Our Clearly Covia values and behaviors: Safety First; Be Different; Deliver on Promise; and, Do Good. Do Well. Act. Responsibly. will differentiate Covia. While we continuously raise our own standards, we also make it a point to share our expertise, successes, and best practices with our stakeholders. By collaborating with our stakeholders, we gain ideas and new opportunities for advancing Sustainable Development (SD). Our stakeholder engagement fosters strong relationships that ensure we can operate in an informed, efficient, sustainable, and profitable manner. By working together to raise standards, responsible practices, and transparency, we strengthen our industry for the long term.
Covia invests time in educating suppliers, customers, peers, partners, and other businesses on the adoption of sustainable practices. We host town halls open to the public and educational sessions for school children, colleges and universities, local clubs and businesses, government agencies, national associations, and conferences. We also educate investors about our commitment to Sustainable Development (SD) and its value. Each year we will publish our annual Corporate Responsibility report, which highlights data about our SD initiatives, including our return on investment statistics through our SD Pays measurement.
Covia participates in both regional and national industry associations to raise standards and increase adoption of responsible practices. For example, the Wisconsin Industrial Sand Association (WISA) is a statewide organization that promotes safe and environmentally sound sand mining standards, fact-based discussions, and positive dialogue among the industry, citizens, and government officials in Wisconsin. WISA requires all members to abide by a strict code of conduct with a commitment to leading in ethical ways that benefits society, the environment, and the economy. In addition, our facilities in Mexico have a longstanding membership with the Mexican Mining Chamber (CAMIMEX), the oldest industrial association in Mexico, to promote responsible mining. Covia works closely with the chamber, participating as a permanent member as well as chairing the Human Resources commission and participating in the Environment, Community Relationships, Legal, and Fiscal commissions.
We continuously inform our peers, suppliers, and customers about Covia’s Sustainable Development practices to increase responsible behaviors and raise industry standards. For instance, we share our Safety and Health management practices to enhance the well-being of workers across our value chain. We publish white papers, give conference presentations, and serve on panel discussions. Furthermore, our third-party studies on air quality generate dialogue with regulatory agencies and peers to improve industry standards. Our intent is to reduce impacts, manage risks, and increase transparency.
Our dedication to integrity extends to our supply chain and will be formally outlined in our Supplier Code of Conduct, expected to be completed in 2019. Additionally, we plan to develop a mechanism to assess our suppliers for compliance and ethical conduct before establishing a formal relationship. Our internal and external stakeholders unite to uphold compliance and ethical behavior across our supply chain. We believe in generating shared success with our suppliers through fair and balanced agreements.
Our higher education partners work with us to develop our talent pipeline, as well as conduct industry research and product and process testing. For example, Covia’s support of the Foundry Educational Foundation provides scholarships and funding for universities that prepare students for careers in the metal casting industry. With our technology partners, we develop as well as acquire and license intellectual property to improve the sustainability of product solutions. With our logistics partners, such as rail, truck, and barge, we develop new transportation solutions that help improve efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. Covia also works with governments at all levels to educate them on issues within the mining industry, partner on studies, share best practices, and help develop industry standards.
Partnering with our communities remains critical to Covia because we recognize that we impact their livelihood and well-being. We make a concerted effort to invest in and volunteer in the community and bring residents on site for tours and educational programming. For more information see the Community Impacts and Community Investment sections.
In 2018, the Company, through our foundation, supported the Foundry Educational Foundation through a contribution of $20,000. This funding was allocated to the general operating fund, a College Industry Conference partnership and scholarship, and a contribution to the William E. Conway Scholarship Endowment. We awarded two Covia scholarships: a $2,000 Covia Partnership scholarship to a student attending the University of Alabama and a $2,500 William E. Conway scholarship to a student attending Trine University. Both students are seniors with plans to enter the Foundry and Metals Industry. The foundation also gave $28,000 to sponsor scholarships for the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Geology Department and their Responsible Mining Initiative program.
We continue our engagement and support of various associations that support our markets and operations, which include the American Foundry Society (AFS), AFS Governmental Affairs (Silica Coalition), Industrial Minerals Association–North America (IMA-NA), National Industrial Sand Association (NISA), Wisconsin Industrial Sand Association (WISA), Illinois Association of Aggregate Producers, CAMIMEX (Mexican Mining Chamber), Georgia Mining Association, and Ontario Mining Association.
Furthermore, we provided tours and educational presentations for many stakeholders in 2018, which included:
- Elementary, high school, college, and university groups such as Gustavus Adolphus College
- Community groups such as the United Way, Habitat for Humanity, and Boys & Girls Club
- Membership organizations such as the Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs
- Affinity groups such as the Young African Leaders Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Stout
Covia will continue our commitment to maintaining transparent relationships and active partnerships with our key stakeholders. We also see opportunities to leverage our size, scale, and geographic footprint to improve sustainable practices across our industry and value chain.