Environmental Stewardship

Goldcorp is committed to the protection of the environment during all phases of mining, from exploration to post-closure activities. Everyone conducting work or acting on our behalf is responsible for the actions necessary to fulfill this commitment. We value and protect the earth’s natural resources by striving for pollution prevention. We seek and utilize practices, technologies and partnerships to reduce our water and carbon footprints. Finally, we take the necessary steps to operate our mine waste facilities in such a way as to protect the environment.


The quantity

of reused/recycled water as a percentage of raw water withdrawn from the environment was approximately 130%. What this means is that we reused and recycled more water than we extracted from the environment.

Energy intensity

from 2016 to 2017 decreased by approximately 2.2% due to different energy efficiency initiatives developed at the sites. Energy saving efforts for 2017 are estimated at 35,000 MWhs.

Various projects

and initiatives in 2017 resulted in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) savings of approximately 100,000 tonnes of CO2e.

    We developed and rolled out the Goldcorp Water Accounting Framework, which defines the targets, milestones and success criteria of our Towards Zero Water (H2Zero) vision.

    We developed a water valuation model for all operating sites resulting in the Water Valuation Toolbox and a company-wide set of unit costs for the full spectrum of water activities at our operations.

    We advanced our research on EcoTails: The project is completing the pre-feasibility research phase, with test work underway at Peñasquito, Marlin and Éléonore. The project team is working on a proto-type for application.


    Goal Description What to Expect in 2018

    Wrap up the Water Stewardship Strategy. Transition to, and begin advancing, H2Zero as our water stewardship focal point.

    The operating sites completed the Water Stewardship Strategy milestones, positioning us to focus and advance on the Towards Zero Water (H2Zero) initiative. A variety of important tasks were completed aimed at defining, documenting, and kick-starting the progress of H2Zero including:

    1. Developed and rolled out the Goldcorp Water Accounting Framework which defines the targets, milestones and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of the H2Zero vision.
    2. Executed a water valuation model for all operating sites, resulting in the Water Valuation Toolbox and a company-wide set of “true costs” for the full spectrum of water activities at our operations.

    Plan and execute water-saving projects in 2018 and make progress towards the performance milestones established in our H2Zero Water Accounting Framework. Additionally, the SEMS standard for water stewardship will undergo an update to further improve clarity, internal compliance and support conformance with updated external drivers from ICMM and Mining Association of Canada.

    Update SEMS standard to incorporate energy and climate change management into standard operational practice.

    We are committed to managing energy consumption and related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We updated the Energy and Climate Change Management standard within SEMS to ensure that management of this aspect is fully incorporated into standard practices.

    Each operating site has established an annual target for GHGs for 2018. Achievement of this target is an indicator in our Sustainability Performance Index (SPI).

    Analyze the results of the Cerro Negro wind farm feasibility study.

    The feasibility study analyzing a wind farm at Cerro Negro was advanced in 2017 and while the study results were interesting, another renewable energy alternative was also considered. Recent expansion to renewable energy power supply in Argentina resulted in the alternative to consider an agreement with a third party renewable energy power supplier. There is an existing wind farm in the adjacent province of Chubut that is already established and that has recently expanded. Purchasing renewable energy from this third party would allow Cerro Negro and Goldcorp to ensure compliance with the Argentinian renewable energy supply regulatory requirements as well as to continue to support the international climate change agenda.

    Further consider this alternative in 2018.

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    Insights From:
    Lisa Wade

    Talking Environmental Stewardship with Lisa Wade, Vice President, Environment1
    1. Looking back on 2017, what were some of the main accomplishments and highlights that come to mind for the Environment team?

      Defining what success for our Towards Zero Water (H2Zero) initiative might look like for us over the next ten years was definitely a highlight for the Environment team in 2017. Knowing that zero water is an extremely ambitious goal, we’ve solidified what we think we can do with our operations over the next ten years while our technology team continues to work on water saving innovation.

      We also really settled into our Sustainability Excellence Management System (SEMS). We concluded baseline SEMS audits for all our operations in 2017, and while our operations continue to implement any necessary action plans, we are looking forward to a continuous improvement phase for SEMS. The coming years will allow us to really tighten up our management system and focus on key risk areas while we increase our performance and competency levels in the management of our sustainability practices.

      Last year I mentioned the installation of a pumpback system at our Peñasquito mine. I’m happy to announce that the installation of a seepage capture and pumpback system at the tailings storage facility (TSF) was well advanced during 2017. The system is composed of a collection trench along the southern edge of the TSF as well as a series of pumpback wells along the western edge of the TSF. A large portion of the trench and some of the pumpback wells were commissioned in 2017 and began pumping the captured water back into the TSF. The pumpback wells along the western edge, and the full length of the southern trench will be completed and fully operational in 2018.

    2. What were some of the challenges in 2017? What did the company learn from them?

      During 2017, a major water treatment plant was commissioned at our Éléonore mine. This water treatment plant will help meet toxicity standards for trout and daphnia in our discharge. Completing the construction and commissioning of the water treatment plant at Éléonore was an important challenge for us in 2017. This was a significant project and its execution required tremendous planning, collaboration and accountability. We are proud of this success and have already seen improvements in our water quality. Throughout this process we learned to be a better team and successfully faced this important challenge.

    3. What are the main environmental risks and opportunities for Goldcorp in 2018?

      One of our key risks is centred on how we manage water from its intake to our processes, how we contain it and ultimately how we return it to the environment. Water is essential to our operations, central to the environment and a fundamental human right. For all these reasons, we must ensure we are properly managing our water footprint. We have been focusing on this critical topic for many years. In 2013, we initiated our Water Stewardship Strategy, which wrapped up in 2017 and brought us to our Towards Zero Water (H2Zero) vision. H2Zero contains short- and long-term goals that will get us as close to net zero fresh water added into our systems as possible.

    4. How does the theme of environment fit into Goldcorp's 20/20/20 plan?

      Our 20/20/20 plan focuses on increasing production by 20%, growing reserves by 20% and reducing all-in sustaining costs (AISC) per ounce by 20%. Environmental and operational efficiencies often go hand in hand. Responsible and efficient use of energy is key to our long-term success and is key in addressing climate change issues. A good example would be energy efficiency: It not only contributes to cost savings in support of our 20/20/20 plan, but also helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, allowing us to help support global climate change objectives. We have energy optimization initiatives at many of our sites and saw savings of approximately 35,000 MWhs for 2017. These savings resulted in both greenhouse gas emissions and cost savings for the planet and the company.

    5. How does water reduction feature in the company’s current priorities?

      We recently implemented our Sustainability Performance Index (SPI) at all our operating sites. The SPI allows us to measure and report our performance on a monthly basis. Each operating site has established a target regarding water recycling and water withdrawal intensity for 2018. The SPI performance is ultimately on Goldcorp’s corporate scorecard which ties the SPI to compensation in a quantifiable way.

    6. With the retirement of the Goldcorp Water Stewardship Strategy, what’s next for Goldcorp with regards to water?

      We developed a water stewardship strategy in 2013 which wrapped up in 2017. Accomplishment of our water stewardship strategy milestones has set us up to evolve to our next step of water management, Towards Zero Water (H2Zero). H2Zero is our aspirational goal – the ultimate achievement in water stewardship that we are aiming for with two, five and ten year targets. Water stewardship continues to be a key set of internal standards incorporated into our Sustainability Excellence Management System (SEMS).

    7. How is water stewardship and Towards Zero Water (H2Zero) a “hard” aspect of Goldcorp’s business?

      Water is a visible and quantifiable resource that is currently 100% necessary for us to conduct our mining processes, just like any other supply item – such as diesel or tires. Without diesel, our equipment cannot move and therefore neither does our rock. Similarly, without water, our rocks cannot effectively be ground into smaller particles to allow for precious metals recovery. We handle more water by mass than we do ore. If we focus on less handling and re-handling of water, we can reduce costs and continue supporting our 20/20/20 plan. The less water we touch the better, from both an environmental and cost impact point of view.

    8. What are some of the long-term goals for the Environment team (i.e., five/ten years from now)?

      Towards Zero Water (H2Zero) is certainly one of the Environment team’s main long-term goals over the next ten years. Additionally, over the next several years we are focused on: supporting the global climate change agenda, improving and streamlining our Sustainability Excellence Management System (SEMS) and more fully integrating environmental aspects into daily operational decisions – including a better realization of the risks and costs faced at the mine closure period. We also recognize that the world’s population growth results in increased competition for resources, and to that end, we want to continuously improve our stewardship of all the natural resources that support our operations. We are focused on promoting conservation of resources while at the same time keeping our eye on new technology that can help with adaptation.

    9. Looking back over the past five years how would you describe the journey Goldcorp has been on from an Environment perspective?

      Clearly change is the only constant. Very little has stayed the same over the last five years. We did not have an enterprise management framework for sustainability five years ago, and now not only do we have our Sustainability Excellence Management System (SEMS) but it has gone through a couple of evolutions since its inception – and it will continue to evolve. Approaches to energy and water conservation have evolved. Regulations have changed, society’s expectations of our industry have increased, as have reporting, auditing and oversight requirements. New mines and projects have been started, while other mines have closed. While all these changes can certainly be challenging, this does provide a very dynamic and exciting environment where we are constantly invited to think of smarter ways to do things.