KGHM Polska Miedź Foundation Brings Sustainability to the Home Front

As one of Europe’s leading miners, KGHM is remarkable in many ways. For example, its core sustainability strategy is fully aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), a priority for all members of the International Copper Association.

As such, KGHM established its own Foundation to benefit the Polish communities living near some of the Europe’s greatest red metal reserves in the nation’s Copper Belt. Despite its copper riches and status as one of the most dynamic economies in Europe, many of Poland’s people face significant quality of life challenges stemming from poverty, and KGHM Polska Miedź Foundation is one of their staunchest advocates.

Since its beginnings in 2003, the Foundation has used a strategic, multi-faceted approach to funding health, safety, sports and recreation, science and education as well as cultural restoration. In all, it has enabled over 3,000 projects for other businesses and institutions and spent over $36.6 million. In 2017 and 2018 alone, KGHM financed 432 projects totaling $3.8 million.

When Every Second Counts

According to a recent European Commission study, Polish citizens are 60 percent more likely to die from circulatory diseases than the average EU resident. Mindful of such statistics, the Foundation sponsored 400 first aid trainings for local school gymnasts in 2018. A team of medical emergency workers from KGHM’s Mining and Smelting Rescue Unit, along with nurses and psychologists, contributed to the curriculum. The program prepared and distributed training manuals and focused on handling rescue equipment. Students were trained in performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation and addressing epileptic seizures, choking and fractures.

On Their Feet

The Foundation’s initiatives with students extend to the soccer/football fields—unquestionably the most popular sport in Poland. To this end, the Foundation ensures access to classes for children from low-income households ages 5 to 10 under the guidance of professional coaches and players.

“KGHM has been the animator of a healthy and active lifestyle for years. We support the development of professional players but also its supporters among children and young people.”

– Jakub Bednarek, KGHM Polska Miedź SA Foundation Management Board President.

The program encompasses rural areas and ensures as many children as possible can participate vis-à-vis training, matches and mentoring. In all, the Foundation granted $658,000 for sport and recreation in 2018.

Of Mathematics and Methodology

KGHM Polska Miedź Foundation’s influence reaches into classrooms, too, and includes a “Copper Mathematical School” to enhance knowledge among primary, middle and high school students. This program is advanced via the development of a universal mathematical textbook, with the organization of an annual math competition.

The final competition involves lectures by math majors from the Wrocław University of Technology. Every student, 400 in all, conducts their own mini-lecture related to the workshops and receives a diploma and small puzzles as gifts for participating in 720 lessons. The program emphasizes practical understanding of math as well as logical and theoretical thinking skills.

A Scientific Equation

On a similar note, KGHM Polska Miedź Foundation has brought scholastic science to the fore through a “Laboratories of the 21st Century” competition for chemistry and physics among Poland’s youth. In 2018 the Foundation provided grants of nearly $26,300 for cutting-edge lab equipment for seven schools in municipalities across the Copper Belt.

“Thanks to the ’21st Century Laboratories’ competition, five schools will be enriched with professional equipment of physics and chemical laboratories.”

– Jarosław Twardowski, President of the KGHM Polska Miedź Foundation Management Board.

Good Measures for Medicine

The KGHM Polska Miedź Foundation has served as a leading financial backer for the purchase of medical equipment for hospitals, rehabilitation centers and other health facilities, mainly in the Copper Belt and Lower Silesia. For example, this support led to the creation of a Copper Health Center that, last year, received funding for equipment purchases enabling an endoscopic center to perform over 6,000 exams. It also provided an ultrasound machine for a cardiac clinic and is helping to fund new colonoscopic laboratories in Lubin, Legnica and Głogów.

Mindful of Mining History

The Foundation also supports the commemoration of anniversaries of the discovery of Poland’s massive copper deposits. It funds mining conferences documenting the nation’s rich mining history, which dates back to 3,500 B.C., and the region’s original Neolithic tool makers. Along with iron ore, silver and gold, the era witnessed the emergence of copper quarries in Silesia and Malopolska, where KGHM operates today.

The breadth and scale of KGHM Polska Miedź Foundation programs reflect the achievements of KGHM, one of Europe’s most responsible mining firms. Meanwhile, the success of the top miner’s enterprising employees also reflects their origins. The Foundation is a natural, symbiotic extension of KGHM’s vast operations spanning Poland’s Copper Belt.

About KGHM Polska Miedź

With nearly 34,000 employees worldwide, KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. is a top multinational copper and silver producer. With a 50-year history, the Lublin-based miner operates 9 open-pit and underground mines in Poland, Canada, the U.S. and Chile. In addition, KGHM is a leading producer of copper sulphate, gold, nickel, molybdenum, lead and platinum group metals.

About the KGHM Polska Miedź Foundation

The KGHM Polska Miedź Foundation was established in 2003 for the needs of KGHM’s local communities, the regions and the nation of Poland. Since its creation, the Foundation has enabled over 3,000 projects of other businesses and institutions and spent in full on its statutory operations over $36.6 million.

About The Copper Alliance®

The Copper Alliance is a network of regional copper centers and their industry-leading members. It is responsible for guiding policy and strategy and for funding international initiatives and promotional activities. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the organization has offices in four primary regions: Europe and Africa, Asia, Latin America and North America. Copper Alliance programs and initiatives are executed in more than 60 countries through its regional offices and country-level copper promotion centers.

26 April 2019

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Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS)

Investment in Sustainable Operations


SDG #1

No Poverty

SDG #3

Good Health and Well-Being

SDG #4

Quality Education