Community engagement and dialogue

Our stakeholder dialogue is based on respect for individuals, society, and the environment. Maintaining contact with the various stakeholders helps Elkem understand the role we play in local communities and society at large, as well as building long term, mutual trust.

Input from local communities is valuable for Elkem to conduct responsible business. Elkem is an important community player in several of the locations where sites and plants are based. Creating and maintaining a stable and safe working environment in the local community is Elkem’s main form of community support. In addition to making sure that the employees and contractors leave our facilities healthy and safe, we aim to contribute to the economic and human development of our employees and the communities in which we operate. Dialogue with community is based on local needs and experiences.

Dialogue with local communities is the responsibility of each plant or site manager and is carried out both formally and in an informal way. It is the plant or site manager’s responsibility to be aware of all relevant stakeholders and engage in dialogue where relevant, such as when changes are happening at the plant/site or when emergency training is being held. The dialogue and community involvement differ from site to site, and is subject to historical, local and materiality factors for each plant.

Local community efforts identified in an internal global stakeholder survey 2020, were among others:

■ Stakeholder engagement plans based on stakeholder mapping.

■ Social impact assessments.

■ Environmental impact assessments and ongoing monitoring.

■ Public disclosure of results of environmental and social impact assessments.

■ Local community development programmes based on local communities' needs.

■ Local community consultation meetings.

■ Work councils, occupational health and safety committee and other worker representation bodies.

Identifying relevant stakeholders and structuring an action plan towards them is included in the certification of ISO 9001 – quality management system. In addition, we have developed our own stakeholder tool for projects and plants. The stakeholder analysis tool is a mapping, analysis and planning kit intended to support Elkem’s divisions, plant, and unit managers to engage with high-priority stakeholders in a way that supports Elkem’s goals. The tool kit was introduced to several Elkem plants in 2020.

Key topics that have emerged from our dialogue with local communities include community development projects, job security, safe operations, emissions and other environmental issues and traffic generated by the plant. Complaints raised by local communities are registered, managed, and followed up in accordance with good practices for incident and deviation management. This is both done through local channels at the sites and through corporate tools, such as the speak up channel and grievance mechanism.

Local community support and volunteering

Several Elkem plants have implemented local initiatives and support programmes. Elkem’s community support includes initiatives for better education and local infrastructure, sports activities, local community poverty reduction and food support, and other social impact initiatives. Elkem is positive to volunteer community work done by its employees and to giving financial support to local non-profit help organisations if the support is given without any expectation or requirement for return service or preference.

Any financial support shall be given in a fully open and transparent manner in accordance with local legislation. Several Elkem plants have local initiatives and support programmes. Our local initiatives and support programmes are subject to guidelines for what is permitted and what is not, to avoid corruption. Any financial support shall be given in a fully open and transparent manner according to local legislation. It is up to the local plant or unit to set goals and to evaluate the local community programme support.

Examples of events or programmes that Elkem support locally or regionally:

■ Local sports clubs, both for children and adults.

■ Scholarships (high school and universities).

■ School programmes with focus on building technology skills.

■ Summer school/camps.

■ Cancer research programmes.

■ Safety training and first aid kits to local organisations.

■ Poor family support programmes.

A universal guideline on community support has been developed. The purpose of the guideline is to assist local decision makers at our plants when they engage with local stakeholders in monetary or other formal support. The support guideline is based on the principles of the UN Global Compact and, once implemented, any support shall be based on these principles. The guidelines for community and sponsor support can be found here.

Grievance mechanisms

Elkem has a transparent approach to managing grievances and encourage all stakeholders to submit a grievance in case they observe any incidents in our operations or supply chain. Communities and other stakeholders are encouraged to report grievances and other concerns, either through local channels or through corporate tools. In accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, Elkem is committed to remedy situations where Elkem’s activities have caused or contributed to adverse human rights impacts. If something is not right, Elkem wants to know about it. That is why we have set up an external grievance mechanism that allows for anonymous reporting and engaging with stakeholders.

A global grievance mechanism tool was made available to external stakeholders through the Elkem website in 2020, to improve the incident report and remedy possibilities for external stakeholders. In addition, every plant has a local contact point that is well established for stakeholders to submit grievance issues. At the corporate level we do not track dialogue at local level, unless there is a grievance that a local manager would need corporate assistance to solve. The grievance mechanism is targeted towards stakeholders who have feedback or concerns related to our plants, projects, or other business activities worldwide. The grievances can be reported in key Elkem languages. During the launch of the tool in 2020, no material complaints were reported through the channel. Going forward, Elkem will continuously encourage our stakeholders to use the channel.

Community key figures

2019

2020

2021

Employees

6,370

6,856

7,074

Plants and sites

 

 

 

Operators /blue collar

66%

65%

55%

Staff / white collar

34%

35%

45%

Female share

25%

25%

25%

Temporary hires rate (%) to permanent hires

 

6%

7%

Part time workers rate (%)

 

3%

6%

Turnover rate

8%

6%

8,4%

Contractors

882

420

433

Europe

327

115

159

Asia

155

265

238

Americas

157

40

36

Africa

0

0

0

 

 

 

 

*Contractor: defined as non-Elkem employees working full-time for more than three months as a substitute for hired employees.