"Among multiple highlights in 2017, the addition to the family was a defining moment. Although our renewed and extended organization embraced the new chapter of Hydro, and got off to a flying start of 2018, the Alunorte situation in Brazil shows us that we have lots of unfinished work to do also on the more basic level," President and CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg writes in his letter to shareholders.
"The Alunorte situation demands the best of us and will be a touchstone of our ability to put firm action behind our words and aspirations. Resolving the Alunorte situation in a way that meets our highest standards and satisfy our stakeholders, is also a precondition to maintain the momentum of the rest of Hydro. I truly believe that the learnings will expedite firm improvements in our way of performing social responsibility - because we want to, but also because we have to. We have not done enough to demonstrate that we are on the same side as the communities we are a part of, in order to contribute to sustainable growth and development to our mutual benefit. We should have been better prepared, as this is incorporated in the history and culture of our company. Now is the time to show rather than tell," Brandtzæg says
"With Extruded Solutions onboard, expanding our customer interfaces and sharpening our engineering spirit, Hydro's aluminium operations now range from mining to recycling, and every step in between, making Hydro the truly global 360 aluminium company. Going forward together with 35,000 skillful and dedicated colleagues at 150 locations in 40 countries, is inspiring. As a complete aluminium family we can put our metal and material to good use in even more applications, light-weighting and energizing the world through smart solutions. We are getting closer to the end-users. We are more often getting into the room with the product designers. We can learn from the agility of our new family members. And our innovators and entrepreneurs have a momentum to explore and take advantage of all the undiscovered opportunities in the space between extruded and rolled aluminium," Brandtzæg continues.
"The advances, operationally, financially and technologically, convince me that Better, Bigger and Greener are not only great guidelines individually. Measures to support one of them may often also contribute to the progress of the others. Examples are ramping up the Karmøy Technology Pilot in Norway, the automotive line 3 and the used beverage can recycling line in Germany, offering to the market the brand new Hydro 75R product, guaranteeing at least 75 percent post-consumer scrap recycled content, and the certified Hydro 4.0 product, with a carbon footprint of less than 4 kg CO2 per kilo aluminium, as well as the offer to acquire the Icelandic hydropower-based primary aluminium plant ISAL and the decision to upgrade and restart the second line at Husnes. These initiatives, investments and measures are part of Hydro's Better, Bigger, Greener aspiration, and will contribute both to the climate and our financial bottom-line. They reflect our firm belief in aluminium as a metal, material and part of the solution - and that business targets and climate targets may very well go hand in hand," Brandtzæg says.
"By being a 360 aluminium company, fully integrated along the aluminium value-chain, Hydro is in a unique position to control every step of production, and be responsible - for the land, water and forests, for our employees and the communities we engage with, for the energy use and emissions in our processes, and for bringing end products back into the loop to be used over again. At the same time, the situation emerging in February and March after the extreme rainfalls in the Barcarena region where our alumina refinery Alunorte is situated, illustrates very clearly that adapting to climate changes and having high ambitions for social responsibility, community dialogue and human rights are not issues that are resolved once and forever. They are issues that demand ever more resolve, and it is crucial to always stay ahead in order not to be caught off guard by unforeseen incidents," Brandtzæg says.
"Also regarding safety, we need to make additional efforts to improve performance, as we cannot accept that the positive trend over the years seem to flatten out and give us setbacks. Two fatalities in 2017 show that we must intensify not only our efforts but also our abilities - at the leadership levels as well as on the shop floor where high risk incidents may have fatal consequences," Brandtzæg says.
"Global megatrends support the future of aluminium as metal and material and as a building block of modern societies. Our 360 value-chain and our innovative powers are enablers for us as a company to be a forerunner in our industry. At the same time, our belief in continuous improvement proves more crucial than ever, in operations, of course, but most certainly within corporate social responsibility as well", Brandtzæg adds.
The report, meeting the Norwegian statutory requirements for annual reporting, is "Financial Statements and Board of Directors' Report - 2017." This report is available in Norwegian and English.
In addition, a more extensive report is available, "Annual Report - 2017," with detailed information about Hydro's businesses, operational performance, financial performance, viability performance, corporate governance and financial statements. The report is available in English.
At www.hydro.com/reporting2017 content from the two reports is presented with supplementary information. All parts of the reports can be downloaded from this web site and printed in PDF format on demand.
Hydro's main reporting on viability performance is included in the "Annual Report - 2017," with additional details on www.hydro.com/reporting2017