A few months ago, I decided to send my resume to Boréalis because I felt that my work could be useful. Just by looking on the website and seeing what the software could do for community relations teams, I sensed that I could have a greater footprint on the planet and its population.
So, I was thrilled to conduct my first customer interview; I was able to finally see the impact that we have in the field. And when I asked Candace Ramcharan, General Supervisor of Community Relations for Agnico Eagles’ Nunavut Operations to give me three words that describe her experience working with Boréalis, I was amazed by her answer “Fun, useful and easy.” Not the kind of qualifications you expect when you talk about software. But for a marketing specialist, it’s sweet candy for sure!
Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (AEM), headquartered in Toronto, has been operating in Nunavut since 2007. The organization has always been committed making a significant and positive difference in the communities where it operates. To ensure success, the AEM team needed to apply the same rigor to evaluating their social performance as applied to all other aspects of the business, easily link community outcomes and business value, create shared value.
They chose Boréalis to help with the management and measurement of their community relations program and data.
Thus, I had the chance to ask Candace some questions to better understand how they became more efficient by tracking community relations activities with Boréalis.
What challenges did you face that led you to look for a solution like Boréalis?
Nunavut is the northernmost territory of Canada – and one of the world’s most remote areas – with a population of 35,000, most of which are Inuit. Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreements (IIBA) are part of Nunavut legislation in order to ensure that Inuit have input on what is happening on their land. Inuit use these agreements to ensure that their voices are heard, that benefits go to their community and that any impacts are mitigated.
Through these agreements, both Agnico Eagle and the KIA (Kivalliq Inuit Association) are intent on ensuring that business opportunities, employment and training opportunities arising from the projects will benefit the communities of the Kivalliq. As a long-term goal, we and the KIA are working toward a rate of 50 percent Inuit employment.
We also need to be compliant with the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) requirements; this requires a set of tools and indicators to drive performance and ensure that key mining risks are managed responsibly.
Did you have a previous solution that could no longer meet your company’s needs?
Before activating Boréalis, we managed follow-ups with emails and spreadsheets –a very challenging task. It was hard to find information rapidly. People were not used to tracking what they were doing and some key information was often missing. It was impossible to track issues and improve community engagement.
What were the requirements you were looking for in a new solution and can you describe your selection process?
We needed a stakeholder engagement system offering:
- Reporting and analytics
- Offline capabilities
- High security
- Configuration options
We analyzed and assessed 10 systems. The Boréalis stakeholder engagement platform quickly stood out with a perfect score because the solution responded to most of our requirements.
Most of all, we thought the software was the most user-friendly. This was important due to different levels of computer knowledge among team-members.
What specific results have you seen from implementing our solution?
We have just started to play with the software and the potential is huge; every day, we discover a little more how it can make our work easier and more impactful. But so far, we’ve seen several benefits:
- Identification and tracking of compliance issues
- Better communications with external stakeholders
- Stronger engagement with the communities
- Easy reporting
- Smarter analytics
- Capture and categorization of all emails regarding the communities
- Monitoring of field meetings
- External complaints management
- Stakeholder data is now more usable
- Overall efficiency
- Better decision-making
- Strategy always aligned with community feedback
The Boréalis Stakeholder Engagement software was a natural solution to help the Community Relations team successfully improved our strategy while tracking external complaints and following up on past issues. We were able to build a stronger relationship with the communities and to optimize our stakeholder engagement activities.
The solution will be expanded to other departments, and by taking an integrated approach to Social License to Operate and improving information management, Agnico hopes to use Boréalis as an Early Warning System for social risk management. This will allow them to develop a proactive approach to their relationships, and by having a better understanding of community irritants to mitigate or minimizing negative impacts and prevent social conflicts before they occur.