The green phone, the line between INEOS Aromatics Geel and the neighbourhood

  • Belgium
  • For 20 years, neighbours of our Aromatics site in Geel have been able to call the Green Phone.
  • The Green Phone is a free infoline for neighbours of the INEOS production site.

When they report a nuisance, they often get lab assistant Evi Van Genechten on the line. She notes the complaint, after which colleague Mark Van Gestel identifies the problem and seeks a solution.

“The Green Phone is an infoline where our neighbours can always go with their questions,” explains Evi. “I work in the lab where calls to the Green Phone come in. Someone is here 24/7. So the caller will always be helped. We ask what the problem is and where the person lives, so we know on which side of the site the problem is located. We note the report and pass it on to Mark and his five fellow Site Shift Managers.”

“We then see what exactly the complaint involves,” continues Mark. “It usually boils down to problems caused by noise or bad smells. Sometimes a unit goes into shutdown unexpectedly and has to be flared off. That’s when we sometimes get worried calls. If we know in advance that something needs to be done, we report it on our social media. We will inform Evi and her colleagues so that they can immediately reassure worried callers.”

“Most people who call are very polite,” says Evi. “They may occasionally get frustrated, but they always convey that frustration respectfully. Every two years, we also receive training in which we learn to deal with handling complaints and practise conversations, including more difficult ones. We then learn how best to respond.”

“We try to maintain good relations with our neighbours,” says Mark. “We take every complaint seriously and always respond. My colleagues and I always look for the cause: we tour the site, look at the direction of the wind, and try and see where the nuisance may be coming from. If we don’t find it immediately, we sometimes visit the person who made the report. This way, we try to analyse the complaint as best we can and identify the source of the nuisance.”

“Our neighbours know that we take their complaints seriously. That’s why the Green Phone is also free. The fact that they can call at any time gives people great peace of mind. In general, the neighbours are just grateful that the problem gets solved. And, of course, that gives us satisfaction too.”

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