La Cometa – A long story of Collaboration
Site/Function: Birla Carbon Italy
Date – 2014 – 2022
Team Involved – Corporate Social Responsibility Function (CSR)
La Cometa is a local association that provides help to people with disability or that live in difficult social economic conditions. They offer them a job, so that they can earn their living with dignity. They mainly create handmade agendas, diaries, and notebooks. Birla Carbon Italy (BCI) started donating some old working suits to them which they used in order to create covers for their products. Every year since 2017, BCI buys customized agendas for its employees from La Cometa. Since the pandemic, the socio-economic situation worsened, and BCI supported La Cometa by purchasing t-shirts for their members in order to keep up the team spirit. In 2022, BCI also financed a wider program which caters to the psychological support of the team.
Sustainability Focus: Community Engagement
Journey Towards Circularity
Location: Birla Carbon Italy
Year – 2022
Team – Health Safety and Environment (HSE)
Once the carbon black is packed, some of it is left on the floor. The first 10 centimeters of the product are considered contaminated. So, in the past it was treated as waste and disposed of with the company incurring the costs for the same. Since July 2022, BCI has selected a supplier that is able to repurpose the contaminated carbon black for use in specific plastic and rubber applications. What was a waste, is now a product that the plant can sell? Hence, the plant/company does not bear any cost of waste disposal but ends up being an additional income for BCI.
Sustainability Focus: Environment, Circularity, Waste
Workplace Health Promotion at Birla Carbon Italy
Year: 2019 – 2020
Teams – HSE and HR
The Workplace Health Promotion (WHP) is a project promoted by the local health authorities, in collaboration with the industrial association and companies that voluntarily choose to go the extra mile with regards to their employees’ health.
WHP project steps include:
- Conducting a survey to understand the employee’s needs and interests regarding health (smoking, diet, sport, addictions, etc.). Major interests in diet and sports related activities emerged as a result of the survey.
- Initiatives were carried out to promote a balanced diet such as information sessions; involving canteen services to provide healthier menus; providing fresh fruit baskets once-a-week; and medical checkups for employees to measure their BMI.
- Sports initiatives included agreements with gyms to provide special rates for BCI employees; organization of a cycling session; and participation in running competitions on a voluntary basis.
- The Covid-19 pandemic did put a temporary stop to this, but after two years, the companies and the industrial association are ready to come back to it with enthusiasm and vigor.
Sustainability Focus: Employee Engagement, Health, and Wellbeing
Birla Carbon Italy Academy
Year: September 2022 – commencement pending at the Trecate plant
Teams – HR and Logistics
Birla Carbon Italy was founded in 1959. Since its origin, it has made use of the services of its employees and those of the external personnel. During these 63 years, particularly in the logistics and porterage area, the contribution of external personnel has increased tremendously. The plant has observed not only a quantitative increase, but also a transition from native Italian speakers to a complete heterogeneity of ethnic groups and languages. Simultaneously, the needs of our customers have also changed – quality standards have risen and new technologies have and are changing the way we work. The Trecate team has addressed this challenge in a way that fully embodies our Group purpose.
In collaboration with our partner MOMA Multiservizi, providing the porterage services, and Cassiopea OdV, a local voluntary association engaged in diversity & inclusion projects, we have established the ‘Birla Carbon Italy Academy.’
Through a training course offered to the foreign staff at the end of the working days, the purpose of this institution is to improve the Italian language skills necessary to perform the required tasks. It is also about sharing practical information on local traditions and habits and providing basic information on public administration and the national health system.
The expected results are the improvement of communication skills and awareness, while the company will benefit from the improvement in the quality of work and a higher integration.
Sustainability Focus: Employee engagement