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Watching over the Communities and the Planet

Watching over the Communities and the Planet
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In 2020, in its determination to assume its role as a Citizen of the World, John Cockerill stepped up its initiatives and approaches aimed at participation in the development of the communities in which it operates. Hand in hand with the John Cockerill Foundation, its teams have focused their 2020 actions on the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and on child protection. John Cockerill has also pursued actions to reduce the CO2 emissions from its activities, mainly in terms of the environmental performance of its operating sites and business travel.

Mobilization against Covid-19

From the first wave of Covid-19, driven by the values ​​of John Cockerill, our employees have mobilized themselves, both individually or collectively, to fight against the epidemic. Initiatives emerged spontaneously and were coordinated and supported by the John Cockerill Foundation. A number of colleagues joined forces to design makeshift respirators, while others started making masks, over-masks, and visors. They mobilized some 40 seamstresses to produce more than 2,000 masks, 6,000 over-masks, and 5,000 visors, in particular using fabrics recovered from former John Cockerill promotional flags. This initiative was praised by King Philippe of Belgium, who expressed “… His sincere thanks …”. In addition, John Cockerill shared its stocks of masks with various medical or paramedical institutions, including 4,500 FFP3 masks offered to the Liège Central University Hospital (Belgium).

In France, a site manager mobilized his team to set up a production line for hydroalcoholic solutions in his workshop. Some 8,000 liters were thereby donated to hospitals in the Grand-Est region. In recognition, he was elevated to the rank of Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite. More modestly, but just as sincerely, the John Cockerill teams in Salem (United States) showed their gratitude to the staff of the Regional Medical Center by donating their “fresh Friday fruits”.

In addition, the John Cockerill Foundation has supported the cultural sector through its participation in the “Artists of the Heart” campaign. This action aimed to help the 250,000 Belgian cultural workers who were deprived of income due to the pandemic.

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Committed to the protection of children

John Cockerill’s teams also carried out humanitarian actions focused on child protection in 2020. In the Ivory Coast, for example, in addition to the commercial activities that they are developing within the country, they have put their expertise to work to drill a well and fit it with a pump and filters, in order to meet the water needs for a maternity center near Abidjan. This intervention was supported by the John Cockerill Foundation.

The Foundation also mobilized itself to support a fundraising project aimed at rebuilding the Ambanpitiya school in Sri Lanka, and supported ECPAT Belgium, a member of a network against the sexual exploitation of children, by participating in a project to train young people how to use the Internet in complete safety.

In India, John Cockerill has continued to carry out investments to benefit the most disadvantaged, with the distribution of foodstuffs in a village located near the Hedavali workshop on the one hand, and support for “Doctors for You” actions dedicated to the children’s and mothers’ health on the other.

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History preserved and enhanced

Being attached to its roots, John Cockerill created its Foundation 200 years to the day after its founder’s acquisition of the castle of Seraing (Belgium), where its headquarters are still located. Since then, the Foundation has watched over the history and heritage of John Cockerill. In 2020, it recovered the entire collection of the deeds of purchase and sale of successive Cockerill companies since 1817. These documents represent more than two centuries of history, which will be preserved for generations to come.

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Towards a more sustainable mobility

The travel activities of John Cockerill employees emits a significant amount of CO2, whether for business purposes or for traveling from home to work.

To reduce emissions linked to air travel, John Cockerill has been deploying alternative solutions to travel for over a year: teleconference equipment in meeting rooms, remote collaborative work tools, remote intervention technologies, increased bandwidth, etc. In 2020, driven by the effect of Covid 19, significant internal events (up to 800 people) have been organized virtually, thereby reducing travel by the same amount. The reduction of 75% of CO2 emissions generated by air travel in 2020 was, of course, favored by Covid-19, but the cumulative effect of these measures should lead to a sustainable reduction of more than 30%.

In Belgium, where the Group’s car fleet is the largest, the car fleet policy has been reviewed with the same objective of reducing CO2 emissions. The idea was to move from a de facto “all diesel” situation to a system with a real choice of alternative mobility. In order to achieve this, a first action was implemented in 2019, with the integration of the “CO2 emissions” criterion in the calculation of the monthly car leasing budget. The very way in which this budget is structured was revised in 2020: it’s now the Total Cost of Ownership of the vehicle (including fuel) that is taken into account. In addition, this “car” budget has been converted into a “mobility” budget, leaving the beneficiaries the option of using part of it for alternative mobility (cycling, public transport, etc.). In addition, measures have been taken to encourage the use of bicycles (development of dedicated premises and infrastructure, financial incentive, animation of the cycling community, etc.) and public transport (payment of the subscription).

A first assessment: the number of cyclists is increasing from month to month, while the engine mix is ​​evolving favorably, with 10% fewer diesel vehicles and nearly 5% Plug-In or electric vehicles, and the average CO2 of the fleet (expressed in g/l) is being gradually reduced, with a reduction of 2% already being achieved within one year.

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The energetically self-sufficient Headquarters

John Cockerill is continuing its efforts to modernize its facilities at Seraing (Belgium), where it has been located since 1817. A thousand people currently work there.

The major renovation work on the site has significantly improved its energy efficiency. Of particular note for 2020: being now supplied with green electricity by 15,000 m² of photovoltaic panels installed in 2018, the site has achieved energy self-sufficiency thanks to the optimization of the storage and management of this green electricity.

In addition to these energy aspects, John Cockerill also continued its actions related to waste management in 2020: raising staff awareness of selective sorting, encouraging the reduced use of single-use containers, a ban on the use of plastics in catering, etc.

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ISO 140001 certified for 18 years now

In the same way as it is reducing the environmental footprint of its customers’ facilities, John Cockerill is also working to reduce the environmental impact of its own sites. In Belgium, John Cockerill obtained its ISO 14001 environmental certification at the end of 2020 for the 18th consecutive year, proof of its long-standing commitment in this respect.

In addition to ISO 14001, John Cockerill also obtained several ISO certifications or re-certifications in 2020, such as 9001 (quality management) or 45001 (health, safety and well-being at work). Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, these operations have sometimes been carried out under unusual conditions. This was particularly the case in New Caledonia, where the John Cockerill team obtained its ISO 9001 standard following audits that were carried out remotely.

All over the world, John Cockerill’s teams have mobilized for these certifications, fully aware that they demonstrate the effectiveness of the actions they take for the benefit of the Group, its employees, its customers and the planet.

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Guaranteeing the sustainability of the Group

Resolutely facing the future

Watching over the Communities and the Planet