Eco-Offsetting at Éléonore

May 3, 2017 1:00 PM ET

Located in a remote area of Northern Québec, Goldcorp’s Éléonore mine is predominantly a fly-in/fly-out mine. Before development construction at the mine even began, it was recognized that communities not just near the site but in the wider regional catchment of Nord-du-Québec could be affected by waste management and transportation issues if any community events were to be held at the mine site. Concern for the local environment and ecological footprint indicated that a more innovative approach was required in order to bring the mine and local community together, which resulted in the formation of an eco-responsibility plan.

Éléonore’s CSR, Human Resources and Communications departments partnered with FaunENord, a regional Not-For Profit Organization and expert in environmental education and reclamation, to set about devising an eco-offsetting plan for each of the community events to be held at the mine. The ultimate goal was to ensure waste products from planned community events were separated to be recycled and composted where possible, calculate each event’s greenhouse gas emissions effect, and convert the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into the quantities of trees and vegetation to be planted in the local community.

Inspired by Goldcorp’s commitment to responsible mining, the team put into action their principles for eco-responsible community events. For example, it was calculated that 121 people attending the 2015/2016 employee holiday event at the mine site generated 45 lbs of compost, 81 lbs of recycling and 37.5 lbs of waste. To offset the 2.18 tonnes of CO2 emissions produced, five trees over two metres high, three shrubs and 11 herbaceous plants were to be planted at an urban institution or school.

The Éléonore team selected École Saint Dominique-Savio, a school located in the local community of Chapais, and worked with them during the entire offsetting process. From purchasing the mature vegetation, trees and shrubs adapted to the local northern climate, to having the students digging, shoveling and weeding during the planting. Students also received a hands-on horticultural lesson along the way.

Similarly in mid-2015, 441 people attended the Éléonore mine inauguration. This event generated 55 lbs of compost, 47 lbs of recycling and 48 lbs of waste, equaling 53.01 tonnes of CO2. To offset the CO2 emissions, 256 seeds would need to be planted to make the event’s impact carbon neutral. The seed equivalent of 30 trees over two metres high, 51 shrubs and 118 herbaceous plants were planted at the Mayaupiui Training Institute of Wemindji.

With other events taking place at urban schools and institutions across the region, eco-responsibility and offsetting have become central to Éléonore’s sustainability objectives and community engagement plans. Our Planet. Our Choices. Our Legacy.