Engagement for sustainability
Grundfos actively participates in sustainability initiatives at all levels, from our employees walking for water, to create awareness about the water crisis in developing nations, to our senior leaders creating and advocating sustainable mindsets. We believe that the key to engagement for sustainability is to get engaged and to stay engaged, both as people and as a company, wherever we are in the world. This is a long term commitment that we must choose to make, in our everyday lives.
Argentina: Donation drives for needy families
Our colleagues in Grundfos Argentina partnered up with Hogar María de la Esperanza, an establishment that gives shelter to children and teenagers in situations of social risk. They also help to provide for the basic needs of these children, in terms of meals, hygiene, education and family support. Grundfos and its customers worked together to do good, where customers donated non-perishable food items while Grundfos donated meals for consumption on a weekly basis. On top of that, they also donated useful electrical appliances, such as freezers and washing machines to the home.
During the festive period, colleagues brought out their spirit of giving, by preparing special ‘Christmas boxes’ for 10 families in vulnerable situations. The boxes contained gifts, decorations, food and personalized letters. Staying true to having water at its core, they also helped two local aboriginal communities in Northern Argentina to have access to water. Thanks to these projects, more than 100 people now have a drinkable water supply.
Hungary: Earth Month
Grundfos Hungary held its first Earth Month in 2017, a new initiative planned in the month between World Water Day and Earth Day. To celebrate each week of Earth Month, an assortment of activities were planned, with the focal of giving back to the community. During the month, they headed down to the Tatabánya Industry Park and collected over 2,000 kg of waste, donated used safety shoes to local homelessness organisations, collected PET bottle caps for the School of Blind and planted trees to symbolize Grundfos employees’ commitment to sustainability.
They also brought their message of environmental sustainability to Hungarian kindergartens, where they taught children about the water circle and how to save water through fun games and guided the children through planting their own beans.On top of that, the spotlight within the company was placed on electronic waste. In order to educate colleagues on the topic of electrical and electronic waste, the company
also organized an Employee Waste Collection Week. During the week, employees were asked to bring in their old and unused electrical appliances. All collected electronic waste was then sent for recycling accordingly.
Hungary: Summer Camp
During the summer, Hungarian children are given 10 weeks of school holidays. Meanwhile, the company provides employees with 2 weeks of uninterrupted summer holidays per year. As a result, parents are unsure of what their children should do during the remaining 8 weeks and who to spend it with.
To advocate a balanced work-life, the company piloted a three-week long thematic summer camp for kids – both children of employees and orphans from a local orphanage – at two of its sites, Tatabánya/Tata and Székesfehérvár in 2017. The weeks were filled with different daily programmes, from dancing, sports to sustainability, and brought children from different backgrounds together. Friendships were formed and fun memories shared. At the end, the children were given small gifts and a ‘diploma’ for completing the camp. Through this initiative, the number of parents taking sick leave also decreased.
India: Project Thozhi
Thozhi translates to friend in Tamil. For the past few years, Thozhi has been one of the signature community involvement programmes in Grundfos India. Thozhi aims to be a friend to people with disabilities and help them to integrate into the working world. They have been collaborating with Ability Foundation, to provide preparatory training to people with disabilities, for future employment. After the training, the foundation then connects these participants with relevant hiring opportunities.
Since August 2016, they also began working with V-Excel Educational Trust, a non-profit organization that dedicates itself to educating and empowering people with special needs. Together, they started an initiative to train its students to operate factory equipment in a safe manner and produce sanitary napkins. To facilitate this training, Grundfos India provided funds for new factory equipment and facilities restructuring. Besides distributing the sanitary napkins in a local government girls’ school, a sales kiosk was set up in the Grundfos India reception to avail the product for purchase. They also provided full-time work opportunities to some of the disabled students, at our factories.
Vietnam: Project Heart to Heart
Our colleagues at Vietnam have been collaborating with Thien Phuoc Disabled Children Center for the past 3 years. The centre is a non profit residential centre that cares for 70 disabled children and orphans, who suffer from epilepsy, cerebal palsy or down syndrome. Besides meeting their healthcare needs, they also provide rehabilitation and education for these children.
The centre has always faced challenges in accessing water, as it relied on utilizing manual labour to retrieve water from a nearby well. Hence, Grundfos Vietnam decided to help them in their area of expertise, by providing and installing a water pump system in the centre. Colleagues also took a day off from work to organize an activity-filled day at the centre and bring joy to the children, along with food item donations for them.
Singapore: Pay it Forward
Having started its social responsibility initiative in 2006, Grundfos Singapore (GSI) continues its efforts to help and support local communities. “Every year, we have a team that plans and decides the company’s events, including CSR initiatives,” says Cindy Ong, Area HR Business Partner, South Asia. “We stay true to our objective, which is to help and spread our love to the elderly, to under-privileged children and to other people who are in need of support and assistance.”
The company engages in a range of activities, from supporting local farmers at an organic farm called Bollywood Veggies to Dining in the Dark, an event that helps the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped. Many of GSI’s activities involve senior citizens. “One of the challenges we have in Singapore is an ageing population,” Cindy says. “Many older people are sent to nursing homes because no one can take care of them at home. We want to play our part in that. We often go to the old-age centres and nursing homes to clean them. We also spend some time with the aged, just to talk and organise interesting activities so they do not feel lonely or neglected.”
Cindy says the company believes that encouraging employees to contribute time, effort and/or money to worthy causes helps them to develop both professionally and personally. “They also experience a sense of pride when they know that they are working for a company that cares about the community and encourages them to be passionate about worthy causes,” she says.
Cindy’s words are echoed by Anil Pammi, our Lead HR Consultant who has actively participated in various initiatives for five years or more. “Time is precious and I spend most of it on my family, friends and areas that interest me. So whenever there is an opportunity to be part of something bigger, I seize it; this is one small contribution I can make to give back to the community,” he says. Project Support Specialist, Tee Yann Shiang, who has been active in these initiatives, said: “We have benefited a lot from society and I feel that it is only right to pay it forward by giving back to society.”
In 2014, together with the YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association), around 35 employees and their families made food packages and distributed them along with household items to needy families in low-income neighborhoods. “This is by far the most memorable initiative for me. I sometimes take things for granted, but being part of such community work keeps me grounded and aware of how grateful I should be,” adds Anil.
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Why doesn't the world have a sustainable water management policy?
"We agree that water is critical to life and to civilization. But why doesn't the world have a sustainable water management policy?" Our EEWAA Regional Managing Director Okay Barutcu explains why water and energy is an inseparable pair and why the world has to find sustainable solutions for our precious source at TEDxNTU, Singapore.
(Photo & video by TEDx and TEDxNTU)