In 2019, Nordkalk started regular meetings with representatives of local communities as part of Social Dialogue Sessions. The initiative aims to structure the cooperation with the inhabitants of the towns located near, among others, the Miedzianka Plant, establish relations as well as deepen the understanding of needs and expectations of both parties.
Building mutual trust, transparency and community involvement at the regional level and finding ways to enable two-way communication are among the most important tasks of modern organisations. The importance of these activities is increasing especially in industries which, like mining, face environmental impact issues.
One of the tools used in communication with local communities are Social Dialogue Sessions, which enable structured contacts, ensure full transparency of activities and arrangements between the company and the residents, and – above all – open a two-way dialogue, which is particularly important in the case of disputes.
– The idea emerged in 2019 and was the result of the reflection that although we as Nordkalk did a lot for the local residents, not many people were aware of how much the company was involved in helping the region. What is more, we were not able to identify all the local needs, which in turn meant that not everyone was always aware of how we operate, where we can help, what our plans are – says Dominik Budny, communication specialist in Nordkalk Poland, explains. – The main goal of organising the Social Dialogue Sessions was to hold a transparent dialogue, focusing on the interaction with residents and local government entities. Taking into consideration the past two years, we think it has been successful – he adds.
How does Nordkalk’s Social Dialogue work?
Representatives of local communities from villages located near the Miedzianka Plant in the Piekoszów and Chęciny communes – village administrators from Bławatkowo, Charężowo, Gałęzice, Skałka, Zajączkowo and Miedzianka – were invited to participate in the Social Dialogue Sessions. The representatives were asked to submit proposals for local initiatives in which Nordkalk could also get involved. The ideas and initiatives proposed must meet certain requirements in order to enter the project phase and be implemented: they are important for a given community and their social utility has been demonstrated; they are long-term and have a lasting effect on the community; they are not profit-oriented and concern at least one of the areas of the company’s activity in the domain of community involvement (sport, education, infrastructure, environmental protection, counteracting social exclusion). In addition, priority is given to initiatives that are in line with Nordkalk’s activity and provide a possibility to use raw materials, create an opportunity for the company’s employees to participate as volunteers and are carried out in partnership with another entity (e.g. an organisation, a group of inhabitants, a school).
The main body responsible for the selection and evaluation of initiatives, and consequently for the implementation of projects, is the Social Dialogue Council. The Council consists of 3 local representatives elected during the session and 3 Nordkalk employees.
The projects proposed and carried out by Nordkalk include, among others: road repairs, construction of a meeting place for inhabitants, construction of wells, revitalisation of bus stops and other actions that positively influence the comfort of living of the region’s inhabitants.
– I am glad that we, as Nordkalk, have the opportunity to be involved in the life of local communities, of which we are an integral part. Working together for mutual benefit always brings good results. Together we can simply do more. I am convinced that in the long run this will translate into mutual satisfaction and good relations with the residents, in the spirit of sustainable development. After all, community involvement is one of Nordkalk’s priorities – says Piotr Maciak, President of the Management Board of Nordkalk Polska.