November 13, 2003: Headlines: COS - Ethiopia: Business: Mining: Pollution Probe: Scott Hand says Peace Corps taught me many things but the most valuable lesson was to respect different people and the different ways people think and live

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Ethiopia: Peace Corps Ethiopia : The Peace Corps in Ethiopia: November 13, 2003: Headlines: COS - Ethiopia: Business: Mining: Pollution Probe: Scott Hand says Peace Corps taught me many things but the most valuable lesson was to respect different people and the different ways people think and live

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Scott Hand says Peace Corps taught me many things but the most valuable lesson was to respect different people and the different ways people think and live

Scott Hand says Peace Corps taught me many things but the most valuable lesson was to respect different people and the different ways people think and live

Scott Hand says Peace Corps taught me many things but the most valuable lesson was to respect different people and the different ways people think and live

Speech at Pollution Probe Annual Gala

Royal York Hotel

Toronto

Scott Hand

Chairman and CEO

Inco Limited

November 13, 2003

Last year I had a milestone birthday.

Born in 1902.

I turned 100 years old.

Not many Canadians have lived so long.

So I celebrated. And reflected on a century of life.

What had I accomplished? What did I leave in my wake?

Was I a force for good in the world? Or an instrument of harm? Tough questions.

The truth is my life hasnít been perfect. Iíve left a few footprints. Tonight, I have come neither to blow smoke about our achievements over the century. Nor to apologize for our legacy.

You wonít hear me say how "committed" I am. I wonít be pleading for patience and understanding.

Youíll hear a little straight talk, which I hope adds something to the discussion.

First, let me say that that 100-year-old Canadian is Inco. Inco is me. And around the world, there are 10,000 people just like me.

Man, that thought terrifies my wife!!

As a group of 10, 000 people, weíre totally focused on the responsible mining and processing of nickel--in Canada, in Indonesia, the UK, China, and soon in New Caledonia.

Basically, nickelís good stuff.

Itís the reason stainless steel is stainless.

Nickel is in the batteries of cell phones; like the ones that will probably ring while Iím up here.

Itís in the batteries of hybrid/electric cars.

Itís in kitchens, airplanes and medical instruments.

To make nickel, we dig it out of the ground - in open pits and in underground mines.

The process creates waste Ė tailings.

And it uses energy -- less than it used to, but still a lot.

In some places we emit sulphur dioxide, or SO2 -- less than we used to but more than weíd like.

Is the world better off for having nickel?

I think it is.

But to meet public expectations, to address todayís environmental and social standards, weíve got a lot of work to do.

And a lot of that work involves catching up. Dealing with the cumulative impact of 100 years of operation.

Take Port Colborne.

During World War II, our Port Colborne refinery produced 90 percent of the worldís nickel and helped in the war effort.

Today, itís a smaller operation Ė and it no longer produces nickel. But the legacy of those earlier years remains in the surface soil. Where, in some areas, there are elevated levels of nickel.

What should a company do? How do we deal with something that happened more than half a century ago?

First, we accept responsibility. Step up to the plate. Acknowledge our role in creating the problem.

Second, we act responsibly. Do the right thing. Take action. Bring the best minds and science to the problem.

Involve the community. Stick it out until itís resolved. And pay for it.

Weíve helped establish a Community Based Risk Assessment program in Port Colborne.

Weíre paying for two years of scientific and medical studies at a cost of $17 million.

Weíll accept the studiesí recommendations and remediate where remediation is called for.

We have a longstanding offer to clean up properties next to the plant. But let me be frank: not everyone has been satisfied with these efforts. So hereís the question I always ask myself: is Inco doing the right thing?

I believe we are. And Iím determined to stay the course.

Speaking of staying the course, Iíd like to recognize and thank Port Colborne Mayor Vance Badaway who is here tonight.

His resolve and support and commitment to this difficult process has been impressive.

In Sudbury, a similar community program is examining the impact of nickel in the soil.

And like Port Colborne, weíre accepting responsibility and addressing concerns emerging from those studies.

Itís the same approach we used with land reclamation.

Youíll recall the Sudbury moonscape of 30 years ago. Itís different now. The regreening of Sudbury has been a success.

Together with government, weíve worked on a massive revegetation program thatís considered a model for the world.

In Sudbury, we face another issue that Pollution Probe has identified as important.

SO2 -- the gas we emit from our smelter.

As my teenage daughter says: Itís not a good thing.

A hundred years ago, nobody thought anything about SO2. It was the price of progress.

Today, we know better. But knowing better and solving the problem are two different things.

I go back to our two basic principles:

Accept responsibility. Act responsibly.

In Sudbury, for the last 25 years, weíve undertaken one of the largest environmental clean up projects in Canadian history. Weíve spent over $700 million achieving something we believe in --- clean air. And we now contain 90 percent of our emissions. But thatís not enough. The job isnít done!

Weíre spending another $115 million to lower our SO2 emissions a further 34 percent by 2006.

We will continue to be one of the top 10 air emitters in North America until we can figure out a way to fix it completely.

Governments donít like these emission levels.

Neither does Pollution Probe.

And neither do I.

But solutions?

Taking the next step with SO2 is going to take more than just money. Existing technology simply does not provide a clear fix.

Our scientists and researchers are aggressively pursuing innovative and technical solutions, with the aim of achieving a 75 percent reduction of our current S02 emissions by 2015.

Itís a tough challenge. Can we get there? At this point, we donít know for sure Ė but thatís our goal.

One thing we do know is that we canít do it alone.

Weíll need the creative energy of others to finally resolve this issue.

For example, our federal and provincial governments are searching for new regulatory tools beyond the traditional command and control approach. Ken Ogilvie and I have also talked about what role Pollution Probe might play.

I donít expect Pollution Probe, or any other environmental organization for that matter, to be an apologist for Inco.

Letís just tackle the problem head on. Letís think out of the box. Letís look for solutions and results.

And letís do it together.

Ken, I look forward to continuing our conversation. We may surprise a few people.

Iíd also like to thank you and Pollution Probe for inviting me tonight. Not honoring me Ė but inviting me and hearing what I have to say. As I said, not everyone agrees, and I respect that. For my part, I can only keep doing what I think is right.

A hundred year old man, like myself, would like to believe that he has learned something in all the years heís spent on earth. And I know we have.

In the sixties, I had the privilege of serving in John F. Kennedyís Peace Corps.

I was a teacher in Ethiopia and learned a lot.

The Peace Corps taught me many things but the most valuable lesson was to respect different people and the different ways people think and live. I have carried that lesson with me ever since.

Itís a lesson that has helped build the relationship we have with the Innu and Inuit in Labrador; a relationship that is very gratifying. Weíre deeply involved with the Aboriginal people of Labrador in building Voiseyís Bay.

And weíre providing them with hope.

And, as Iíve said to Peter Penashue of the Innu Nation, weíve gone from being like this (gesture of opposed fists) a few years ago, to being more like this (gesture of clasped hands).

In New Caledonia, weíre working with the Melanesian people on a Good Neighbor Agreement that will help them realize the benefits of our Goro project.

Weíre not as far along as we are in Labrador, but we know the path and we will get there.

Accepting responsibility. Doing the right thing. Weíve worked to make that our unofficial motto.

Like that great philosopher Kermit the Frog says, "itís not easy being green". And itís something I canít lay claim to. But, with the encouragement and support of people like Mayor Badawey, Ken Ogilvie, and Peter PenashueÖ.

With the tremendous team that I lead at IncoÖ I hope to get there before Iím too much older.

Thank you.




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Story Source: Pollution Probe

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Ethiopia; Business; Mining

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