Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is sometimes a vague area in companies. Some companies do it for the image, others for tax breaks, or for both. Whatever the case, more and more companies have joined this trend of “corporate humanism”. Today CSR is no longer an option, it’s almost an imperative in an increasingly sensitized, proactive and connected society. However, when we at Gonvarri Steel Services talk about CSR, we look far beyond a simple image or tax break. Because we are talking about responsibility, in respect to our employees, their families, and society in general. And this is something that must be taken seriously and profoundly. It’s not a matter of carrying out isolated actions, more or less solidarity-oriented, more or less philanthropic. It’s a matter of involving the entire company, of involving all of the departments (not only Human Resources), of changing the way business is done, of planning a management strategy that is sustainable, constant and lasting: safety, values, commitment, innovation. These are concepts intrinsically tied to Gonvarri Steel Services, they are part of our essence, our DNA.
And, above all else, our most important asset is: people.
Road safety is essential to us because we believe that the loss of human life in traffic accidents is unacceptable – just as it is in workplace accidents – and for this reason our aim is to try and minimize this number among our employees and their families and friends. Road safety, furthermore, also forms part of our business, through the Metal Structures division, which has already set in motion Road Safety First, the content of which is reinforced by this initiative.
Indeed, since the company’s beginnings, our greatest concern has always been the safety of people, their physical integrity. We understand work in a responsible way, with the involvement of all departments, of all executives, workers and collaborators. And we understand that our company must be an ethical reference in all of its decisions and through all of its members, guided by the principles that our founder defined and by the values that mark our ethical code and behavior: commitment to our customers, encouraging the initiative of our professionals, leading change, and economic, social and environmental sustainability.
We have created a master plan in terms of CSR to contribute to the creation of value for everyone, which is summed up in ten transversal poles, with their corresponding actions, which encompass goals and commitments and are aligned with our values and principles.
Similarly, we have established diverse mechanisms of dialogue with our employees to learn about their expectations (the Leading The Change intranet, surveys on satisfaction and the work environment, interdepartmental meetings with management, the Company Committee and the Health and Safety Committee…). These initiatives provide us with firsthand information about strengths and weaknesses in relation to our employees, and thus make it possible to establish plans and actions to improve that relation.
In terms of our policy of health and safety, we understand that prevention of risks associated with different work activities is a strategic and priority goal within the company. This policy is based on very defined principles that range from effective management, the total implication by managers and the obligatory following of rules of prevention by employees, preventive training, the implantation of systems to constantly identify risks and the monitoring of programs that makes possible constant improvement. Our goal: zero injuries and harm to health.
We are fully convinced that all accidents are avoidable. And at each one of our factories we work in different ways to prevent them, defined in the 10 Golden Rules of Safety, whose diffusion and fulfillment are obligatory.
And to make sure that we have safe work environments at our company, we place special emphasis on communication and training. In terms of communication, we have developed health and safety committees, monthly committees of safety management, a forum of corporate health and safety on the intranet, information panels about health and safety, participatory meetings (at which suggestions and contributions from workers are received); furthermore, all of the employees can collaborate in the different processes in respect to the prevention of work risks, safety and health.
And in terms of training, in 2014, more than 7,000 hours of training were given in health and safety, both for workers and middle management. Different campaigns on raising awareness have also been carried out, as well as talks on how to avoid accidents or prevent risks at work (“Prevention with the Five Senses”); the campaign “No to Accidents”, which achieved historic records in terms of days without accidents (541 days at the Gonvauto Galicia factory), and also family activities in a fun and participatory atmosphere.
For a long time now, our concern for safety has also extended to our own products. The road equipment division of Gonvarri Steel Services has spent more than twenty years developing vehicle containment systems. These are products characterized by their high level of safety approved according to current regulations, by the efficiency of their behavior, by their permanent innovation and by their quality and durability.
After years of constant and intense R&D activity and the active participation in different committees of national and international regularization and certification, we here at Gonvarri Steel Services can offer full guarantees regarding the behavior, manufacture and installation of our systems of vehicle containment and our devices for reducing noise. Among these improvements, specifically, we can mention the enormous contribution made by Gonvarri in regard to the protection of motorcyclists through the integration of Systems for the Protection of Motorcyclists (SPM) or impact absorbers that diminish potential harm in any accident.
The subject of road safety impacts us directly in the case of Road Safety First, but also by way of the steel that we contribute to being installed in cars and which gets safer every day. In the end, whatever activity we do, whatever our responsibility is within the company, the important thing is to know that all of us who work here are in the best of hands.
I want to thank everyone who has made this great project of Emotional Driving possible: to Juan Llovet and Pablo González de Suso, for all their effort, for their enormous amount of optimism and many hours of work to make this initiative a reality; I want to especially congratulate and thank AESLEME for their total involvement, their stories, their inspiration; and of course, all of the professionals who have participated in this campaign, for opening our eyes to the harsh reality of accidents; and the simulator technicians, the volunteers, the collaborators, and, of course, all of the employees of the company who have participated in the events and talks, who have shared motivations and experiences, who take home with them a new way of understanding what it means to drive, who get into their cars with a different attitude. More aware. More careful. This, and nothing else, is the goal of Emotional Driving: your safety.