Since the earliest days of Alpha’s inception, we have taken pride in our commitment to safety, environmental stewardship, and continuous improvement. Long before ESG became an acronym in common usage, Alpha and our affiliates were employing the principles and practices of ethical business operation that we still value and strive to meet each and every day.
This page of our website will be dedicated to providing a central location for high-level ESG information related to Alpha and our operations. We intend to update this page as new or additional information becomes available.
Alpha and our affiliates strive to achieve full compliance with all environmental laws, rules and regulations that govern coal mining. We set annual compliance goals that reflect our commitment to continual improvement.
Environmental Management System (EMS)
Alpha’s EMS is modeled after the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System standard and is an integral tool to our positive environmental performance. Comprehensive third-party environmental audits are conducted every two years at active operations, while internal audits are also performed regularly at both active and inactive facilities. The third component of Alpha’s environmental audit process is the Environmental Audit Team, which encourages a fresh perspective by utilizing internal site experts to conduct quarterly audits at locations outside their area of normal responsibility.
We continually evaluate our compliance using a detailed environmental database to manage and track environmental compliance data, permits, outlets, water sampling analyses, audit findings, corrective actions, etc. This database is an integral tool that provides companywide notifications, reports, and reminders to ensure that we are focused on our environmental obligations.
Alpha believes that appropriate environmental training and awareness are essential to achieving environmental excellence. All employees with environmental responsibilities complete environmental training annually to ensure they are properly equipped to recognize potential environmental impacts and have the skills to prevent or mitigate their occurrence.
Alpha’s operational footprint encompasses more than 1,000 active outlets yielding over 200,000 water quality evaluation opportunities annually. The company has an EPA National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Program compliance rate of 99.9%. We also conduct water quality analyses of the receiving waters (streams and rivers) and conduct benthic macroinvertebrate studies to ensure we are monitoring the aquatic communities downstream of our operations.
Although Alpha currently does not operate in regions with high baseline water stress, we recycle and reuse water for coal processing, dust suppression, truck washes, and other uses.
Alpha currently maintains seven active tailings impoundments and six impoundments that are inactive or in reclamation status. Impoundments are constructed, certified, and inspected in accordance with MSHA standards and regulations. Seven-day inspections are conducted by trained personnel, with licensed professional engineers conducting quarterly and annual inspections and certifications. Third-party consultants are employed to perform insurance risk surveys to systematically define and evaluate potential risks within the operations and ensure appropriate controls are in place to manage these risks.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reviews initial permit applications for potential impacts to any protected species or habitat within the area where the company operates. Protection and Enhancement Plans are implemented to proactively ensure that those species and habitats are adequately protected during all phases of mining.
We work diligently to meet our post-mining land use with successful reestablishment of forest land, wildlife habitat or public use. Alpha maintains a focus on reclamation and bond reduction with over 3 million trees planted in the last 5 years (478,898 in 2021) and over 6,700 acres reclaimed (1,844 in 2021). We take great pride in our reclamation work, and we strive to leave the property in a condition that is as good as, if not better than, when we started. Alpha affiliates have been recognized on numerous occasions for exemplary performance in reclamation and have received many awards for this important work. A list of awards is accessible on the Environment page of this website.
Within our normal operations, Alpha has also provided significant aesthetic and environmental benefits to abandoned properties mined by other operators prior to the passage of the 1977 Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act.
At Alpha, we strive to go above and beyond the bar of compliance, seeking opportunities to have a positive impact through our work. The following list is a sampling of the projects and initiatives within our Beyond Compliance program.
- Coordinating bi-annual community clean-up events to remove trash from local roadways. In 2021, these events were attended by over 800 volunteers who covered over 60 miles and removed more than 1,700 bags of trash.
- Installing a Boomerang water bottling system at one of our properties to reduce plastic bottle usage by providing purified drinking water in reusable aluminum bottles. The system is capable of processing up to 760 bottles of water each day and has the capacity to reduce over 25,000 pounds of plastic annually.
- Using a West Virginia wildflower mix (pollinator species) to hydroseed select sites to enhance reclamation by promoting pollinator habitat.
- Conducting organization-wide recycling initiatives. In 2021, these efforts included recycling over 9,900 tons of scrap metal and nearly 184,000 gallons of used oil.
Safety and Health
Alpha’s culture is built on operating safely and ethically, and we believe in a behavior-based safety process that empowers every employee to engage in the elimination of at-risk behaviors in the workplace.
We measure safety performance across our organization through several metrics, including Total Reportable Incident Rate (TRIR), Non-Fatal Days Lost (NFDL), and Violations Per Inspection Day (VPID).
We have an active and engaged group of employees with many decades of combined Mine Rescue training and experience. Over the years, Alpha’s Mine Rescue teams have won many awards at regional and national Mine Rescue contests. A list of Safety and Mine Rescue awards is accessible on the Safety page of this website.
Workforce and Operations
We strive to be the employer of choice in the areas where we operate, and we offer competitive compensation and benefits packages to attract and retain an experienced and high-caliber workforce. Alpha and our affiliates are equal-opportunity employers and we abide by strict anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies. We value the human rights of our employees. Our operations are located within the Central Appalachian region of the United States, and we do not operate in conflict zones or near territories of Indigenous Peoples.
Within our organization, we employ approximately 3,500 talented individuals. We have a small population of union-represented employees, making up roughly 3% of our total workforce.
At Alpha, we believe in teamwork and treating one another with respect. We also believe in being good neighbors in the communities where we live and work. Over the last decade, Alpha’s Community Involvement program has donated millions of dollars to local non-profit organizations in our operating area. Our employees have consistently donated their time as volunteer support to community organizations, even during challenging periods in the coal markets when we have had to temporarily suspend our formal corporate philanthropy program. Qualified 501(c)(3) organizations seeking funding are asked to complete our online grant request form.
As a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange, Alpha makes regular disclosures about our business and financial performance in accordance with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These include annual reports on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, which include detailed information related to the company’s finances and management’s direction for the current and future operation of the business.
Board and Executive Management
Alpha is governed by a seven-member Board of Directors made up of a diverse group of highly qualified individuals with different backgrounds and experiences. We are pleased to have diversity within Alpha’s Board of Directors and among the senior management of the company.
Incentive-based executive bonus compensation is directly tied to the company’s positive safety and environmental performance.
The company is executing on its strategic shift away from thermal coal and toward a focus on the critical steel-making resource of metallurgical coal. Our last remaining thermal coal mine, Slabcamp, is on track to close in the summer of 2022. Global climate change initiatives and public perceptions have resulted in decreased coal-fired power plant capacity and utilization. Additionally, certain banks and other financing sources have taken actions to limit available financing for coal-fueled power plants or companies involved in the extraction of thermal coal. Alpha will complete its transition to a pure-play metallurgical producer in 2022.
We employ a disciplined and rigorous capital allocation strategy that seeks to responsibly manage the assets of the organization for the long-term safety, health and benefit of the company, its employees, and its shareholders.
The company’s Enterprise Risk Management Committee reviews and internally tracks risks to the organization. We also disclose a list of Risk Factors in our annual report on Form 10-K.
Code of Business Ethics
The following are summarized from our Code of Business Ethics, which is available on our website:
- We endeavor to respect the rights of, and deal fairly with, the Company’s customers, suppliers, competitors, and employees.
- We avoid conflicts of interest.
- It is our policy to provide full, fair, accurate, timely and understandable disclosure in all public communications.
- We conduct our business in compliance with all applicable antibribery and anticorruption laws.