COMMITTED TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE ANTOFAGASTA REGION
We contribute to the development of the communities that host our operations. Our main commitment is in establishing ongoing dialogue, cooperative and participatory work, and respect for people and the environment.
WHY ARE RELATIONS WITH NEIGHBOURING COMMUNITIES IMPORTANT?
The Group’s origins began in the Antofagasta region. It was created in 1980 and that same year FCAB went on to form part of the Group. For this reason, it is very important to us that we contribute to the region in which we had our beginnings.
FCAB currently has operations in six of the nine districts making up the Antofagasta region. The quality of our relationships with these communities is crucial to the long-term future of our business. We know that sharing land with the communities that host our operations involves a responsibility to contribute to their sustainable development. We must also work constantly to prevent, mitigate and compensate for any impact that our operations may have on the local area.
HOW DO WE MANAGE RELATIONS WITH NEIGHBOURING COMMUNITIES?
I. LISTENING TO AND UNDERSTANDING THE COMMUNITIES AND BUILDING THE FUTURE OF THE REGION TOGETHER
In 2016, FCAB began to develop a new style of relationship with local communities, as part of a strategy based on four main areas:
- Managing trust: a process of structured relationships with our neighbours, in which active participation is the principal focus.
- Impact management: preventing and mitigating any effect that our operations may have.
- Quality of life: finding solutions to any aspect of our operations that may affect our neighbours’ quality of life, such as trackside litter.
- Social investment: funding projects that contribute to social and economic development.
The work we carried out during 2016 and 2017 was focused on the first two of these areas. We plan to place more emphasis on the remaining two from 2018 onwards.
Our strategy is based on ongoing, direct dialogue and keeping our promises, to earn the trust of the communities we are dealing with. We prefer face-to-face interaction and have adopted a proactive approach to managing the impact of our rail operations. We have done this partly by using our own employees as ambassadors, as they too are members of the community.
Priority areas of influence
As stated above, our operations are located in six districts of the Antofagasta region. We are carrying out a review to determine our impact on these areas of influence, and have defined the cities of Antofagasta and Calama as priority areas. They were the main focus of our relationship strategy in 2016 and 2017, but we are also beginning work in Sierra Gorda, Ollagüe and Mejillones.
Priorities and relationship strategies
One important part of this increasingly close relationship with the community has been to show how we operate and how we manage our impact. Specifically, this includes managing noise, crossing safety, dust emissions, hazardous goods, traffic congestion, landslides and floods, trackside litter clearance and preventing land occupation.
The Casa Abierta (Open House), sponsorship programmes, and technical and community roundtables, have been important ways of developing relationships with local people. They have been held in conjunction with the municipality of Antofagasta, the regional government and the communities themselves.
Other public relations measures have included collaboration and/or loan for use agreements with various organisations. In 2017, we signed agreements with the Universidad Católica del Norte, Puerto Ideas, the Feria Internacional del Libro Zicosur (Filzic), the Fundación Sierra Gorda and other institutions.
The community's main concerns
The community’s principal concerns relating to FCAB are:
- Managing the impact of new operations.
- Developing future projects to benefit the region’s quality of life, culture, heritage and in other areas.
- Establishing direct, face-to-face relationships with the company.
Institutions and organisations in which we participate
In the city of Antofagasta, we participate in PROA, CREO Antofagasta, Asociación de Industriales de Antofagasta, Consejo Consultivo Antofagasta and the Centro Cultural Estación Antofagasta. We are also actively involved with the fire brigade and the Fundación Teletón. In Calama, we are involved with PROLOA, Calama Plus and as an observer to the new Hospital Calama project.
II. CONTRIBUTING TO LOCAL SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Social investment based on a shared vision of the region
We have traditionally sought to generate social, human and economic capital in the areas in which we operate. As part of this process, we supported a variety of initiatives in 2017: Trenes Urbanos, the Centro Cultural Estación Antofagasta, “Por la vía del cine” and the “Cuida tu vida, respeta la vía” (Take care of yourself, respect the way) campaign in Antofagasta, Calama, Ollagüe, Mejillones and Baquedano. We also share our facilities in Antofagasta, which serve as a vital space for public meetings and many social, cultural, educational and recreational activities.
Local employment opportunities
Since we were established we have encouraged our neighbours to apply for quality jobs, both at our operations and with the contractor companies that provide services to us. In 2017, we gave direct employment to more than 1,200 inhabitants of the Antofagasta region, which is 92% of our own workers. Additionally, we encourage the development of local suppliers to join our supply chain. In 2017, 59% of our suppliers were from the region, and we bought US$17 million of goods and services from them.