On 1 June, to mark the Day of the Earth, Mondi inaugurated a ‘Making a Difference Day’ initiative, its first unified employee day aimed at further strengthening its culture of Zero Harm by focusing on people’s safety, environmental protection and community (CSR) engagement.

“Mondi’s Making a Difference Day focuses on Zero Harm, which galvanises us to shift the way we think about safety and sustainability and, therefore, the way in which we manage our business. The day is about all of us taking personal responsibility for re-energising our operations in our drive towards an injury-free and accident-free workplace,” commented Peter Oswald, CEO Mondi Europe & International.

In some 80 operations worldwide, including the Vienna headquarters of the Mondi Europe & International Division, employees at all levels of the organisation were invited to make a personal pledge, committing to do at least one small thing in 2010 to help make Mondi a place to work where Zero Harm has become a reality. Mondi already serves as a health and safety benchmark in the industry, but there is always room for improvement. On the day commitments for the future, including the involvement of more than 5,800 employees, were registered.

Worldwide on Mondi’s sites, numerous initiatives were organised for Making a Difference Day. These included offering medical checks and professional advice, non-smoking action, tree planting, waste reduction programmes, machine safety assessments, blood donations, safe driving training, as well as the distribution of dedicated material in the local language on health, safety and environment-related concerns. Some of the largest actions within the Group took place in Mondi Syktyvkar, Russia, where an alley devoted to safety, health and environmental protection was founded in the grounds of the 5,000-employee site, and in Ruzomberok, Slovakia, where multiple activities during an open day were broadcast on national television.

In the Vienna headquarters, some 2,000 brochures dedicated to the health and safety of office employees were distributed, prizes such as bikes, safe driving training and public transport tickets were distributed, an electric car was showcased in the building lobby for employees to register for test drives, and all employees were invited by the management to share a special healthy breakfast and discuss Zero Harm.

“We acknowledge that we need a common Zero Harm mindset to have the culture right. It describes what we want to achieve: zero deaths, zero injuries, zero incidents and zero accidents. Such a culture is rooted in our values; a culture of trust and collaboration, flexibility and diversity, a culture in which people genuinely try to bring out the very best in others,” commented Uwe Fölster, Mondi Group head of sustainability.