Indaver’s neighbourhood council celebrates 25 years of open local level communication

Indaver’s neighbourhood council celebrates 25 years of open local level communication. Everyone needs good neighbours, even companies. This is why Indaver set up the neighbourhood council 25 years ago for its first facility in Stabroek. With this neighbourhood council, the oldest and biggest in Flanders, Indaver demonstrates its proactive approach towards transparent and direct communication.

 

Transparent right from the outset

Indaver built its first facility, for the treatment of hazardous waste, 1.5 kilometres from Stabroek. Local people were not entirely enthusiastic but from the very beginning Indaver prioritised direct and transparent communication about its activities in order to refute concerns in the local community. Meanwhile, every Indaver site has its own neighbourhood council or consultative group.

What does the neighbourhood council do?

In the neighbourhood council Indaver systematically informs the local area about its activities, projects and licence applications and renewals. We provide figures regarding quantities, safety and the environmental impact, such as emission results. A lot of time is made available for questions and comments and Indaver tries to take these into account as far as possible. By communicating in this manner Indaver retains its ‘license to operate’.

Crisis communication

In the event of incidents we notify the members of the neighbourhood council first via e-mail. Subsequently, in the next meeting they receive extensive information about the causes and the measures adopted to prevent a repeat in the future. Because Indaver has regular and direct contact via the neighbourhood council, local people will be more inclined to show understanding if something does occur.

Company code

What the local area can expect from Indaver is also set out in the company code. In this company code Indaver promises to communicate openly, and in a timely and proper manner, and to do so proactively, in order to provide more insight into the impact of its activities on the local area.

Figures

At the first neighbourhood council in 1991 there were 11 members for Indaver’s Antwerp site. Twenty-five years and 57 meetings later the number has reached 54. On average there are thirty members present at the meetings from 26 companies and organisations. Members of the municipal council and the municipal executive sometimes also take part. The neighbourhood council meets on average twice a year. Over these past twenty-five years it has grown into a forum for other companies and authorities to meet as well. 

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