Environmental Outreach in the Community
At Peabody’s Kayenta Mine, which operates on a remote highland plateau in northeast Arizona called the Black Mesa, home to the Navajo and Hopi reservations, immense focus is placed on community outreach. The mine is a strong contributor to the tribes, injecting $430 million in direct and indirect economic benefits during 2016, including $235,000 in scholarships to Navajo and Hopi youth. Peabody has supplied the local communities with clean water since the company began operations there, maintaining two public water stands that provide a free source of potable water for residents and livestock.
The Navajo Nation, through an Infrastructure Committee, elected to direct funds received from Peabody toward the Manymules Waterline Project, which broke ground in the summer of 2016 and will provide the necessary infrastructure to create a healthy foundation for the Navajo community for years to come. Upon completion, the approximately $21 million waterline distribution system is expected to serve more than 180 homes in the surrounding community. Phase one, slated for completion in summer 2017, will place over 17 miles of waterline to 41 homes.
Construction of the waterline, pictured above, is being done by Navajo Engineering Construction Authority, a tribal enterprise that competes for projects on the Navajo Nation. Some terrain is rocky, while other expanses are easier to navigate, since project design allowed for movement through Peabody’s reclaimed areas.
Land Rehabilitation in Australia
Peabody Australia established an environmental risk management committee in 2016 to provide governance oversight for environmental business risks and opportunities such as water management, coal waste and mine closures. The committee is tasked with ensuring a consistent approach is taken in the management of these issues, while encouraging continuous improvement. One committee outcome was the endorsement of the mine closure guideline, an initiative created by Peabody that outlines activities and projects that must be completed at each point in a mine’s life and that promotes integrated mine planning and improving environmental, social and financial outcomes.
Effective stakeholder consultation is an important component of the closure guideline. Wilkie Creek, which ceased operations in Queensland in 2013, is currently implementing its closure plan. During 2016, a stakeholder workshop that included a mine and rehabilitated landform tour was held at Wilkie Creek, allowing neighbors, land holders, government representatives, mining industry and alliance groups to learn about the closure and relinquishment process, and to generate feedback on post-mining land uses and landforms proposed for the mine. More stakeholder engagement activities are proposed for 2017.
Progressive rehabilitation at Wilkie Creek was fully completed in 2016, totaling 1,426 acres – 100 percent of available land. A recent demonstration at the former mine site enabled a grazier to successfully rotate 70-plus cattle from her drought-affected property to the rehabilitated land, showcasing the suitability of the proposed final land use, grazing.
The success of introducing cattle to Wilkie Creek’s rehabilitation will be measured using Peabody Australia’s rehabilitation monitoring guideline.
Community Outreach Across Our Global Platform
In the Americas, Peabody’s employees continue to step up to support their communities. At the Arclar Complex in Illinois, comprised of the Cottage Grove Mine, Wildcat Hills Mine and Central Preparation Plant, employees hold an annual Thanksgiving holiday food drive to collect items for regional families in need. Bear Run Mine in Indiana holds an employee fundraiser all year long to support their “Coal Miner’s Christmas,” a community outreach project that mine employees began in 2011 to purchase presents for area school children whose families are financially distressed. Mine volunteers shop and wrap gifts as a team-building exercise. Since its launch, the mine has raised nearly $57,000 and gifted to 285 children from Sullivan County schools.
Many areas near Peabody’s Australian mines are considered remote, making rapid medical assistance more difficult. To alleviate this issue, a mutually beneficial relationship between our mines and surrounding communities is evidenced through support for local rescue services.
The Central Queensland Rescue community helicopter, pictured above, undertakes hundreds of rescues each year. Since 2009, Peabody has donated nearly $315,000 to cover operational expenses of the chopper, which also services our Bowen Basin employees. Near Wollar, New South Wales, dozens of Wilpinjong Mine employees volunteer for the Cooks Gap rural fire service, whose recruits respond to ravaging bushfires that can plague the region. Becoming a brigade member requires a significant investment of time, including testing and training, and when a bushfire breaks out, skills are put to work during extreme and potentially life-threatening conditions.
When an early 2017 fire threatened Wollar and pastoral holdings northeast of the community of Mudgee, 37 Peabody employees were called upon to provide round-the-clock relief efforts. Our employees and partners directly fought the blaze, assisted in relocating 400 head of cattle as danger approached and prepared meals for brigade members from food provided by Wilpinjong Mine. Peabody also loaned the mine’s fire truck and a grader and water cart to help bring the bushfire under control.
Peabody recognizes that employees who are registered volunteers with firefighting services may need to fulfill community service obligations, and therefore the Community Services Leave Policy for our Australian operations was enhanced in 2016 to provide up to two weeks paid leave per year to accommodate employee service.
Community outreach is valued as an ongoing endeavor at Peabody, and for employees based out of St. Louis, Missouri, autumn launches a meaningful season of giving back. Both the company and its employees support an annual campaign to fund United Way of Greater St. Louis, which in turn helps sustain more than 170 area nonprofits. Over the past five years, even with a smaller employee population at Corporate, Peabody’s campaign has remained a strong tradition, raising more than $3.7 million to help people in need.
“Fall Fridays” during September have galvanized employees to step away from work and provide service and energy to several United Way agencies. Sixty-eight participants lent a day assisting organizations with tasks like yard work, sanitizing play areas, stocking food pantries, washing windows and even converting typed books to braille. In 2016, the experience produced the equivalent of $6,400 worth of “volunteer labor” for projects that would have otherwise incurred overhead for the agencies. “Jeans Day for United Way” also continues to attract employees; since 2012, donating just $10 a month to dress casual for the cause has produced $157,000 in charitable giving.