More and More Slovak Companies Prefer CSR Activities
The Business Leaders Forum, an association of responsible companies, has grown by four new members.
The Business Leaders Forum (hereinafter only BLF), an association of companies which aspire to be leaders in corporate social responsibility, is being joined by four new companies in October: Adient Slovakia s.r.o., CHR (Slovensko) a.s., dm drogerie markt, s.r.o., and Kia Motors Slovakia s.r.o.
“Companies associated in the BLF publicly declare that they want to achieve Slovakia’s sustainable development and prosperity.This means that besides their business activities, they, for example, also help develop the communities in which they operate, they seek to create a fair competition environment, or provide to their customers and suppliers added-value services,” explains Michal Kišša, the BLF’s executive director.
Together with the new member companies, the BLF’s current membership comprises 37 businesses. “We are very pleased that every year there are more and more responsible businesses in Slovakia and that our association is growing to include new companies which do business differently – ethically and sustainably.After all, the BLF’s main role is to be a model for other companies and the surroundings. Our members meet once a quarter. However, they also exchange their experience and best practice examples during specialized workshops and seminars on particular themes. Together, they create an inspiring environment and positively influence each other in responsible business activities,” adds Kišša.
Adient Slovakia’s Priorities Set by Its Employees
Adient Slovakia is a company producing child safety seats and sets for passenger cars. Within its corporate social responsibility activities, it focuses on supporting community and developing responsibility towards its employees, the environment, and its suppliers. Its community initiatives arise directly in the company’s heart, among its employees. It was the employees who set the company’s priorities in an internal survey: support for children and their talents, and environmental volunteering. Together with its employees, the company develops the community, for example, through the Christmas Wishes project. The company’s employees collect and fulfil the Christmas wishes of children from disadvantaged backgrounds. In addition, the company supports sheltered workshops by lending them their own premises for exhibitions and sales.
Also the company’s programs in workplace safety and health protection, where the company achieves excellent results by providing many training courses for employees, can serve as a model for others. The employees’ health is the company’s top priority.
Adient Slovakia follows strict rules in choosing its suppliers. Its supply chain partners are annually reviewed on the basis of a questionnaire looking into human rights, working conditions, workplace safety, and energy management. The suppliers are also part of the Supplier Efficiency Program. They are advised by energy experts from Adient Slovakia how to reduce the energy demands and improve the sustainability of their activities.
Dm Drogerie Markt and Its Entertaining Health Education
Corporate social responsibility principles are an essential part of dm drogerie markt’s philosophy and strategy. The company’s philosophy is, for example, based on the idea that the company’s development is only possible if its co-workers develop too. They can choose from a wide range of educational and developmental activities. The company has also introduced the position of an ombudsman, who supports the co-workers if there is a suspicion of their engaging in dishonest conduct.
Every year the dm drogerie markt company organizes a lot of activities to educate the public on health-related topics. One of its best-known projects is the Happy Teeth project, which uses an attractive way to teach children the basics of dental care. Other interesting projects include the DM Women’s Run, which supports being active in one’s leisure time, or the DM Sun Run, which teaches primary school children how to avoid health problems caused by high temperatures. “Easier Is Easier” is the title of a project whose aim is to reintroduce sports to primary schools. Also thanks to the company’s Help Children initiative, families in difficult life situations receive an all-year supply of nappies. The company makes its customers’ lives easier, for example, by loyalty programs, long-term low price guarantees, or a wide assortment of bio and eco products. Dm drogerie markt does not forget young people either. Its project “Education for DM Work” helps them improve their qualifications.
People as CRH (Slovensko)’s Greatest Asset
CRH (Slovensko) is a member of the CRH Group, a leading producer and supplier of construction materials and related services, who was one of the first ones in the sector to begin reporting its corporate social responsibility activities. It regularly communicates with the expert and broad public about topics of sustainability and has its activities reviewed by independent expert organizations.
In terms of sustainable development, CRH (Slovensko) focuses on four key areas: workplace safety and health protection, the environment, corporate responsibility, and people. The company is one of the biggest employers in the region. It provides its employees with interesting benefits and professional development opportunities, laying emphasis on trainings in workplace safety and health protection. In 2015 its employees attended over 4,857 training hours, and the company makes sure that its workplace safety and health protection activities aim for zero injury rates. CRH (Slovensko) also develops quality cooperation with schools and students by offering paid internships, diploma students’ support, and preparing a program for young graduates. The company also promotes the development and use of products which are in compliance with the principles of sustainability ad environmental efficiency. The company is committed to environmental protection and the highest standards of environmental management. It seeks to optimize work processes, improve recycling, reduce waste production, increase energy efficiency, and cut emissions. In 2015 it spent EUR 251,000 on environmental protection and management and invested another EUR 168,000.
CRH (Slovensko) does not forget its surroundings either. The company is a natural part of the communities living in the surroundings of its plants. It engages in active dialogue with the representatives of municipalities, for example, via the Community Advisory Board. This body collects and makes proposals for the development or improvement of the lives of communities. This year the company donated EUR 20,000 to the Our Rohožník grant program.
The Development of the Region as One of Kia Motors Slovakia’s Key Priorities
Kia Motors Slovakia has been lending a helping hand to the Žilina region, where the company operates, as well as to the surrounding municipalities in organizing cultural and sports events since 2005. In the past years the company has succeeded in starting and implementing a large number of useful projects (for example, building cyclist paths, reconstructing parks), which have helped many people and influenced affairs in the whole Žilina region. One of the most popular support mechanisms is “Employee Grant Programs”. The employees of Kia Motors Slovakia can recommend projects in which they are directly or indirectly involved and thus gain support for them. 123 projects have received such support in 2016.
Cooperation with schools constitutes another significant part of corporate social responsibility. Support of education, annual competitions, support for school projects, as well as reconstruction of school and kindergarden buildings are but a few projects the company considers highly important.
The company takes care of its employees, for example, by means of a rich social program which includes a lot of benefits. Last but not least, the car-maker has a sophisticated system of workplace safety and health protection, which serves to protect its employees’ health at work.