Annual neighbour meetings have recently been held at Eramet Norway (ENO) sites. During this gathering, ENO teams and their neighbours were able to meet to share relevant information concerning the environmental performance of the plants and to exchange questions, complaints and ideas.
This ritual, whose origins date back to the 2000s, is a way for Eramet Norway to integrate the inhabitants into the life and activity of the sites. In Sauda and Porsgrunn in particular, the plants are located close to the city centres, so the inhabitants are closely affected by their activity and their impact on this shared environment – dust, noise or energy consumption come to mind. The Porsgrunn site even organises joint annual neighbour meetings with other nearby industrial sites – a way of making progress together!
This proximity makes local residents major stakeholders that Eramet Norway is keen to integrate into its communication strategy: "The main purpose of these meetings is to inform our neighbours about our environmental approach and performance, the way we measure our emissions, and our projects for the months and years to come. We also present to them the actions we have put in place to deal with complaints and claims received. In general, people are very open and this is what we are looking for: we aim to get their comments and opinions. We really believe that our close relations to our neighbours are useful in our efforts to reduce our environmental footprint," says Kåre Bjarte Bjelland, Director of Strategy and Communications at Eramet Norway.
In order to provide clear answers to the public's questions, the company does not hesitate to call on external experts and representatives of environmental and public health authorities to carry out measurement campaigns, such as cartographies of noise or dust-related impacts, for example.
Far from being a constraint, these moments of exchange and sharing are even a source of motivation: "For us, this ritual is part of a process of continuous improvement of our CSR performance. These interactions with the local people encourage us to focus more and more on our environmental objectives in particular, and to continually improve. Our neighbours are generally satisfied with this approach and the concrete results we have achieved on the environmental front," concludes Marit Kittilsen, Climate and Environment Director at Eramet Norway.