The most important thing a company can do for its local community and surroundings is to operate in a responsible manner.
A well-run business with healthy finances, a good working environment and employees who enjoy their jobs, is the foundation that enables an enterprise to play a positive role in society - as an employer and a taxpayer.
We call it a passion for social commerce. It means taking seriously the interdependence that will always exist between a large company and the local community of which it is a part.
More than 100 years of community development
Hydro's founders understood this when the company established its first purely industrial site in Norway over 100 years ago. They had seen how major development projects in Europe were destroyed by the destructive environment that easily grew among construction workers living in work camps far from home. The solution was to develop communities where the employees could live with their families under healthy and well-regulated conditions.
Open and honest dialogue
Our involvement in society has varied and evolved over time. Today is much different than 100 years ago and there may be significant differences between countries. But we are still firmly focused on being a positive contributor in our communities.
Mutual respect in terms of open and honest dialogue is important. The company and its management and the local community and its authorities all share a need for predictability, especially in the face of major changes. Therefore, we usually have regular dialogue meetings with the authorities wherever Hydro's operations are a significant part of the local community.
First and foremost, taxes and duties
Our economic contribution to society is made primarily through the jobs we create and the taxes and duties we pay. The economic ripple effects of our activities can be significant. Estimates suggest, for example, that each Hydro job supports 2-3 additional jobs in the wider community.
Positive community initiatives
In varying degrees, we also provide direct support to local community initiatives.
In the local communities in Brazil around the businesses Hydro took over from Vale in 2011, we are building on the community involvement Vale established in Paragominas and that Alunorte and Albras built up in Barcarena. It is important to us that these activities are rooted in society's needs and that they contribute to the development of viable local communities.