Wednesday, March 29th, 2017
Wednesday March 29th: 56 socially-minded Irish companies have formed almost 7000 community partnerships and donated over €32 million in cash donations, in-kind donations and employee fundraising to local charities and community groups.
This information is captured by Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI), on the online interactive “Business Impact Map” which gives a county-by-county breakdown of how companies and their employees supported their local community groups and charities during 2016.
The release of the figures coincided with BITCI’s Social Impact-Why Business Matters symposium hosted by BT, where business leaders and NGOs discussed the benefits to local communities as well as the business benefits of community engagement in increasing staff engagement with their workplace and in helping to attract and retain talent.
The Business Impact Map, which can be viewed online at www.livemaps.bitc.ie , captures statistics from 56 of Ireland’s largest companies that are members of Business in the Community Ireland, Ireland’s network on corporate responsibility and sustainability. National statistics show that over €11,782,983 was given in cash donations; €14,945,518 was contributed through in-kind donations and almost €5,393,535 was raised through employee fundraising. Employees also volunteered over 227,144 hours to local groups and projects during the year.
The figures for 2016 represent an increase on 2015 with employee volunteering rising 5 per cent and a 15 per cent increase in combined cash donations, in-kind and employee fundraising provided by companies to local groups.
Increasingly, employees want to work with companies who have values that align with their own and they also expect companies to engage with community groups as standard.
Business in the Community Ireland Chief Executive, Tina Roche, commented on the key trends in company engagement with their local communities, “The biggest trend we are seeing is the rise of employees using their skills to help communities. For example construction companies are helping local community groups with refurbishment projects or IT companies are offering coding workshops and mentoring. The huge gain for the community groups is that they are getting access to knowledge and technical skills that otherwise might not be available or affordable to them”.
Employees volunteered over 227,000 hours in 2016 alone, equivalent to 145 people working full-time in the charity and voluntary sector.
Roche continued “However community engagement is just one component of corporate social responsibility. Companies must also look at how they also engage with their own employees, customers, suppliers the environment and more.”
According to a 2016 study by Cone Communications, 88% of millennials say they find their employment more fulfilling when they have opportunities to make a positive impact on social and environmental issues. In addition, 83% would be more loyal to a company that helps them contribute to social and environmental issues. Roche concluded “For any companies looking to attract, engage and retain employees, they must look at all of their social and environmental responsibilities. When it comes to social responsibilities, one particular avenue available is to support employee involvement in community and social issues. We know that authentic community involvement contributes to key business goals, improves reputation and helps attract and retain employees.”
Overall, the areas of health, community and poverty were the best supported. Over €10m was donated to health with a further €6m being donated to communities and another €2.9 going towards aiding poverty. Elsewhere, education, children and youth and homelessness received sizeable contributions. More than €3.5 was donated to education, another €2.2m was donated to children and youth and €1.8m to homelessness.
BITCI member companies profiled on the Business Impact Map are: A&L Goodbody, Abbott Ireland, AbbVie, Accenture, AOL, Arup, BAM Contractors Ltd, Bank of Ireland, Boots Retail (Irl) Ltd., Bord na Mona, BT Ireland, Central Bank, Compass Group, Cook Medical, Dawn Meats Group, Deloitte, Dublin Bus, eir, EirGrid, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, ESB, Gas Networks Ireland, Heineken Ireland, Hovione Eireann, IBM Ireland Ltd., Intel Ireland, Irish Distillers, Janssen Commercials and Sales, Janssen Pharmaceutical Sciences UC, Janssen Sciences Ireland UC, KBC Bank Ireland, KPMG, Lagan Asphalt Group, Marks & Spencer Ireland Ltd, Mazars, Microsoft Ireland, MSD, Musgrave, Northern Trust, Oracle Ireland Ltd., PM Group, PwC, Roadbridge, RTÉ, Shell E&P Ireland, SSE Ireland, State Street, Symantec, Tesco Ireland, Three, Ulster Bank Ireland, Uniphar, Veolia, Vistakon, Vodafone Ireland Foundation and Zurich Insurance plc
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