World Refugee Day | Companies Addressing the Displacement Crisis

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Featured this week: Accenture, Cisco, Comerica Bank, Devon Energy, Honda, IDEAL Industries, KFC (of parent company Yum! Brands, Inc.), Kyndryl, Lowe's, Microsoft Corporation, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Paramount, Raytheon Technologies, Tanger Outlets, Texas Health Resources, The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., UKG, UPS, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Wawa

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KATE behncken

Spotlight on You

Kate Behncken, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Philanthropies, published a piece titled Recognizing World Refugee Day, sharing:

"According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the global number of forcibly displaced people reached 108.4 million at the end of 2022, of which 32.5 million were refugees, a roughly 18 percent increase in the number of forcibly displaced people and 29 percent increase in refugees since 2020. Those are staggering figures.
Refugees need more than just immediate assistance – food, water, shelter, medicine – they also need to provide for their families with dignity. At Microsoft, we believe in empowering vulnerable people and communities by investing in opportunities for inclusive economic growth, and we’re proud to play a part in helping refugees rebuild their lives."

Jeff Willy of Vertex Pharmaceuticals was recently named a Top 50 LGBTQ+ Leader of Influence by San Diego Business Journal. Willy is a founding member and co-chair of the Vertex PRIDE employee resource network in San Diego. The company shared:

"Jeff champions our inclusive culture and works collaboratively and cross-functionally to ensure our San Diego Research Site is a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community. He also drives external outreach activities to support the broader San Diego community and advocates for equality and equity for all."

Companies Making Commitments to Support Refugees

Accenture is helping to welcome refugees in the communities where its teams live and work around the world, with a focus on recognizing how refugees enrich communities through their courage, strength, and talent. Accenture is partnering with Welcome.US to help lead the movement of mobilizing private sector and community support for refugee resettlement and welcoming newcomers in the United States. In the U.S. alone, Accenture activities and impacts include:
  • Hiring 39 Afghan refugees and creating referral pathways to further connect promising candidates with meaningful employment, referring more than 100 candidates to other companies.
  • Co-hosting a refugee hiring fair in Atlanta with other companies and almost 300 newcomers in attendance.
  • Supporting the Welcome Legal Alliance—a Welcome.US initiative that has already helped more than 600 applicants with asylum applications—by providing pro bono legal and consulting support.
  • Creating the Welcome Employment Exchange, in coordination with Welcome.US and Manpower, where companies have posted nearly 50,000 jobs (as of November 2022) available for newcomer job applicants.
  • Volunteering in excess of 3,000 hours by more than 700 Accenture people to donate and assemble goods for refugees, set up homes for newcomers, support asylum seekers, and more.

Cisco will offer programming and cybersecurity training in Ukrainian for 10,000 refugees. They will then be included in Cisco’s Talent Bridge Matching Engine, to connect refugees to jobs across Cisco’s ecosystem. In addition, Cisco has committed to hire refugees across Europe into a 2-year apprenticeship program at Cisco. Some of the program candidates will then be hired at the company as a customer operation manager or project specialists. These commitments build on Cisco’s efforts to train 4,000 Ukrainian refugees between March 2022 and June 2023.

KFC committed to train and hire 300 refugees, including Ukrainian refugee women, over three years across its restaurants in Europe including France, Germany, Poland, Romania, and Spain. This commitment builds on KFC’s successful refugee hiring pilots in Germany, Poland, and Romania in 2022.

Kyndryl committed to train 580 Ukrainian refugees over three years with a focus on Poland, through its two programs Kyndryl Skills Training and Kyndryl Foundations for Success, which will also offer career coaching. In addition, Kyndryl committed to hire 50 Ukrainian refugee women with a focus on Poland.

Microsoft committed to train 5,000 refugees, including Ukrainian refugee women across Europe over three years. Microsoft will do so by providing intensive IT training amongst others cyber security and digital skills, in partnership with local organizations such as Redi School, Fundacja Rozwoju Społeczeństwa Informacyjnego, and Instytut Kościuszki, and by connecting the certified refugees to partners and workforce opportunities. In addition, Microsoft and partners will offer wrap-around services such as language support, psychological support and childcare.

Novartis committed to hire 150 refugees, including Ukrainian refugee women, including across Novartis’ European operations, over three years. In addition, Novartis committed to provide at least 150 refugees, including Ukrainian refugee women, with language and cultural training, as well as training in data science, project management, marketing, and communications.

The Tripadvisor Foundation has donated over $14 million dollars and forged close partnerships with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), World Central Kitchen (WCK), and Mercy Corps, among other leading organizations.

"We make it a priority to engage our employees and the wider travel community to support and welcome those who have been displaced."

The Wawa Welcome America festival celebrated diversity with dance, art, food, and a focus on welcoming refugees.

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More News in Corporate Social Responsibility

Paramount and other media companies are once again coming together to promote Vote Early Day (Thursday, October 26, 2023), a nonpartisan movement that inspires voters to avoid Election Day obstacles and share their voices by voting early. In 2022, national partners like Patagonia, Lyft, The League of Women Voters, MTV, Snapchat, YMCA, and NAACP helped amplify the message, while celebrities and influencers like Stephen Curry, Viola Davis, and Reese Witherspoon joined thousands of everyday voters in posting about the holiday to their shared followers. The result? The total number of Americans voting early in person or by mail grew by 5,766,671 votes in 2022 versus the last midterm election in 2018, marking a 4.6% increase.

This year, Vote Early Day partners across the country are working to build on this momentum to ensure the voices of every American are heard. They’re asking fellow members of the corporate citizenship community to share this message with community partners and other stakeholders. Watch Paramount's PSA to learn more.

Lowe's recently committed $6 million to support home repair and home rehab projects undertaken by local Habitat for Humanity International affiliates over the next two years. The partnership will finance four grants addressing health and safety needs in owner-occupied homes. This year, 75 local Habitat affiliates will use this funding to complete more than 400 projects across the U.S., including critical home repairs, home performance improvements, community revitalization, repairs and modifications.

“Over the course of our 20-year partnership with Habitat for Humanity, we have seen firsthand the transformative power that critical home repairs can have on a community when people can continue to live in their homes,” said Janice Dupre, Lowe’s executive vice president of human resources. “Lowe’s is committed to making homes better for all, and we are grateful to Habitat for Humanity and all of our associate volunteers for their dedication to improving access to safe and affordable housing nationwide.”

Since their national partnership began in 2003, Lowe’s and Habitat have worked together to help more than 18,000 people build or improve a place to call home. Lowe’s has committed nearly $90 million to help families improve their living conditions, provided donated products to local Habitat affiliates and engaged associate volunteers nationwide.

As part of Honda's efforts to promote equality in its workforce and society, the company released its second annual Inclusion & Diversity Report, "Inclusion: Together, We Will Bring the Future." The report includes company goals through 2030 and progress to date, as well as key sentiments from Honda leadership.

"The second annual Inclusion & Diversity report illustrates our unwavering commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment and our ongoing dedication toward progress and growth as an organization," stated Yvette Hunsicker, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility and Inclusion & Diversity. "By supporting inclusion and diversity initiatives that promote equity within our company and in the communities where our associates live and work, we can bring the future."

The UPS Foundation
recently released its 2022 Social Impact Report, highlighting the foundation's commitment to healthy communities, humanitarian relief, equity and economic empowerment, volunteerism and local community engagement, as well as fostering a green, more sustainable world.

"I’m proud to say that with every effort undertaken by the Foundation, we’re changing lives and delivering what matters by using our best assets to educate and inspire the change we want to see," said Nikki Clifton, President, Social Impact and the UPS Foundation.

Texas Health Resources recently released its annual report, providing a high-level overview of key social responsibility programs, commitments, and goals, as well as progress being made to enhance its workplace, environment of care, and community.

"As a faith-based, nonprofit health system, Texas Health has a mission to care for all in our community and keep North Texans healthy," shared Barclay Berdan, CEO. "We conducted our triennial Community Health Needs Assessment in 2022, which guides our efforts to fund and deliver programs that address the most pressing needs. Our communities remain impacted by the lasting effects of the pandemic and continue to struggle with food and housing insecurity, mental health, substance use disorders and health inequities."

The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. was a proud presenting sponsor at Black Enterprise Magazine’s 2023 Women of Power Summit celebrating more than 1,600 women from across the U.S. as they gathered to network, learn from one another, and recognize select women who have made incredible strides throughout their career. The company sent more than 20 leaders to represent ELC.

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Tanger Outlets hosted environmental initiatives across all U.S. locations throughout the spring. Tanger partnered with local organizations on a diverse range of events, including:

  • Tree plantings at centers and throughout local communities
  • Educational programs at local schools  
  • Biodiversity workshops (featuring Tanger's popular honeybee hives, which have been installed on the rooftops of several Tanger shopping centers) 
  • An upcycled fashion show 
  • Litter clean-ups on highways and beaches 
"This Earth Day, Tanger commemorates our continued progress toward ambitious sustainability goals through educational activations in the communities we serve," said Leslie Swanson, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Tanger. "Our commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability is woven into the operations and development of our centers, as well as our tenant partnerships, in an effort to mitigate climate change. We are proud to live Earth Day's mission, 'Invest In Our Planet,' every day."
csr summit

Members on the Move

A warm welcome to BCCCC's newest members, UKG and IDEAL Industries!

We look forward to having these teams join our corporate citizenship community.

Three more CSR professionals have enrolled for the 2023 Fall Summit, happening in Charlotte, NC...

Corporate social responsibility professionals from Comerica Bank, Devon Energy, and Raytheon Technologies are newly registered to take part in this unique learning and networking event, which offers a fast track to corporate citizenship certification.

If you're interested in earning your CSR certification, read more about the upcoming Fall 2023 Summit, now enrolling.