Monday Message 27th July 2020

A significant recent event for NZ is Rio Tinto’s announcement of the “last chance” to do a deal or else the Bluff smelter will close. This being the operation that produces uncommonly high purity aluminium using renewable electricity resources. In a different context this is what Rio Tinto Group CEO J-S Jacques said to sharemarket analysts just a few months ago:

“For consumers – are you willing to pay a premium for services and products that are greener and to support developing nations? Are you willing to consume less?

For governments – are you willing to sacrifice economic growth and associated jobs to deliver climate goals?

And for shareholders – are you willing to see a reduction in shareholder returns to finance climate action … are you willing to cap your growth in the short term?”

Without authentic leadership at Bluff from this asset owner, it is all too easy to default to a position of blaming everyone else, in in pursuit of looking after the shareholders.