Building trust in a crisis

  • Client: Zinifex
  • Industry: Mining
  • Issue: Environment and Sustainability

The Problem

Zinifex called on Futureye’s assistance to deal with a key sustainability challenge: the unacceptably high level of lead-in-blood of children under the age of five. The license of Zinifex’s Port Pirie smelter, the world’s largest lead smelter, had covered environmental issues, but had not fully or deeply consulted with the community regarding health issues.

Our Solution

Futureye provided expertise in the design and implementation of community-based programs, bringing the community and the industry together to solve health issues.
Futureye designed a process of engagement with the community, with a focus on a citizens’ jury to critically review and evaluate the situation, and also ensured engagement with a broad spectrum of the community, whose children had a high level of lead in their blood. Also involved were the Department of Health, the Environment Protection Authority and the Port Pirie Council.
As part of the review process Futureye worked closely with Zinifex to develop communication materials. The end result was that the citizens’ jury, the broader public, the major bodies and Zinifex were committed to the success of the smelter and a vision to meet international standards by 2010.

The Result

Zinifex won plaudits from the government and the community for the process – it was open and transparent with the community and collaboratively developed the vision and adapted its processes.
Even though only 75% of the goal was achieved by 2010, the community was relatively forgiving, given the progress made and the company’s commitment to including the community in its decision-making.

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