Vale welcomed a small, socially distanced, team into its North Atlantic hub to commemorate the completion of its North Atlantic Operations Centre in Copper Cliff, Ontario, this week.
The event was also broadcast live to Vale’s North Atlantic employees and featured a virtual tour video, giving participants a glimpse into the innovative new space that will serve as the physical and virtual hub of its North Atlantic operations, Vale said.
Vale’s North Atlantic operations includes the Creighton, Coleman, Copper Cliff, Garson and Thompson mines, in Sudbury.
Vale Canada Limited’s CEO, Mark Travers, addressed attendees noting that, by transforming an existing building, the company had found an innovative way to make better use of an important part of the company’s history.
“Its fresh and open design promotes creativity, collaboration and integration – and supports the need to think and work in a more sustainable way to advance our transformation journey,” Travers said to the in-person and virtual audience.
The local architecture firm behind the project was inspired by a city layout in developing the updated design, with “streets” connecting different work zones or “neighbourhoods” flanked by meeting rooms that act as sound barriers to the open concept workstations within, Vale said. These “streets” help to organise different departments but also serve as a way-finding tool, creating a grid that helps staff and visitors navigate their way through the space. So too does the meeting room identification system that borrows the names of trees and shrubs native to Vale’s North American and Brazilian operating regions.
Flexibility was built into the design from day one and provided an unanticipated benefit as the COVID-19 pandemic has required Vale to reimagine and reconfigure the space to address new safety protocols, it said.
Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Operations, spoke to the group about the careful safety considerations the company is taking as it works towards the opening of the new building for eventual in-person collaboration.
“We are taking a staged approach so that effective pandemic processes and controls are implemented to ensure employee safety and wellbeing,” Otranto said.