News and Publications

BSL releases its 2015 Sustainable Development Report

March 18, 2016

BSL has released its 2015 Sustainable Development report, giving community members a glimpse into the smelter’s performance across the areas of safety, business, health, environment, people and community.

For Australia’s largest aluminium smelter, 2015 was a mix of breaking records, personal achievements, facing market constraints head on and challenging the status-quo in how a smelter should be run.

The report shows 2015 was another tough year for the business as it endured unprecedented external market challenges. The price for aluminium reached a six-year low in 2015, with more than a quarter of global smelting capacity operating in negative cash flow. Poor market conditions were compounded by the Chinese aluminium sector producing and exporting more metal, as well as high Queensland power prices.

General Manager Joe Rea said despite the headwinds the business had faced over the past few years, the smelter had been working hard to do the groundwork to remain operationally sustainable for the future.

“We have really been fighting hard to keep Australian manufacturing alive by doing everything we can to remain internationally competitive. In response to market conditions, we began a transformation journey five years ago that has seen BSL deliver significant cost savings over that period,” Mr Rea said.

“We have been trying to strike a balance between reducing costs where possible, without compromising our safety, health, environment or community performance. In 2015 the BSL team implemented a ‘Working Together to Secure our Future’ initiative which has seen outstanding ideas raised by our very own employees, targeting savings in excess of $60 million. This is on top of the $26.7 million already saved from employee ideas in the three years prior.”

“The continuing headwinds we face as a business have required resilience and tenacity and the people at BSL have shown their pride and determination to work together to secure our future,” he said.
 

Key highlights for BSL in 2015 were:

·         BSL became Australia’s largest aluminium can recycling facility in 2015, recycling 13 million cans a month. Recycling aluminium uses only 5% of the energy
          required to make new aluminium.

·         BSL was awarded the Gladstone Observer Westpac Best in Business award for Industry – Manufacturing and Fabrication.

·         The Renewable Energy Target legislation was passed through Parliament in June 2015 providing BSL, and similar industries, with a  welcomed exemption from
           future payments towards this scheme, saving more than $25 million a year for BSL.

·         General Manager Joe Rea was awarded the Australian Institute of Management Queensland Manager of the Year and then the National Manager of the Year.

·         Fluoride in air emissions were at the lowest levels ever recorded in the plant’s 33-year history, while trending levels have dropped more than 15% in the past five
          years.

·         BSL contributed more than $100,000 in funding to the local community in 2015, with over a third of investment supporting education. BSL also made in excess of
          $200,000 contribution in in-kind support.

·         BSL invited employees’ families through the gates to thank them for their support in the first family open day in many years, attended by more than 600 people.
 

The full 2015 Sustainable Development report can be found on here (or view via this website under the section ‘Publications’).