ArcelorMittal Brazil is a signatory of the global pact of the United Nations organization and also works towards achieving the UN's Millennium Development Goals defined in 2000.
Every day ArcelorMittal reinforces its commitment to corporate ethics in business, sharing guidelines and directives with its employees to prevent, detect and address any deviations or nonconformities. These guidelines are part of the compliance program. The company relies on its zero-tolerance policy against the practice and the concealment of fraudulent or illegal acts and believes that all employees have the responsibility to “blow the whistle” (report suspicious activities).
The company was one of the first signatories of the Business Pact for Integrity and against corruption, an initiative sponsored by Brazil’s Instituto Ethos de Responsabilidade Empresarial (Ethos Institute for Corporate Responsibility) and by the UN’s Development Program, among other entities. The pact sets forth guidelines that companies should abide by to ensure an ethical relationship with the government.
In addition to complying rigorously with the guidelines proposed in the World Labor Organization’s Declaration about fundamental principles and rights at work, ArcelorMittal Brazil abhors child labor and any form of forced labor or slave-like labor, and extends this posture to its business partners and to the communities. No transaction of the company involves the participation of child labor, slave-like labor or forced labor.
ArcelorMittal Brasil signs Protocol for the Sustainability of Charcoal
On April 3, 2012, ArcelorMittal Brasil signed the Protocol for the Sustainability of Charcoal. The document is evidence of the voluntary commitment by the companies associated with the Brazilian steel Institute (IABR) to the sustainable production of input. The event was attended by the CEO of ArcelorMittal Long Steel Americas, Jefferson De Paula, the CEO of ArcelorMittal Brasil, Benjamin Baptista Filho, and the CEO of ArcelorMittal BioFlorestas, Maurício Bicalho de Melo.
One of the main points of the document is the undertaking by the steelmaking companies to reach, within four years, 100% of planted forests to meet the demand of charcoal. In 2011, 80% of the input consumed by the steelmaking companies came from their own planted forests, 10% from third parties’ planted forests and 10% from legalized forest residues. The IABR reaffirmed the work of its associates, within the strictest ethical principles relative to social and environmental issues and in full compliance with current legislation, in addition to collaborating effectively with the government to raise the supply chain’s awareness of the importance of sustainable production of charcoal and pig iron.
The government’s participation is essential to create mechanisms that enable other charcoal producers to stop harvesting charcoal illegally by creating special lines of credit, forming cooperatives and even through other alternatives for the subsistence of families that currently produce the input in thousands of primitive kilns throughout the country. "This is an extremely important step towards a sustainable production of charcoal, the first of many that must be taken. We cannot mistake law-abiding business owners for those that are not. Our challenge is to include the other producers, the non-signatories", says Izabella Teixeira, Environmental Minister.
ArcelorMittal Brasil is currently operating in two avenues of pig-iron production, both economically viable and each with its own peculiarities. Charcoal is produced by ArcelorMittal BioFlorestas from company-owned eucalyptus forests spread across the state of Minas Gerais and Bahia. As a renewable, natural resource, it has the potential to generate environmental, social and economic benefits to the local communities. “With charcoal, we have even more possibilities of adding value to our businesses by way of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).” says Maurício Bicalho de Melo. The charcoal produced in the company is used by ArcelorMittal Juiz de Fora and ArcelorMittal Cariacica. It is not possible, however, to use charcoal for all mills. Besides the scale issue, which would require expressive territorial dimensions, this type of input is not viable to produce pig iron in blast furnaces with capacity over 600,000 tons. We would need to resort to coal or coke.