The Business Impact Celebration launched on 22nd May as business leaders and NGOs met to celebrate and discuss collaboration on key social issues such as youth employment, education and health.
49 socially minded Irish companies have formed over 5,100 community links and donated over €24.1 million in cash donations, in-kind donations and employee fundraising to local charities and community groups. This information is being captured by Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI), on an online interactive map entitled the “Business Impact Map” which gives a county by county breakdown of how companies such as A&L Goodbody, ESB, Intel Ireland, Diageo Ireland and their employees supported their local community groups and charities during 2013.
The map was launched on May 22nd as part of BITCI’s Business Impact Celebration hosted by A&L Goodbody at their headquarters in the Irish Financial Services Centre, Dublin where business leaders and NGOs came together to celebrate and discuss how companies are successfully working with groups all over Ireland to ensure key issues such as youth employment, education and homelessness are being addressed. These key issues reflect the areas that have received significant corporate funding over the past five years since the map was first produced. Featured speakers included Julian Yarr, Managing Partner of A&L Goodbody, Sam McGuinness CEO Dublin Simon Community and Sonya Lennon, fashion designer & founder of Dress for Success.
The map which can be viewed online at http://livemaps.bitc.ie captures statistics from 49 of Ireland’s largest companies that are members of Business in the Community Ireland, Ireland’s leading organisation on corporate responsibility and only network for responsible business practices. National statistics show that almost €9.5 million was given in cash donations, €11 million was contributed through in kind donations a significant increase from €6million in 2012 and €3 million was raised through employee fundraising. Employees also volunteered over 162,000 hours to local groups and projects during the year. Social issues that received the most support were health at €5.2 million, education programmes at €5.5 million, children and youth projects at €4.6 million and community programmes at €2 million.
BITCI further reveal that trends in corporate giving and community involvement have changed significantly as businesses have adopted a more strategic and sustained approach to how and why they support specific causes and issues in their communities while strengthening their employee engagement programmes. Intel Ireland’s Intel Involved and KPMG’s Project BRIGHT are just two of the successful employee programmes that encourage and recognise staff who identify social issues, come up with unique solutions and use voluntary time to make a difference.
“This is our fifth year to compile these national statistics on the Business Impact Map. In a year that has seen a decline in charitable donations in Ireland, and as times are getting tougher, what we have noticed is that companies are contributing more in the way of in kind donation, pro bono support and employee volunteering hours. This shows that companies are still keen to have an impact on society and on their local areas but are providing support in different ways and using their own skillset to provide job placements, mentoring, pro bono work, or other products and services free of charge to local groups and charities on a long term basis.” said Tina Roche, CEO of Business in the Community Ireland.
“The businesses featured on the map are positively impacting the communities they operate in by using their strong position to address vital social issues and causes such as youth employment, homelessness and education, where under funding can be hugely detrimental. Companies are providing support to the many groups and organisations involved in arrange of issues and as a result are reporting increased staff engagement and satisfaction. We would encourage all Irish companies to act this way.” said Tina Roche, CEO of Business in the Community Ireland.
Many member companies are also using their strong positions to positively impact on current and challenging social inclusion issues. Enterprise Rent-A-Car are members of the Diversity Among Champions Programme, a workplace programme designed specifically to assist Irish employers with the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.
Julian Yarr, Managing Partner, A&L Goodbody speaking at today’s Business Impact Celebration said:
“We are delighted to be a part of the Business Impact Map being launched today. This is a fantastic way to represent and raise awareness of the combined positive impact of companies throughout Ireland. Building partnerships and supporting the communities where our employees work is a key part of our business strategy and therefore is central to A&L Goodbody’s overall commitment to Corporate Responsibility. We are very proud that over 60% of our employees were actively involved in our community in 2013, contributing more than 3,000 volunteer hours. This commitment was made through both our pro bono programme or as a volunteer for one of our many community programmes.”
In the county by county breakdown, counties which ranked the highest for overall funding outside of Dublin were Kildare receiving €2.5 million, Cork receiving €1.1 million, Galway receiving €623,000 and Mayo receiving €458,000. However for employee fundraising Cork ranked the highest at €161,000 in total followed by Galway at €126,000 and Limerick at €125,000. For volunteering hours, after Dublin, Kildare was well ahead of the rest with over 23,000 hours volunteered. Next were Meath and Cork with 10,900 and 8,200 hours respectively.
* BITCI member companies profiled on the map are: A&L Goodbody, Abbott Ireland, AbbVie, Accenture, Amgen, AOL Ireland, Arup, Bank of Ireland Group, Boots Retail (Irl) Ltd, Bord Gáis Networks, BT Ireland, Coca-Cola Ireland, DAA, Davy, Deloitte, Diageo Ireland, eBay Inc, eircom, EirGrid plc, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, ESB, Friends First, IBM Ireland Ltd., Intel Ireland, Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard, Janssen Biologics (Ireland), Janssen Pharmaceutical, KBC Bank Ireland, Kellogg’s, KPMG, Marks & Spencer (Ireland) Ltd, Microsoft Ireland, MSD Ireland, Musgrave Group, O2 Ireland ,Oracle Ireland Ltd., PepsiCo, Pfizer Ireland Pharmaceuticals, PM Group, PwC, Shell E&P Ireland Ltd, Sodexo Ireland, State Street International Ireland, Topaz, Transdev, Ulster Bank Group, Veolia, Vodafone Ireland Foundation.
Watch the Thank You video below from NGOs to members of Business in the Community Ireland. The video is a recognition of the contribution businessess make on key social issues such as Education, Homelessness, Employment.The video was played at the Business Impact celebration hosted by A&L Goodbody on 22nd May 2014 and was produced by Sean O’Beirn.