Ambatovy is committed to maximizing economic returns to our local communities. We have implemented a range of programs and have made support tools available to local businesses and entrepreneurs so they can provide Ambatovy with goods and services that meet our standards of procurement and quality. The Ambatovy Local Business Initiative (ALBI) was created during construction to support our commitment to buy locally. In 2017, 868 local suppliers continued to provide Ambatovy with goods and services across 40 sectors of business including construction, transportation, cleaning and catering services.
Examples of locally sourced materials include pallets used for shipping nickel and cobalt as well as uniforms distributed to our employees. The exact number of jobs created to indirectly support Ambatovy’s procurement needs is difficult to calculate – however, we know that almost 500 jobs were created to build wood pallets; manufacture uniforms; and recycle plastic, tires and wood.
Ambatovy has a large stock of pallets and wooden crates stored at the plant site. In order to minimize waste, we turn to local businesses and organizations – such as the Cultural and Social Centre (CCS, in French) – to recycle and transform them into useful products they can sell. The CCS is an independent educational organization that runs a training centre for disadvantaged youth from Toamasina, teaching them practical skills to find jobs or start their own small businesses.
Through the Ambatovy Local Business Initiative (ALBI), we provide the CCS with up to 200 m3 of used wood per month, as well as skills training, monitoring, mentoring and general business advice. The CCS has a workshop that recycles and transforms the wood not only into furniture and other daily-life objects, but also into fuel in the form of chip briquettes, helping to reduce the use of charcoal.
“We have one of the best-equipped workshops in Toamasina,” said the CCS’s director, Mr. Ratovonera. “So far, we have noted that our trainees can easily find jobs once they complete their training, and our best students are regularly sought after by several companies.” Over the long run, CCS expects that the wood-recycling initiative will be of significant benefit to the region in the areas of employment creation, entrepreneurship development and pollution reduction.