Making a Difference Day 365 is an important annual tradition across Mondi
Every year around the world, some 374 million people are injured at work, according to the International Labour Organisation. Creating a safe work environment has always been Mondi’s top priority and it is this intense focus that has led us to invest in an annual event when our 26,000 employees down tools for the day to work together on improving safety, health and the environment.
Activities take place in 30 countries to highlight the personal contribution that each person can make. Every Mondi site hosts a ‘Making a Difference Day 365’ which allows employees and contractors to invest time in learning and practising approaches to protect and support safety, health and the environment. Family members and students also get involved at some locations.
Peter Oswald, CEO Mondi Group, says, “We will only be satisfied when every employee returns home safely every day. We created Making a Difference Day 365 in 2010 to collectively focus our minds on ways to improve our safety, health and environment. Through the enthusiasm of our employees, this initiative has grown over the years into a truly global event with significant positive impact on our local communities.”
Every year, we define global focus areas for Making a Difference Day. In 2018, the focus areas include developing and maintaining a 24-hour safety mindset, staying safe around moving and rotating machinery, and reducing our carbon footprint – at work and home.
During May and June, every Mondi operation has set aside a day for activities around these themes and others that are relevant locally.
It’s all about creating the right mindset for safety to become a habit.
At Mondi Ruzomberok, which is the largest pulp and paper mill in Slovakia, safety activities included training about the ‘nip points’ on moving or rotating machinery, where injuries are most likely to occur. Environmental activities focused on the prevention and handling of chemical leaks, including a demonstration by the local fire brigade. Mondi energy experts also explained how the mill maximises its energy efficiency.
Bernhard Peschek, managing director of Mondi Ruzomberok, said, “Making a Difference Day is a great chance for us to learn more about health and safety and reflect on the big picture topics that matter. It is an important annual event at our mill. We are especially pleased to have expanded the day to include the active participation of local schools and universities.”
Our corrugated packaging plant in Tire, part of Mondi Tire Kutsan in Turkey, brought attention to safety topics with the help of a Turkish magician, known from a national talent show. He entertained Mondi Tire employees with an 80-minute show full of tricks and word games about safety at work. Employees could also try a virtual reality simulation to experience the feeling of working at heights.
“We were delighted to see strong participation and lots of enthusiasm from our employees, said Can Bayraktar, safety, health and environment manager at Mondi in Tire. I think everyone learned something new and useful.”
We will only be satisfied when every employee returns home safely every day.
At Mondi's group office in Vienna, Austria, employees could participate in a 24-hour safety quiz and learn details about Mondi's carbon-neutral paper products. Another highlight was a presentation by WWF on how global business climate leaders, Mondi among them, are working to keep global warming in check. WWF and Mondi have had a global partnership since 2014. In 2018, Mondi announced its participation in WWF Climate Savers and a commitment to further reduce specific CO2 emissions across our entire value chain.
Gladys Naylor, head of sustainability at Mondi Group, said of Making a Difference Day 365, “We use this day to raise awareness locally of what we can do as individuals and as a business to reduce our impact on the environment. Given the thousands of people who take part in these activities each year, we think it does make a real difference.”
Our paper mill in Syktyvkar, Russia, will hold Making a Difference Day in June. About 5,000 participants are expected at three locations – including 3,500 Mondi employees, 700 forest workers, 500 associates from transport companies, and 250 family members of employees.
Commenting on the impact of Making a Difference Day, Brian Darlington, Group head of safety and health, says, “It’s all about creating the right mindset where safety becomes a habit and way we do things and where everyone looks after their own safety as well as that of others. The safety of our employees and contractors is our number one value, which is encapsulated by the motto ‘work safe, home safe – everybody, every day’.”
Last week internationally renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough, was speaking at the United Nations climate change conference, COP24, being held in Katowice, Poland, not that far from where I am sitting today in Vienna.
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