Community Dialogue and Engagement
In 2018, we held 23 community advisory panel (CAP) meetings around the world, engaging with community members on topics they care most about.
The topics of our CAP meetings vary, depending on community needs and concerns. Here are some highlights from 2018:
Our Trinidad location revised its CAP charter to expand its membership to 13 people. The site management team hosted a Disaster Preparedness Workshop with CAP members to increase community resilience following natural disasters; community members were also invited to the workshop.
In Medicine Hat, Canada, we held our second open house (Community Day) in June 2018, as part of our commitment to transparency with the public. (See sidebar story, below.)
In Taranaki, New Zealand, meetings included a visit to Aica (one of our customers), a bio-diesel demonstration, a visit to Port Taranaki, and a visit to our new control panel room at Waitara Valley. CAP members were updated on safety issues, turnarounds, and our community engagement and giving program. In a unique joint venture, CAP members and Methanex personnel presented their collaborative work at the Waitara community night market.
Geismar, USA CAP meetings included sharing of environmental performance data and sharing of a study on the economic impacts of the chemical industry on the state of Louisiana. CAP members also held discussions about mutual aid (the network of emergency-response resources from neighbouring facilities in the area) and lent their support to a local program that exposes high-school students to jobs in the manufacturing industry.
In Egypt, extensive efforts were spent collaborating with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry on implementing programs that support women and youth, employment opportunities, and small-scale entrepreneurship. See more about these efforts in stories below.
In Punta Arenas, Chile, CAP meetings included discussions about the restart of the Chile IV plant and improved gas availability in Chile, as well as our upcoming activities to celebrate 30 years in the region. CAP members presented information about their own institutions and how Methanex plays a role in their objectives.
We incorporated lessons learned from emergency-response exercises and training into our emergency-response plans.
Training, drills, and exercises are a regular part of our emergency-response programs in each region. After each drill or exercise, we evaluate what we did well and what we can do better, then incorporate these lessons learned into emergency-response plans. These plans are in place to guide us in the event of a real emergency.
In 2018, these programs advanced in unique ways in each region.
- In Europe, we conducted two emergency-response exercises that focused on pipeline scenarios in the UK. We also updated our regional ER program, including basic training for emergency responders and improvements to our communication channels.
- Our emergency-response team in Medicine Hat, Canada held a TRANSCAER transportation safety training event to educate local first responders about products moving through the communities via rail and truck. A day later, they held a full-scale emergency-response exercise that involved local Emergency Medical Service (EMS), the Medicine Hat Police, and the Medicine Hat Fire Department.
- Methanex Chile hosted its 11th annual fire-fighting training camp at the Chilean Fire Academy outside of Santiago. This year, they invited 19 health, safety, and environmental representatives from diverse sectors and industries across Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Uruguay, and Chile. During this four-day event, training addressed topics such as Responsible Care, risk management, and fire ground control exercises, using state-of-the-art simulators to emulate potential situations.
- In Geismar, USA, Methanex participated in Community Awareness and Emergency Response CAER Day, an annual event that brings the emergency-response teams from the chemical manufacturers in Ascension Parish together with municipal partners, elected officials, CAP members, and others. The day included a guest speaker, a classroom session, and information sharing by vendors, as well as a showcase of the various response vehicles operated by the participating agencies. The event demonstrated that emergency response is most effective when it is part of a strong mutual aid network.