Our commitment to social responsibility is reflected in the depth and breadth of our engagement and investment in the Taranaki community.
Investing in our Community
We support social outcomes in Taranaki through our community and environment programme. Last year this was worth $665,000, as measured by the Living Standards Framework developed by Treasury. Projects have included the development and building of the Clifton Sports and Community complex in Waitara, the reintroduction of the Kokako with the East Taranaki Environment Trust and supporting the Taranaki Health Foundation for improved health services.
We are also sponsors of the Taranaki Regional Council Environment Awards; the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust; the long-running maths competition for New Plymouth high school students, the Methanex Math's Spectacular; Duffy Books in Homes; the cultural and language festival in Waitara, the Puanga Festival, and the Engineering School at the University of Canterbury.
A volunteer committee of employees oversees donations to community organisations up to $1,000 and arranges employee volunteer events and donation drives. Our employees take part in an annual beach clean-up and are involved in riparian plantings, as well as other environmental and social projects such as the Sky Tower Stair Challenge. We also sponsor and participate in events such as The Relay for Life and the Children's Extravaganza.
Advancing Education in New Zealand
As passionate supporters of education, Methanex funds scholarships for students graduating from Waitara High School and we provide two scholarships to university students studying engineering. We work closely with local schools on projects including enhancing chemistry and metal work resources, providing computers, upgrading furniture in a school's library and improving the landscaping.
Supporters of the University of Canterbury for many years, Methanex funds Mechanical Engineering student projects and the Methanex Professorship of Metallurgy. Methanex has also supported more than 100 Mechanical Engineering final-year students through project sponsorship, and seven PhD students at various funding levels. The research contributes to improving the performance of stainless steel piping used in the reforming stage of converting natural gas to methanol.
Since 2010, as members of the Energy Skills New Zealand, Methanex and other local industry organisations have sponsored the Certificate in Process Operations (Oil & Gas) training programme, which is run by the Western Institute of Technology in New Plymouth. We provide scholarships for several students in the programme.
In addition, each summer we hire tertiary students in their final year of study. This provides valuable paid work experience for the students who contribute to projects across a range of departments.
Striving for a Safer Community
We've been running a safety programme called 'Safe Days' since 2014 to bring the community, employees and contractors together to promote responsibility and personal ownership for safety.
Every injury-free day is highlighted with a green dot on big billboards at the entrance to our sites and $150 a day is donated to a charity or community project over a quarter of the year.
Through our Safe Days programme we've supported 26 organisations donating more than $350,000 to help with long-lasting community initiatives.
Last year the nominated Safe Day Recipients were: Seasons for Growth Bishop's Foundation, Taranaki Women's Refuge, Hospice Taranaki and Waitara and Inglewood Foodbanks.
In 2019 we are supporting Zeal, ASD Connex, Roadsafe Taranaki and Mahia Mai A Whai Tara.
Community Advisory Panel
In 1996, we created a Community Advisory Panel (CAP) in Taranaki to develop and enhance relationships with neighbouring communities through a two-way communication process. The CAP includes 14 people from a wide variety of backgrounds, including tangata whenua, neighbours, a schoolteacher, members of local Rotary and Lions groups, emergency services, students and a customer.
The CAP meets four times a year and is closely involved with our business, engaging in discussions on topics ranging from health and safety to finance and gas supply issues. The CAP chairs its own meetings and Methanex representatives attend by invitation. The CAP has brought Methanex closer to the Taranaki community and in turn, the community has a well-established mechanism for directly interacting with Methanex.
Learn more about our global community investments and initiatives.