Supporting communities across the globe

Supporting communities across the globe

Bekaert strives to be a loyal, responsible partner within the local communities in which it operates. We make a point of interacting with local governments in a transparent, constructive way, and we are firmly committed to complying with national legislation and collective labor agreements. Bekaert adheres to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the treaties and recommendations of the International Labor Organization.

In supporting local communities, Bekaert attaches high importance to learning. Educational projects, therefore, form the backbone of funding and other community-building activities. In addition to these, we also support local activities and projects for social, cultural and economic development.

Raising the educational level of children in Asia

In China, Bekaert has launched several initiatives focused on disaster relief, education and the well-being of children. In the aftermath of the 2008 earthquake in the Sichuan province, we maintained our support by organizing a charity sale, the proceeds of which went to the construction of a mini-library in the area.

In September, the Fengjie Zhuyuan Primary School in Chongqing was reopened, after being devastated by the earthquake of May 2008. Bekaert had allocated CNY 1 million to this project. We also donated hundreds of books, bought with the funds raised in the charity sale.

Bekaert has developed a special relationship with the “Shenyang Enlighten Intelligence Kindergarten”. This is not limited to donating material: Geert Roelens, Group Executive Vice President Steel Cord, together with staff from our Shenyang plant, regularly participate in the school’s activities.

For over nine years now, Bekaert has built up a special relationship with the ‘Shenyang Enlighten Intelligence Kindergarten for disabled and non-disabled children’ (SEIK). In 2009 the employees of our Shenyang production facility installed a telephone and Internet network in the school. In anticipation of this project we had donated 50 cell phones as a New Year’s gift to temporarily solve the communication problems. Throughout the year, we frequently engaged in activities with students and teachers to strengthen our relationship with the school.

In addition, we donated sporting goods to the Dezheng Elementary School as well as – together with one of our steel cord customers – computers and classroom furniture. Our staff also supported the Bethel Training Center for the Blind – an institute that takes care of the welfare and development of blind orphans. At the five-y ear anniversary celebration of our production plant in Weihai, Bekaert donated over CNY 1 million to the Weihai Children Welfare Home in order to rebuild its sports fields.

China expresses appreciation for Bekaert’s community support

For its efforts to support the local communities in China, Bekaert received several awards, of which we list some examples below:

  • Bekaert Weihai received the Weihai Charity Award and the ‘2008 Advanced Enterprise of Social Welfare’ Award. From the trade union of the Weihai Economic & Technological Development Zone, the plant received the titles of ‘Advanced enterprise of fighting economic crisis, getting through difficulty and getting over the hard times’ and of ‘Pioneer Labor’.
  • Bekaert Chongqing received an honorable commendation for its donation following the Sichuan earthquake.
  • Our plant in Shenyang was granted the titles of ‘Excellent foreign investment enterprise in fulfillment of social responsibility in the Liaoning province’ and ‘Well-known trademark of the Liaoning province’.
  • Baron Buysse, Chairman of the Bekaert Board of Directors, was made an honorary citizen of Chongqing.
  • Geert Roelens, Bekaert Group Executive Vice-President Steel Cord and Member of Bekaert Group Executive, was awarded the prestigious ‘2009 State Friendship Award’ granted by the China State Council and was made honorary citizen of the cities of Wuxi and Weihai.
  • Mark Goyens, President Bekaert Asia, was elected as a Member and Vice Chairman of the Jiangyin International Consultative Council, and was made a Member of the Corporate Advisory Board of the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) in Shanghai.

In Indonesia, Bekaert sponsored The Learning Farm, a non-profit organization located near Cipanas, West Java. Its goal is to enable young people to become economically more self-sufficient, capable, and productive members of their communities. To achieve this, they participate in a residential training program in which they learn about organic farming, enterprise development and valuable life skills. Where disaster relief is concerned, we have collected donations to support the Padang region which was hit by a major earthquake in September.

In September the Padang region in Indonesia was hit by a major earthquake. Bekaert’s Indonesia staff collected both monetary and material donations for the victims.

Reaching out to communities

As for North America, we have made special efforts in the field of safety & health care. Bekaert Rogers donated 200 battery-operated smoke detectors to the Rogers Fire Department for use in residential buildings. This donation was made in conjunction with Bekaert’s Employee Health & Safety Fair, in which the Rogers Fire Department assisted with hands-on fire extinguisher training. With the donation we demonstrated that our dedication to health and safety extends beyond the limits of employees working at our facilities, reaching out into the communities in which they live. To demonstrate its commitment to helping prevent the skin damage due to the harmful rays from the sun, Bekaert Specialized Films in San Diego funded the Skin Cancer Foundation’s 2009 “Road to Healthy Skin Tour”. The tour visited 80 cities throughout the U.S. providing free full body skin cancer screenings and the latest skin cancer information. UV-protective film is an effective way to reduce UV exposure in your home or car. Solar Gard® window film has earned the Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation which ensures that it is a safe and effective sun protection product.

Our Rogers plant donated 200 smoke detectors to the local Fire Department for use in residential buildings.

The communities in Latin America have traditionally received a large share of our attention as regards social responsibility. We are actively involved in local housing and educational projects. In Brazil, Bekaert is taking part in several community programs related to health, the environment, education and volunteering, benefiting over 4 000 people in the seven cities in which we have operations. Bekaert employees, in collaboration with their family members, customers and suppliers coordinate the volunteering project that is funded by the ‘Citizens of Tomorrow’ program. The funds raised via Citizens of Tomorrow are used in the Pro-Volunteer Program which supports several charity institutions with a specific focus on initiatives that help children with social and educational needs.

Bekaert Specialized Films in San Diego (U.S.) sponsored the Skin Cancer Foundation’s 2009 “Road to Healthy Skin Tour”. Bekaert’s Solar Gard® Window film rejects 99% of the UVA and UVB rays.

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