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Stakeholder dialogue

Dialogue with our stakeholders

Fostering stakeholder relations based on dialogue and trust is important to Heracles. Stakeholder relations benefit the communities that Heracles has an impact on and they help the company too.

A key sustainability ambition for Heracles

Heracles is committed to consistent improvement in dialogue with its stakeholders. That is why alongside matters such as safety and environmental performance targets the company has set a Sustainability Ambition for stakeholders. It is to train all plant management teams and support them in developing an action plan which includes at a minimum: recognition and mapping of their stakeholders, establishing a system for receiving and managing comments or complaints, and a structured process to facilitate dialogue and consultation with local communities.


This is called Local Integration Plan and was achieved in 2009 for all plants, fulfilling the sustainability ambitions target. This approach will be extended to teams in the rest of our sites.


Local integration program

Each site develops its Local Integration Plan, an annual plan that focuses exclusively on stakeholder dialogue. The plan must be shared by all the management on site; all managers must recognise shared responsibility for making the plan a reality. The Local Integration Plan Methodology is new and Heracles is therefore ensuring through training that the necessary skills and capacity to deliver the plans effectively are acquired.


The process draws on best practice in stakeholder relations from the whole Lafarge Group. It provides a methodology and tools for delivering consistent improvement in stakeholder relations.


Identifying and mapping our stakeholders

Stakeholder dialogue cannot be established without proper identification of who the key stakeholders at a particular site are and what the nature of their relationship with the site is. Local management teams identify and map their stakeholders on an annual basis, listening to their main concerns and expectations so as to draw up an action plan with specific, measurable, timed actions for us to take.


The result is to switch the site out of the mode of being re-active and responsive to requests, actions and criticisms from stakeholders to being proactive. This means initiating contact and keeping key stakeholders informed of important developments about the site or creating opportunities for them to visit the site and to understand more fully what goes on there.


The plans are reviewed on a quarterly basis to check whether actions are on course and to refresh them. Primarily this is the responsibility of the site manager but it ultimately involves the whole team. All the plant managers are now surveying the effectiveness of the plan implementation, which is also one of their performance appraisal targets.


Volos plant: tour during the hybrid filter installation

Volos plant: tour during the hybrid filter installation

Stakeholders dialogue, establishing a consultation process

As part of improving systematic stakeholder engagement the company is establishing formal local community consultation processes.


At Volos plant this has already happened. Plant management, together with an employee representative, sat on a consultation committee chaired by the Prefect of Magnesia that was meeting quarterly. In March 2011, the plant took the initiative and organized the first meeting with representatives of local bodies and organizations of the city at the plant's premises.


At Milaki the implementation of a consultation process was announced at the Plant Open Day, in October 2009. In the first meeting, organized on July 22, at the plant participated representatives from local authorities, local environmental groups and organizations, representatives from trade and professional bodies of the area, members of the educational and medical communities. The plant was represented by the Plant Manager and members of the management team.


As part of our action plans for delivering the Sustainability Ambitions on stakeholders, we aim to have established a consultation process in all our sites by 2012.


Heracles Volos plant consultation meeting

Heracles Volos plant consultation meeting

Inviting the communities into the plants

Neighbors and stakeholders need to know and understand what happens at Heracles sites. What is produced? How are the processes involved? How does the site work? They can only answer these questions and develop their understanding fully if the company makes opportunities for them to come onto the sites and have a guided site tour. Creating such occasions is an absolutely central feature of each local integration program. Following their plans each of the three plants created opportunities for stakeholder site visits and tours during 2009.


Milaki plant: Open day

Milaki plant: Open day

Complaints system activated

One of the things surfaced by the training of management teams has been that the plants did not have a common approach on systems for managing community comments or complaints. As a result, a common system has been established in the plants, where all comments or complaints are inventoried and are replied to. The name and contact details of the responsible manager are publicized on our website as well as in site brochures. The complaints system provides a formal way to monitor, measure and respond to the complaints made about the plant.


Complaints systems will be implemented in terminals and quarries in 2010.

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Commitment to sustainability

Our products meet basic human need to construct homes and provide the basic infrastructure: the roads, the hospitals, the schools, the factories and offices that underpin our common life. Yet, business as usual is not a sustainable option for us or for the world as a whole. Together we must find a way of delivering the benefits of economic growth, while leaving a lighter trace on the earth. 

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LafargeHolcim. Cement, aggregates, Concrete.