Beyond Business Reason

ABB is a firm that keeps on demonstrating engagement and values sharing, with employees, a range of community goals that extend beyond closely business-linked reasons.

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ABB, Italian headquarters based in Sesto San Giovanni, Milan

“The economic crisis won’t stop ABB’s attention towards corporate social responsibility.” This is what Nicoletta Chiucchi, the firm’s Training and Csr Manager for Italy, said when Twsm spoke to her. ABB has consolidated its Csr budget from mark up activities on Christmas card and corporate calendar sales, which it guarantees every year to its non profit partners. Internally, ABB also aims to transform its key values and create a solidarity culture centred on corporate volunteering and activities in specific field projects. “In this way the company seeks to encourage contact with diversity and to create an open and multicultural working environment,” Nicoletta Chiucchi further emphasises. “Charity work is a strong way of motivating staff to affirm their values of social responsibility and community engagement.”
The company has created a portal completely devoted to sustainability with a section dedicated to social activities. It also has a newsletter dedicated to these projects, publishes news throughout its in-house communication vehicles, and organises internal corporate events such as the Volunteering Day. Moreover, in the lead up to and during these events, ABB provides space for its non-profit partners to raise funds. “All the employees who took part in one project, for example, received distance-learning material prepared by AISM (Associazione Italiana Sclerosi Multipla – Italian Association Multiple Sclerosis) which planned and organized activities in partnership with ABB. In this way we offer everyone the chance to get in contact with the association and gain direct knowledge of this disability’s harsh realities”, Chiucci further adds.
ABB’s employees have chosen all the non-profit organizations supported. The company also conducted a survey of its corporate climate, Abbiamo Voce (‘we have voices’). In 2006, 64% of staff supported the programs while by 2007 this figure had risen to 71%. The survey also found high levels of participation and pride in the program and willingness by staff to invest their own professional futures with the program. Internally, ABB aims to transform its key values and create a solidarity culture centred on corporate volunteering and activities in specific field projects.

[W  abb.com]

Published in the hard-copy of Work Style Magazine, Spring 2009