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A will of steel for International Volunteer Day
02 February 2010

New Delhi, Kolkata, Ranipet, Orissa and Jharkand, India: With 'Volunteering for our Planet' in mind, major steel company Arcelor Mittal aimed to institutionalize ‘volunteerism’ into the organization’s mainstream corporate responsibility agenda.

The objective was to "promote and support activities that will help an individual employee in becoming more self conscious and sensitive towards society and the environment; thereby making a lifelong commitment to voluntarily contribute to one or more social and/or environmental cause.”

Across all Arcelor Mittal's locations in India, a two to three hour programme was scheduled.

Employees took an oath on planting trees and reducing their personal carbon footprint. More than 90 percent of employees signed an oath paper and are bound to plant a minimum of five trees every year; reduce personal carbon footprint by using public transport at least monthly; and spread the message of volunteerism.

A symposium on 'Social Responsibility and I' was held in which employees participated in an open discussion on their understanding of social responsibility and why should they discharge responsibility as socially and environmentally responsible volunteers.

The company also initiated a 'payroll giving' programme. An agreement was reached by signing a commitment paper agreeing to make monthly deductions of an amount from their salaries which will go to an NGO for a cause. Approx 50 percent of employees formally joined the ‘payroll giving’ programme.

At some locations, employees also went out to NGOs and spent time with vulnerable communities such as disabled children and senior citizens.

More than 90 percent of employees participated in the volunteering day programme. Those who could not participate were either travelling or vacationing. IVD was observed at all locations in India – New Delhi; Plant locations in Orissa and Jharkhand; AMDEC in Kolkata; DHAMM in Ranipet, Tamil Nadu.

All in all, 140 employees took part giving a total of 353 working hours.