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France: living up to our promises


France is one of our most important markets, and home to several production sites as well as research centres. But in the years after 2008, the falling demand for steel created huge challenges at these plants, and we were compelled to restructure our operations in 2012, with our plant at Florange most affected. This had a very negative impact on our reputation in France, especially with government. Partly driven by this, we commissioned an independent survey of our reputation among key stakeholders in France and three other countries in 2013, which confirmed that we had to do more to rebuild our reputation in France. As a result, we have redoubled our efforts to explain the rationale for our decisions, and communicate what we have done to prevent job losses and ensure a future for the site. We ran the reputation survey again in 2014, and the results in France were much improved, with many respondents noting that the reality at Florange is much better than some of the media coverage had suggested, and that we are delivering what we promised.