating controls are established. In addition, all of Vale's risks have their impacts assessed in the “Human and Social Rights” dimension.
Vale is also committed to carrying out external Human Rights due diligence in all its operations and critical projects in 3-year cycles. In 2021, a total of 14 due diligence will be completed in addition to 2 conducted in previous years. By 2023, all of Vale's operations will have undergone Human Rights due diligence.
Regarding Vale´s suppliers, in 2019, risk management in human rights was intensified, including paperwork and in loco checks, risk assessment, filling out a self-diagnosis questionnaire, and conducting a pilot due diligence on Human Rights in critical suppliers. The next steps are to gain scale and internationalize the process.
Human Rights issues are included in the scope of the Board of Directors, through the Sustainability Committee, and in the scope of the Executive Vice Presidency and the Executive Committee for Sustainability Risks. In addition, results and indicators of control and compliance, critical issues, risk assessment, and due diligence results are periodically presented.
Grievance Mechanism - It is a formal process of the company for the global management of grievances, which can be used by any rightsholder to communicate/interact with the company, and that requires some kind of response and/or action from the company. In addition, Vale has community relations professionals to strengthen dialogue and promote engagement as well as other channels such as contact us, 0800 hotline, postal address, e-mail, and social media.
Additionally, Vale has a Whistleblower Channel as part of its Ethics & Compliance Program. The Channel can be accessed by anyone, inside or outside Vale, who wishes to report a case of suspicion or ethical misconduct.
The handling of demands and critical internal issues that may impact or violate Human Rights are addressed at different levels according to their complexity. When the matter cannot be resolved locally, it is submitted to higher levels, including regional, business, and national management committees and even the Executive Board or the Board of Directors and their committees.
In 2020 and 2021, Vale trained several teams in the grievance channels and operations in Brazil, Mozambique, Malawi, and Indonesia to adhere to international standards of operationalization of the Mechanism, advanced in implementing stakeholder satisfaction surveys for grievance channels in Brazil. In 2020, the online RC was also developed - a support tool that the community can access via computer or cell phone to register demands, facilitating the accessibility of community members in a pandemic scenario.
Numbers registered in our channels in 2020:
- 15,559 registered community demands, globally;
- 99.01% were answered and 72.6% attended/treated;
- 10 days – deadline for responding to the interested party, considering up to 10 calendar days from the date of the demand;
- 90 days (approximately) – the average time for treatment and end of the demand;
- 4,670 records in the Ombudsman Channel;
- 4,562 closed;
- 2,261 corrective actions, including the dismissal of 181 employees. In accordance with its Human Rights Policy, Vale does not tolerate or contribute to threats, intimidation, and attacks against human rights defenders.
Finally, the company has a procedure for receiving and handling allegations involving an investigation process, when necessary, and may involve external experts. The company is also committed to responding to 100% of the allegations received from the Business Human Rights Resource Center (BHRRC).
Reporting and Monitoring – Vale´s Human Rights management performance is reported annually in the Integrated Report and quarterly on the ESG Portal. Vale also answers several questionnaires from institutions focused on sustainability and ESG content.
Periodic meetings are held regarding the communities, and the agenda is defined together, reflecting their priorities.
Remediation - Vale is committed to remediating the adverse impacts on Human Rights it has caused, to which it has contributed, or to which it is linked. In this sense, the company works in the direct remediation of the impacts caused by the rupture of the Córrego do Feijão dam, in Brumadinho, and supports the Renova Foundation in the reparation of the effects of the rupture of the Fundão Dam, owned by Samarco, in Mariana.
#3 Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and effectively recognize the right to collective bargaining.
In your Global Human Rights Policy , Vale is committed to respecting and practicing freedom of association and collective bargaining in relation to its employees and contractors.
Since 2005, the employees have elected, by direct vote, an effective member of the Board of Directors and its respective alternate. Elections are conducted jointly by the company and the unions.
Collective agreements cover 97% of Vale's direct operations workforce.
Suppliers commit to expected standards of behavior in accordance with Vale policies and to comply, through contractual clauses, with the respect freedom of association and collective bargaining. The company does not maintain business relationships with suppliers that do not comply with its Principles of Conduct for Third.
#4 Businesses should uphold the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labor.
In your Global Human Rights Policy and Vale Code of Conduct prohibits any type of employment practice that could be interpreted as equivalent to forced or modern slavery in its activities and within its suppliers.
Regarding salient issues for Vale, such as forced labor and human trafficking, the company establishes risk management at all stages of the lifecycle of its projects, being part of the risk assessment of all operations with prevention controls , including a preventive look at working conditions. Vale informs that there was no record or report involving the company of the occurrence of work analogous to slavery in any of its operations.
Suppliers commit to expected standards of behavior in accordance with Vale Policies and are responsible, through contractual clauses, for providing decent working conditions, combating forced labor or modern slavery. The company does not maintain business relationships with suppliers that do not comply with its Principles of Conduct for Third Parties.
Vale performs risk analyzes on 100% of new suppliers registered globally through a background check and submission of documentation, such as a self-declaration form with qualification information on Health, Safety, and the Environment (HSE), Human Rights and Integrity, and periodically monitors the supplier throughout its active contract with the company. In addition, the modern slavery Dirty List is consulted in Brazil, crossing the information with 100% of the supplier base.
#5 Businesses should uphold the effective abolition of child labor.
In its Global Human Rights Policy and Code of Conduct Vale prohibits the use of child labor in its activities and within its suppliers.
Regarding salient issues for Vale, such as child labor and child sexual exploitation, Vale establishes risk management at all stages of the lifecycle of its projects, which is part of the risk assessment of all operations with preventive controls. There is a special focus on respecting and promoting the Human Rights of children and adolescents. In addition, the company prioritizes and establishes a continuous process of engagement with communities in the areas of influence of its operations. For example, Vale has partnerships with Childhood Brasil with preventive and mitigation actions, and it also works through the Vale Foundation in structuring social programs, contributes to strengthening the public social protection network, and works directly with children and their families.
Vale informs that there was no record or report involving the company of the occurrence of the child or modern slavery in any of its operations.
Suppliers commit to expected standards of behavior in accordance with Vale Policies and are responsible, through contractual clauses, for combating child labor and child sexual exploitation. The company does not maintain business relationships with suppliers that do not comply with its Principles of Conduct for Third Parties.
#6 Businesses should uphold the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
Vale employs more than 180,000 people, including direct employees and contractors. We seek to develop skills and encourage talent, carrying out educational activities and offering remuneration compatible with the complexity of the functions, our employees' performance, and the labor market.
In its Global Human Rights Policy , Diversity and Inclusion Policy , and Code of conduct , Vale is committed to respecting and valuing diversity, promoting inclusion, and not tolerating discrimination or harassment of any nature, including moral or sexual.
The Code of Conduct of Vale values diversity and includes all people without distinction, giving opportunities in a meritocratic way. We ensure that each one develops their potential regardless of cultural or ideological differences, opinions, disabilities, gender, color, ethnicity, origin, political convictions, religious beliefs, generation, marital status, union status, social class, sexual orientation, or degree of schooling.
In 2019, Vale announced its goal of doubling its female workforce by 2030, from 13% to 26%. In 2021, Vale revised its goal of female presence in leadership positions from 12% to 26% by 2025. As of December,2022, Vale reached 22,06% of women in the workforce and 22,60% of women in the top leadership. The strategy adopted by the company follows the following guidelines:
- Dismissal of women must be replaced by hiring women;
- Dismissal of men: each company must define its percentage of replacement by women;
- Vale also defined a percentage of replacing male turnover by women.
Vale also has an important program for the inclusion of professionals with disabilities, which in 2020 corresponded to 4.5% of the company's total employees.
The creation of LGBTQ+, Women, People with Disabilities, Ethnic affinity networks, and the inauguration of a new space that integrates senior leadership at our headquarters in Rio de Janeiro are already results of the new journey.
Suppliers commit to expected standards of behavior in accordance with Vale Policies and are responsible, through contractual clauses, for not tolerating discrimination. The company does not maintain business relationships with suppliers that do not comply with its Principles of Conduct for Third Parties.
In 2020, the company revised its whistleblowing channel. Anyone inside or outside Vale can report a case of suspected or ethical misconduct and must use the Vale Whistleblowing Channel . The channel is an exclusive tool for this purpose, operated by an independent company and structured to guarantee:
#7 Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges
After the collapse of the dam I at the Córrego do Feijão mine, in Brumadinho (MG), Vale accelerated the dam decharacterization plan upstream to definitively end the use of this type of structure. Thus, one of the main milestones to reduce the company risk level is the de-characterization of our 30 upstream geotechnical structures in Brazil, including dams, dikes, and drained pilings.
Vale is focused on the evolution of its Tailings Dam Management System (SGBR) and has closely monitored its active and inactive dams (more information in Dam Performance ). In October 2020, the Vale Board of Directors approved a new Dam Safety Policy and Geotechnical Mining Structure . Among other guidelines, the policy determines that all components of Vale SGBR are designed with elements of continuous improvement, using and applying the best available technologies and best international practices, including those of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (GISTM). Another important precautionary measure is the reduction of dependence on tailings dams in our production processes. We have been investing in developing alternatives for tailings dams, such as continuous investments in dry tailings stacking.
Vale improved its Risk Management governance, based on three lines of defense that define the relationship between different areas and hierarchies of the company and their respective scopes and responsibilities. In addition, one new Risk Management Policy was defined and approved by the Board of Directors, establishing, among other measures, five Executive Risk Committees. Find out more in Risk Management.
All the company sites are covered by the first cycle of HIRA (Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment), with reassessments scheduled every 3 years for critical sites and every 5 years for non-critical sites. HIRA maps and analyzes operational security risks of high severity or very high-risk amplitude. In addition, it identifies and defines performance criteria and establishes assurance of associated critical controls.
Vale also assessed the methodology behind our main sources of information on ESG and identified gaps in best practices. Eliminating these main gaps is one of the Vale commitments for 2030 as part of the long-term remuneration of the company executives. Among the mapped ESG gaps, it is worth highlighting the objective of obtaining ISO 14001 certification for all operations in the coming years. Our ESG gap action plan indicates evidence for those already completed or the completion forecast for still in progress.
#8 Businesses should undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility
The management of environmental issues at Vale is conducted in accordance with the Integrated Management System VPS (Vale Production System), whose processes are implemented in all of the company operations worldwide, in compliance with legislation and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) guidelines and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The social and environmental programs and plans that support the process of analyzing and granting environmental licenses have goals and indicators connected to risk management and measures to prevent and mitigate impacts.
Considering our value chain, Vale selects suppliers in accordance with legislation and internal regulations - Principles of Conduct for Third Parties, Sustainability Policy, Health, Safety and Environment Guide for Vale Suppliers, Anti-Corruption Guide for Suppliers, and Third Parties, Global Human Rights Policy and Service Provider Mobilization Guide.
Among our commitments for the 2030 agenda, we can highlight the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions (scopes 1 and 2) by 33% (in line with the Paris Agreement), recovering and protecting 500,000 ha of areas, reducing new water intake by 10% and have 100% electricity consumption from clean energy sources globally. We also set a commitment to reduce our net greenhouse gas emissions, Scope 3, by 15% by 2035.
In 2020, the Water Resources and Mineral-metallurgical waste management policies, which respectively establish
Vale´s principles and commitments for water and water resources and mining and metallurgical waste, aiming at sustainable and responsible management throughout the entire production chain were also published.
We protect and help to protect an area approximately 11 times larger than the area occupied by our operations, that is, approximately 9,000 km² of natural areas, thus contributing to the protection of native species of fauna and flora, mainly endemic and endangered, with a view to integrated management of the territories where we operate. We are also committed not to operate on UNESCO World Natural Heritage Sites. This commitment is a guideline of our internal regulation of Guidelines and Processes for Biodiversity Management.
# 9 Businesses should encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies
The use of technology at Vale seeks to redesign the way we work in an effort to eliminate risk scenarios, thus positioning ourselves as leaders in safety and risk management and promoting sustainability and adaptation to climate change. By early 2021, 19% of Vale's critical assets were already using Artificial Intelligence to ensure reliability. It is expected that, within five years, this technology will be deployed on 100% of critical assets.
Vale has been working in collaboration with the open innovation ecosystem, seeking partnerships with several universities, startups, government, and other corporations to accelerate the fulfillment of innovation initiatives. Learn more at Integrated Innovation .
In the last decade, through our Fundo Vale, we supported more than 70 initiatives led by research institutions, governmental agencies, NGOs and startups. These partnerships have enabled us to protect more than 23 million hectares of rainforest. In June 2021, PrevisIA was launched, an Artificial Intelligence tool that anticipates information from regions with a higher risk of deforestation and fires in the Amazon, and which had the support of Fundo Vale in partnership with Microsoft and the Institute of People and the Environment of the Amazon (Imazon). Fundo Vale completed its ten-year trajectory of operations in the Amazon Biome in 2020, the territory that received the fund's largest contribution. Learn more about the actions of Fundo Vale at www.fundovale.org .
With ITV, Vale Technological Institute, that conducts research with a focus on sustainable development and mining, the company invested in biodiversity, genome and climate change research. All these initiatives combined represent a total of R$792 million in investments made. Get to know ITV actions at https://www.itv.org .
In partnership with IBRAM, Vale works to foster innovation and the dissemination of the best practices and technologies available, to increase the competitiveness of mining in a sustainable way and produce more in a safer environment for those who work in the sector, including replacing human beings with machines in risky operations.
Vale plans to significantly reduce the use of dams and is investing in alternatives that allow wet processing operations to be replaced by safer and more sustainable processes. Among the initiatives on this front, we can highlight: 70% of iron ore production made by dry processing until 2024; $2.3 billion in investments between 2020 and 2025 to increase the use of filtering and dry stacking to 16% oaf total production; increased development of new technologies, such as the dry magnetic separation of iron ore, by New Steel (company acquired in 2018). More information at Dam Control and Management .
In September 2021 Vale introduced a new product to the market, developed by the company over almost 20 years, which will be able to reduce by up to 10% the greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions in the steel production by its steelmaking clients. The “green briquette” is made up of iron ore and a technological agglomerant solution, which includes in its composition sand from the treatment of mine tailings and is capable of resisting the blast furnace’s high temperatures without disintegrating. The GHG emissions reduction occurs because this product allows steelmaker to reduce dependence on sintering, a process prior to the steel production in which there is the sinter feed agglomeration.
# 10 Companies should fight corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery
Vale has zero tolerance for corruption and fraud. This is one of the ethical principles established in our Code of Conduct, a document that guides the actions of all those who work at Vale or act on its behalf. In addition to the Code of Conduct, Vale's Ethics & Compliance Program has anti-corruption rules defined in three main documents: the Global Anti-corruption Policy, the Global Anti-corruption Manual, and the Anti-corruption Guide for Suppliers and Other Third Parties.
Vale's anti-corruption rules reiterate the company's commitment to doing business with integrity, and also influence its chain of suppliers and third parties. Vale acts in compliance with the laws and regulations to which it is subject, including but not limited to Law 12.846/13 - Brazilian Anticorruption Law, the FCPA, U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the UK Bribery Act.
All employees are frequently oriented and trained on anti-corruption rules according to the activities they perform. The compliance of company processes with legislation and internal rules is monitored and tested by the Ethics & Compliance Program. Suspicions of fraud or corruption must be reported to Vale's Whistleblower Channel. The Channel guarantees all the conditions for a report to be verified independently and fairly. For more information, access the Ethics & Compliance page.
In 2022, our Whistleblower Channel received 6,736 reports and closed 6,600 records, of which (i) 13.1% were reports out of scope, or consultations, or insufficient information or requests for information, (ii) 26.2% were complaints and not reports, not giving rise to investigations; and (iii) 60.3% were allegations, of which 46.6% were confirmed (i.e. 1,853). All confirmed violations generate correction plans, which are presented by the managers and approved by the Whistleblower Channel. The investigations resulted in 2,941 corrective actions and disciplinary measures, including 171 terminations of employment. For more information, access the Ethics & Compliance Program Report - 2022.