Metal for mobility: genuine win-win CSR in Oz

Monday, 28 October, 2013

As the occasional overnight disappearance of a much-loved piece of public art reminds us here in our home country, scrap metal's worth money.

So this article from Mining Australia, which highlights an interesting new approach to CSR being taken in Queensland, Oz, is a refeshing new take on that which normally only results in your humble correspondents being stuck on trains for four hours because somebody's stolen the cables to the signal box. The initiative is designed to fight cerebral palsy, Australia's most common childhood disability, through funding Queensland's Cerebral Palsy League, which provides the therapies, equipment and new technologies required to make those living with cerebral palsy easier. Called the "Metal for Mobility" programme, it works by teaming up the league with Queensland mining operations to set up an innovative new fundraising scheme:

"The process involves the installation of a special scrap metals bin at mine sites where companies can quickly and safely dispose of any metal products they have no intention of using. The bins are collected, the contents weighed, and the scrap metal sold to merchants. Funds from the sale are then donated to the Cerebral Palsy League, who direct the funding to local programs for children and adults with disabilities."

It looks like in many ways that this is one of those genuine win-win situations that we at CSR21 are always pining for. As Brendan McGufficke, business development coordinator at Cerebral Palsy League, puts it:

"'For companies, the Metal for Mobility program works in so many ways... At the ground level, their worksites are cleaner. Less waste and scrap lying around means safer worksites. Recycling scrap metal is also environmentally responsible and helps businesses reduce their carbon footprints and meet their environmental goals and targets. For staff, working for an organisation that is committed to contributing to its local community can be really motivational...[amd] the funds that are raised via the Metal for Mobility program are directed straight into programs running in those communities.” 

As the article goes on to point out, major companies including Downer EDI, Bechtel and Toll have signed up for the scheme, which has raised AUS$ 25,000 for the Cerebral Palsy League since its implementation in 2012. Here's hoping these modest gains and this type of sensible thinking catch on widely and fast.

IMAGE: from Mining Ausralia article