Making a Difference Day 2019 recently took place across Mondi locations in more than 30 countries. At this annual event, employees and contractors take part in educational activities that demonstrate how to stay safe and look after their health and environment. At some locations family members and students also join in.
This year’s focus topics were: working safely with mobile plant equipment and workplace transportation; mental wellbeing; looking after our hearing; management of water, wastewater and waste; avoiding environmental incidents; and the launch of the UN Good Life Goals Campaign for sustainable development.
We organise safety activities that are relevant to the specific risks and impacts of each of our operations. At Mondi Jackson in Missouri, USA, one of the annual challenges is a ‘forklift rodeo’. Mobile equipment operators test their safe driving skills by using the forklift to pick up a ball from a cone, carry it through an obstacle course and drop it into a basketball hoop.
MADD is about encouraging our employees to make a positive difference in their lives and community through education and fun. It gives our employees the knowledge and tools they need to be an advocate of safety and environmental stewardship. It also allows our employees a time to shine, grow, and help foster a culture where we can be open and honest about our safety and environmental concerns.
Mental wellbeing is in focus this year in conjunction with the recent rollout of an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) across our operations. It is a free phone hotline through which employees and family members can obtain confidential counselling support for any work-related or personal issue, anonymously and 24/7.
With programmes like the EAP and Making a Difference Day, we want to support our employees in better managing stressful situations. Any workplace can be stressful, and a higher stress level reduces concentration and slows reaction time – which can lead to a higher risk of incidents. That’s why it is so important to be aware of stress and know how we can build resilience to it in our private and professional lives.
Roman Senecky, Managing Director of the Mondi Steti mill in the Czech Republic, says, “I look forward to MADD every year. I learn things that impact my behaviour for a lifetime, and it is the passion with which our people present ‘their’ topics that makes Mondi a great place to work for me.”
Hearing protection is another aspect of good health that affects all our employees. At Mondi SCP in Ruzomberok (Slovakia), for example, colleagues test whether they could allocate sounds to specific noises that occur at the production site.
This year’s MADD also marked the launch of the UN Good Life Goals Campaign across our Group. The Good Life Goals lay out ways anyone can contribute to the planet-changing objectives that sit at the heart of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It’s a way for each person to make a difference. The campaign will continue for 17 weeks, with a different Good Life Goal in focus each week.
The Good Life Goals were created to bridge the gap between the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the sustainable lifestyles movement. Their aim is to help inspire enthusiasm, connection and action from the public. By linking each sustainable development goal with sustainable behaviours, the Good Life Goals can help us all to contribute to a better world.