When Nipuni Amaratunga was finishing university, she wanted to find an employer that could bring her personal passion for community and sustainability to the workplace. She already knew about Teck Resources Limited through school and, when she dug deeper, found it was a company that could help her merge that passion with her career.
“I saw the great work that Teck has done around sustainability and communities and feel really fortunate to be able to work in that space now,” says the Indigenous relations co-ordinator for Teck, who started with the Vancouver-based mining company in 2022.
Amaratunga’s portfolio includes working on Indigenous-led initiatives, which allows her to forge meaningful relationships in the communities where Teck is active.
One of the ways she’s able to achieve that is through Teck’s community investment program, which contributes to charitable organizations and community initiatives.
“It’s been really positive and meaningful in a way that goes beyond what Teck does from an operational standpoint,” she says. “We’re able to be active members of the community that can support different things like youth education and leadership.”
The evolution of Teck’s involvement in community is something that Kate Lafferty, director, corporate development, has seen crystallize in her 16 years with the company.
“There’s been a shift with greater importance placed on sustainability and more prominence in community giving,” she says. “There’s a more well-rounded view of mining as part of society.”
The company is grounded in its core purpose, which includes providing essential resources while caring for the people, communities and land that it loves, a philosophy that Lafferty sees as the driving force for the majority of the strategic direction of the company.
“When I was working in Newfoundland, I remember people saying, ‘Oh, you work for Teck, that’s such a great company,’” recalls Lafferty. “People knew the name because it was very involved with the community and gave back to the places where the operations are.”
Aside from being an active sponsor in community events or spurring economic development for remote areas, Teck’s purpose plays out in the company’s production.
“Resources like copper are essential building blocks for society,” Lafferty explains. “I like that aspect for myself, knowing that our resources are being put to use and that there’s a tangible way these materials are improving people’s lives.”
Teck operates four copper mines and is a significant producer of copper in the Americas, a critical mineral for the low-carbon transition. For example, electric vehicles can require up to four times as much copper as gasoline vehicles.
Internally, excellent benefits packages with a focus on healthy living, employee training programs and mentorship programs are just some of the ways that the company cares for its employees.
Another way that Amaratunga sees that care resonating within the company is through its efforts at reconciliation.
“It’s a journey that the organization has been on for a while and now we’re really amplifying the opportunities for employees to get involved,” she says.
Indigenous cultural awareness training and resources like books, podcasts and videos are just some of the ways that reconciliation has come to the fore within the company.
“There’s a lot of change that’s happening right now,” she says. “It’s exciting to know that there’s more to come down the road, especially in terms of reconciliation.”
Advertising feature produced by Canada’s Top 100 Employers, a division of Mediacorp Canada Inc. The Globe and Mail’s editorial department was not involved.