France – Create a consultative committee to enhance stakeholders' dialogueA disappointment was behind the creation of the St Germer consultative committee, made up of around 15 elected representatives, community organizations and Imerys employees. The Clay Roof Tiles & Bricks Division’s application for a zoning scheme amendment to allow it to open a quarry in a neighboring area was rejected in 2008.
The decision surprised the entire team. In fact, local councilors were worried that neighbors would complain about annoyances arising from truck traffic and mining noise. They related the case to the landfill projects that had caused a stir in the region. It turned out that neighbors and local authorities knew very little about the activity of the tile works, which employs 170 people. The site’s management soon organized an information meeting in order to present and explain its projects. Clay businesses was highlighted and emphasized our environmental actions. A ceramologist traced the history of clay in the Beauvais region and an ecologist gave details of the Blacourt quarry restoration and the protection of fauna and flora sanctuaries. By the end of the meeting, everyone was aware that Imerys Terre Cuite was a major economic player in the region. They understood that ITC wanted to go further than strict compliance with environmental standards and build a project with “the SGF site’s users”.
I was then decided to create a semi-annual consultative committee with the plant manager as well as representatives of the public authorities and neighbours. These meetings are a place for open talks and explanations. In December 2009, they led to an amendment to the local zoning scheme. The operation permit application will be filed in late 2010.