The CEO commits to meeting with affected Algoma University faculty on environmental issues

In an internal communiqué on environmental issues, Algoma Steel Chief Executive Officer Michael Garcia warns all employees to strictly follow standard operating procedures.

“Meeting production targets is important, but never at the expense of safety or the environment,” Garcia warns in a document entitled “Message to All Employees on Environmental Performance” distributed on Friday.

His memorandum, obtained from SooTodayincludes many of the same points Garcia made in an open letter to the community also released Friday, but adds paragraphs aimed specifically at mill workers.

Both documents were issued after nearly 40 Algoma University faculty members signed a letter earlier this week stating that “chronically high emissions of carcinogens and harmful pollutants released into the environment from Algoma Steel are unacceptable.” .

Garcia has also made a commitment to his staff to meet the affected professors.

“As you may know, there have been recent media concerns about Algoma Steel’s environmental performance,” he wrote to his workforce.

“The discourse was passionate, not entirely factual, and the subject of many dinner conversations, I’m sure.”

“It can be hard to hear, especially when we know firsthand how much effort is being put into ensuring continued environmental compliance across the mill and how hard members of our team are working to reduce emissions and move towards a greener environment future.”

“Employees are often asked to answer questions from family and friends.”

“They are the best ambassadors for the company and as such it is important that you know the facts.”

“I wanted to get in touch with you to reassure you that Algoma’s leadership team and board of directors remain firmly committed to a greener future and intend to work within established standards in the meantime.”

“Once the transition is complete, we expect here in Sault Ste. Marie to produce some of the most environmentally friendly steels in the world. I look forward to the day when this is an issue we are very proud of at the dinner table,” the CEO wrote.

“Our teams are directly involved in the EAF [electric arc furnace] The project must remain focused on its safe and timely execution, managing risk and resources to ensure successful completion.”

“Those not working on the project must remain focused on safely producing 200,000 tonnes per month to ensure the continued profitability of the business and the availability of funds to fund the EAF investment. This is how we work to ensure a greener future.”

“Continuous maintenance of our assets is vital. We are aware that the lack of available artisans makes this a challenge and I assure you that efforts to recruit qualified skilled workers and trained apprentices have been prioritized with resources dedicated to this goal.”

“Standard flow [SOPs] are specifically written to ensure that a task is performed in the safest manner while performing them with respect to potential environmental or quality impacts.

“For these reasons, everyone must adhere strictly to established operating practices. If you are new to the role or area, take the time to learn each SOP and ask questions if necessary.”

“We welcome the open dialogue with all stakeholders and look forward to meeting with Algoma University faculty in the coming days.”

“We hope to better understand their concerns while clarifying that Algoma’s emissions have not increased, nor are we asking for government exemptions.”

“If at any time you see something that goes against our values, particularly as they relate to safety and the environment, please do not hesitate to reach out to your manager, me or any member of the management team,” Garcia said.

On Saturday night, Algoma Steel became the first recipient of the Sault Ste. Economic Impact Prize of the Marie Chamber of Commerce.

The steelmaker employs 2,700 people and supports 6,000 retirees through pensions and benefits, which contribute more than 40 percent of Sault’s gross domestic product.

It made a $1 million donation to create a 20-bed local addiction care facility.


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