Measuring Corporate Social Responsibility performance more precisely with MONDI BUSINESS PAPER’s “Socio-Economic Assessment Toolbox” (SEAT)
Evaluating the social and economic impacts of operations
The Socio-Economic Assessment Toolbox (SEAT) used by MONDI BUSINESS PAPER is a unique analytical framework for identifying the social and economic impacts of its operations on the communities in which they are located, and evaluating them in terms of clearly defined metrics.
In the words of MONDI BUSINESS PAPER’s chief executive Günther Hassler: “SEAT is invaluable because it holds up a mirror to our mills and the entire Group that provides an accurate picture of how we are seen both inside and out. There is no more reliable source of information than our stakeholders themselves.”
The SEAT assessments are based on structured interviews with various stakeholder groups. They show MONDI BUSINESS PAPER how its initiatives for staff and local communities are being received.
The SEAT process brings to light both positive and negative aspects of interaction between the Group, its employees and local communities, and the wishes of those concerned. This information provides guidance for action plans aimed at improving MONDI BUSINESS PAPER’s social and environmental performance — for example, by reducing emissions into the air and water.
Last year the Group carried out a total of seven SEAT assessments, in Russia, Slovakia and South Africa, meeting with a highly positive response from both internal and external stakeholders.
Strong commitment to sustainability and social responsibility across the entire Group
The SEAT initiative is in line with the commitment of MONDI BUSINESS PAPER’s parent company, Anglo American plc, to sustainable business practices. Anglo has long played a leading role in Corporate Social Responsibility — the active acceptance of social and economic responsibility — and SEAT offers a new mechanism for applying this philosophy.
Positive findings in Russia
Following a SEAT assessment of MONDI BUSINESS PAPER’s operation in Syktyvkar, Russia, involving extensive consultations with employees, union representatives, local politicians, suppliers and management, the findings were unveiled at an event, held in the summer of 2005, attended by Anglo-American chairman Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, the president and other leading politicians of the Komi Republic and of the town Syktyvkar.
According to the SEAT report MONDI BUSINESS PAPER Syktyvkar is considered a responsible employer. The Skytyvkar mill is a key economic force in the Komi Republic and emerged as a preferred place to work within the region. The company’s strong social commitment is highly appreciated by employees and local citizens alike. In 2004 alone, MBP Syktyvkar spent around EUR 1.7 million on local education facilities, cultural and sporting events, orphanages and veterans’ associations. The SEAT findings showed room for improvement in terms of the company’s environmental performance, alternative employment initiatives and additional social programmes. Management has already taken up these suggestions and made provision for substantial investments over the next few years.
A further SEAT assessment of MONDI BUSINESS PAPER Syktyvkar’s forest operations is due to kick off at the start of 2006.
Five SEAT assessments in South Africa
MONDI BUSINESS PAPER conducted a total of five SEAT processes in South Africa in 2005, involving interviews with more than 2,000 stakeholders. These studies, too, showed that the mills and forest operations play a major role not just as employers but also as social investors. The activities supported range from HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programmes to environmental, arts and sports projects. MONDI BUSINESS PAPER South Africa also contributes to the South African government’s Black Economic Empowerment Programme, which is aimed at equal opportunities and prosperity for previously disadvantaged sectors of the population. The SEAT report shows room for improvement in the company’s communications and the balance between support for local and international projects.
Success of IMPULS project in Slovakia underlined
A further SEAT assessment took place at the Ružomberok mill in Slovakia, in the summer of 2005. The findings were eagerly anticipated because of the heavy investment in the site in recent years under the IMPULS project. This programme, costing some EUR 240 million, has resulted in marked improvements in the mill’s environmental performance.
The SEAT findings demonstrate that the IMPULS project marked a genuine turning point in the operation’s relations with employees and neighbours. Conditions in and around the plant have improved dramatically, and this is reflected in increased
stakeholder satisfaction. MONDI BUSINESS PAPER SCP has an excellent name as an employer. It is the largest employer in the region, providing work for 4,800 people both directly at the mill and indirectly through suppliers.
MONDI BUSINESS PAPER SCP routinely supports social welfare programmes, the local education system, sports and cultural events, and this year’s corporate social investment budget is some EUR 1.8 million. The company also invests heavily in staff development. MONDI BUSINESS PAPER SCP will soon be facing a challenge from competition for skilled labour with a large car factory due to start up soon in the area, so it will be particularly important to meet the younger generation’s expectations.
At a glance: Socio-Economic Assessment Toolbox (SEAT)
The Socio-Economic Assessment Toolbox (SEAT) is a unique set of tools developed by MONDI BUSINESS PAPER’s parent company, Anglo American plc, to help Group operations evaluate their social and economic footprint on surrounding areas. A key part of this is polling stakeholders on their impressions, requests and complaints.
The process consists of five stages:
- Define the objectives of the SEAT process
- Profile the operation and neighbouring communities and identify key issues
- Evaluate the social and economic impacts of the site, including stakeholder consultation
- Provide guidance on management responses to key issues
- Prepare a SEAT report and feed back to stakeholders
What makes SEAT special is its structured approach, which has brought precise and comparable “metrics” to the previously hazy area of Corporate Social Responsibility. While the Toolbox provides a rigorous methodology it is flexible enough to adapt to the individual situation and the issues at each site. Teams consisting of specially trained Mondi experts and local staff carry out the assessments, and work together with management to develop responses to the issues raised. The findings are reported to internal and external stakeholders.
About MONDI BUSINESS PAPER
MONDI BUSINESS PAPER is a market leader in business paper, and has global business contacts. Its portfolio also includes forestry management, alongside its pulp and paper making activities. Together with MONDI PACKAGING, MONDI BUSINESS PAPER makes up the MONDI paper and packaging division of Anglo American plc — a FTSE-100 listed company that is a global leader in mining and natural resources. The MONDI Group has more than 130 subsidiaries in 46 countries with a workforce in excess of 50,000.
Ulmerfeld-Hausmening, 28. November 2005
Last change: 19/06/2007