Magazine article Management Today

MCA Management Awards 10 Year Anniversary: Corporate Social Responsibility

Magazine article Management Today

MCA Management Awards 10 Year Anniversary: Corporate Social Responsibility

Article excerpt

GOLD WINNER - THE ENVIRONMENT COUNCIL WITH BRITISH NUCLEAR FUELS LIMITED

Nuclear power has a controversial history and many of the relationships between the industry and its stakeholders have been difficult. Six years ago, a small group within senior management at British Nuclear Fuels Limited (BNFL) recruited The Environment Council (TEC), an independent charity, to defuse flashpoints, minimise conflict and improve relations. 'We never talked except through the media - shouting would be a better word,' recalls BNFL director David Bonser.

With the aim of informing BNFL's decision-making process and improving its environmental performance, TEC brought together 200 stakeholders from 70 different organisations to discuss nuclear issues in a structured way.

A large conference-style main group met every six months to share information and negotiate. Working groups examined specific subjects in detail, drilling through sticking points, and on hotly disputed topics, working groups were set up to commission research and interpret results.

TEC knew that top-level commitment had to be secured if the process was to succeed. The charity had also to create an atmosphere where participants felt they could discuss issues openly and in confidence. These dialogues resulted in many outcomes, including the commissioning of research on immobilising plutonium (a key change in direction for BNFL), contingency plans for handling spent Magnox fuel, an assessment of BNFL's impact on the Cumbrian economy, and a new corporate focus on waste management and clean-up. …

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