CEO at Vale in Malaysia Explains How the Management System Will Support the Company towards Operational Excellence

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CEO at Vale in Malaysia Explains How the Management System Will Support the Company towards Operational Excellence

Vale is committed to the goal of becoming one of the world’s safest and most reliable mining companies. It is a global commitment as the company seeks the best measures to improve the safety and reliability of its operations. The leadership believes that Vale’s Management System (VPS) is the key to strengthening its organizational culture through the development of people, standardization of the best practices, operational discipline, and compliance with the routine.

Read the article published by CEO at Vale in Malaysia, Rodrigo Araújo – who was one of the leaders in Vitória (Espírito Santo state, Brazil) before becoming the country manager in Malaysia – to learn more about this system, its implementation, and how it can bring benefits to the company, employees, and society.

Banner with Rodrigo Araújo´s picture

Getting Towards Zero:
VPS and Inclusivity


In April, Vale’s CEO Eduardo Bartolomeo reaffirmed the company’s goal to transform into one of the safest and most reliable mining companies in the world. His message resonates in Malaysia as well, and we are adopting various measures to enhance the level of safety and reliability in our operations, even during these uncertain times.

After focusing much of our energy on COVID-19 prevention and containment efforts since March, today we are in the position where we can comfortably embark on a long-term plan to create a better Vale in Malaysia. We believe Vale’s Management System (VPS) is the way of the future.

Achieving Operational Excellence Through VPS

VPS is the key towards strengthening Vale's organizational culture through people development, standardization of best practices, operational discipline and compliance with routine.

With VPS, we will reimagine the path towards operational excellence. VPS is composed of three distinct dimensions: Leadership, Technical and Method (L,T,M). A strong safety leadership is ineffective, if it is not followed by the implementation of the right technical methodologies across the board. The right technical foresight and risk mapping may not effectively prevent accidents, if the leaders provide an obstacle to its implementation. A safe environment can only be achieved through the synchronization of these three areas (L,T,M), tying them all together. It is about ‘and’, not ‘or’.

The implementation of VPS creates an avenue for everyone across the organization to contribute. It also provides an official tool for checks and balances – where feedback across the different levels of the organization is welcome. Therefore, as we intensify our push to enhance operational safety and efficiency through VPS over the next 12 months, we will also solidify our resolve to create a workplace environment where everyone feels empowered and belong. This is where Vale’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity is crucial. We want everyone to feel comfortable enough to voice out and share their feelings about the issues that are dear to them, And it starts from listening and exercising a strong sense of empathy within the organization.

Inclusivity to forge a safety culture

Creating a safety culture involves an effective communication that transcends all levels of the organization. That is why this year we are embarking on the development of more inclusive HSE communication materials. All HSE policies, institutional documentations and standard operational procedures are being translated to the Malay language, to maximize the accessibility of these materials to all local workforce.

To create a seamless safety dialogue and feedback ecosystem within Vale in Malaysia, managers are encouraged to conduct regular sessions with their team members, to promote no-holds-barred conversations anchored on honesty and professionalism. All leaders and supervisors must also conduct regular walkabouts and site visits to ensure that everyone understands fully the situation on the ground. We believe in an open and transparent dialogue.

Getting Towards Zero – Striking a Paradigm Shift

Accident statistics are not like any other statistics. That is why safety is our number one priority. With VPS, we want to achieve operational excellence, striking the perfect harmony between production efficiency and safety – with people always on the center of decision-making.

Ultimately, I believe the success of our transition towards safer and more efficient operations is contingent upon the readiness of our people to embrace change. Vale has a relatively new presence in Malaysia – the Teluk Rubiah Maritime Terminal (TRMT) was inaugurated in 2014. Our workforce is young – more than half of our permanent staff in Malaysia are graduates of Vale’s young apprentice programs. This provides us with a unique opportunity to lead the way for Vale globally in implementing a successful cultural shift where safety is concerned. It will be our legacy.

Rodrigo Ribeiro de Araújo
CEO at Vale in Malaysia


CEO at Vale in Malaysia Explains How the Management System Will Support the Company towards Operational Excellence