Communities

Communities

Rooted in Our Communities

Many of us were born and raised in rural communities, all with deep history and culture. Today, we remain proud members of those communities with 97% of our team calling them home. While a few of our communities are larger than 10,000 people, like Stendal, Germany, most are much smaller and relatively remote. We are fortunate to operate in communities that share a connection to our business and our values, and whose commitment to the people in those communities provides us with a supportive environment for the success of our talented team members and our partners.

All of our communities are unique, yet all share historical respect for the land. In Europe, that history has evolved over hundreds of years through innovative management of the forest and other resources. In Canada, caretaking of the land was largely the role of Indigenous communities for centuries; a history that today, remains a foundation of how we think about partnerships with First Nations, Metis, and other First Peoples within those communities where we operate. 

  • Dialogue with Communities

    Core to our approach with communities is dialogue. We seek to engage with local elected leadership and staff regularly. While we do discuss community and operational developments and how we can advance our relationships for the benefit of all citizens, we also talk about our respective challenges. We are aware that industrial activity can impact the communities in both a positive and sometimes negative way. This is why we talk about how we can jointly improve the community for everyone, and we talk about what more Mercer can do to help. Open, transparent, and ongoing dialogue is the basis of our relationships at Mercer.

Donations & Sponsorships

Over the years, we have donated millions of dollars to community initiatives in the areas in which we operate. We have purchased countless boys’ and girls’ jerseys for aspiring, young hockey and soccer players in Germany and Canada. We have developed an innovative reading program in northern Alberta and, in Castlegar, BC, we helped build Millennium Park, including the Celgar Pavilion. Examples of Mercer reside in each community – unique, specific to the needs of the community, but with one common theme: bettering the places we call home.

Supporting Safety – Together

Discussions at Mercer Celgar safety meetings have often been around pedestrian safety, as many of our employees travel to and from work in the dark. One area of concern was the number of people walking along the edge of the road and highways, often with their backs to oncoming traffic and in dark clothing. This inspired us to create a safety program to ensure we had safer roadways in our community.

Be Seen School Support

In 2017, with the support of Castlegar’s safety-focused community businesses, we launched the BE SEEN campaign. Together, with our sponsors, we were able to provide 5,000 reusable, reflective, and highly visible light-up armbands to the community. Our BE SEEN campaign included visits to the local high school and college to speak with teens and young adults about road safety, as well as radio, newspaper, and social media promotions to help improve safety awareness.

BE SEEN has continued to be successful, with volunteers from Mercer Celgar acting as ‘safety spotters’, offering armbands to pedestrians they see walking in dark clothing, as well prize draw tickets to those who are actively making an effort to BE SEEN.

By working together as a community, we are increasing safety awareness and creating safer roadways.

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Exceptional People and Volunteering

As an organization, we value our team members’ commitment to work towards continuous improvement and working safely. We are proud of our exceptional people who also contribute to their communities through activities such as coaching sports teams, sitting on community boards, and supporting non-profit initiatives that enrich our communities. If your child is in a club, or you are riding your mountain bike or skiing on a trail, or perhaps receiving a little help from a group in one of our communities, there is a chance that there is a Mercer person helping out behind the scenes.

We believe that communities, where our team members work and live, should benefit from opportunities for business development, employment, training, and education.

  • Community Partnerships

    We have many partnerships within the communities within which we operate. Some are related to infrastructure, like water supply and treatment services; others are operational, like joint emergency response protocols for community emergencies. Educational partnerships with secondary and post-secondary institutions are another strong example of how we commit to developing capacity in communities.

    One of our most exceptional partnerships is with a First Nation in Northern Alberta. We maintain, together, a joint venture harvesting operation – a true success story that leverages our technical know-how and the First Nation’s deep roots and understanding of the land base. The company employs numerous local and Indigenous workers and provides a solid source of revenue for the First Nation’s community. We are delighted with this partnership and are looking for ways to develop and expand on similar relationships with other Indigenous communities.

Operations Consultation

We own a lot of flipcharts. You will see maps on our flipcharts when you are meeting us in High Prairie, Alberta, to discuss our latest harvesting activities. You can show us where your trapline is so that we can steer clear of it or put in a buffer to protect it. You will see our flipcharts in Blankenstein, Germany, where we show the community how we plan to relocate a road to reduce the traffic in the village. Flipcharts are great for displaying photographs and diagrams of our ambitions for mill optimization.

We understand the importance of transparent and collaborative dialogue within our communities. If there are issues in the community, whether it be noise, odour, light, traffic, or any other potential annoyance, we want to know about it. We cannot solve everything, but there are always things we can do better.

We appreciate the open feedback we receive from community members. We are interested in understanding where the noise in our mill seems to be coming from; we want to know if there is a culturally significant Indigenous value, such as a berry patch or burial ground, in order to protect it through collaboration, and more. We take this input seriously and we have made many modifications to our operations to accommodate the concerns and requests of our communities, and we will continue to do so. Respectful relationships and transparency – that is the Mercer way.

Fostering Strong Relationships

Indigenous communities are important partners in maintaining sustainable forest management. We respect the diverse histories, languages, cultures and perspectives of such Indigenous peoples and recognize that their presence enriches our vibrant communities.

Mercer’s operations are committed to engaging and working closely with Indigenous communities to develop processes and opportunities that seek to achieve meaningful participation and mutually beneficial outcomes.

We believe that through open and ongoing dialogue and engagement, we will continue to collaborate with communities to build a lasting legacy upon our shared values of trust and mutual respect.

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