SWIFT in action – Our Corporate Social Responsibility engagement in Moscow
We integrate social, environmental, ethical, and human rights concerns into our operational strategy. Education, diversity, sustainability, community outreach — these issues are important to us, and as such are embedded in our company mind-set.
SWIFT has been sponsoring charities while organising events in the region since 2007, with a special focus on education and under-privileged children. Pestalozzi Children’s Village in Switzerland, ECPAT in Norway, Working Well Trust in the UK, the Daily Bread Food Bank in Canada and NorSA in South Africa have been among our beneficiaries. Additionally, we have supported SOS Children’s Villages in Germany, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Syria, Nigeria and Mauritius, the Philippines, Taiwan, India, China and Mexico City. This long lasting partner of SWIFT works to meet the needs and protect the interests and rights of children. At Sibos 2016 in Geneva, we financially helped the Anouk Foundation, whose mission is to create soothing environments for children and adults staying in hospitals, special needs institutions and nursing homes.
At this Moscow Business Forum, we are happy to provide financial support to the SOS Children’s Village of Tomilino. Founded in 1996, this village now includes eleven family houses, where up to 72 children can find a loving home. All SOS mothers are trained to provide a stable and loving home to children who have lost parental care. The children attend the nearby kindergartens and schools, and take part in local cultural activities. As the children grow older and are ready to leave their SOS families, they move into the SOS Youth Programme which has been in operation since autumn 2002. While they undergo training or attend further education, the young people are guided on their path to an independent life as, they learn to shoulder responsibility and make their own decisions.
Education is at the heart of our CSR programme. Our partnership with the Teach for All network is global, with financial support to projects in Argentina, Bangladesh, Belgium, Columbia, Ghana, and Nigeria, aiming at reducing education inequities through the development of transformational leadership programmes. SWIFT also supports education through the Nairobits Trust in Kenya, training less privileged young people in web design, IT and creative multimedia, helping them to enhance their employment and entrepreneurship opportunities, WAPA International, which raises funds to support local organisations helping to reintegrate child victims of war; and the Digital Leadership Institute, which promotes greater participation of girls and women in strategic, innovative ESTEAM (entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) sectors.
In addition, SWIFT supports micro-finance and financial inclusion initiatives in emerging countries, as they are close to our business. We sponsor the Phakamani Foundation in South Africa and the Mann Deshi Foundation in India with grants. Additionally, SWIFT partners with Fundación Capital, to finance the development and launch of tablet-based financial education apps aimed at supporting young people and women in Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Tanzania.
To the best of our abilities, we seek to respond to needs arising from humanitarian emergencies through corporate donations, voluntary work and donation-matching campaigns. Recently, SWIFT made donations to the Red Cross to help Syrian war victims. We also supported victims of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti and the earthquake in Italy through direct donations and by supporting Doctors without Borders and Save the Children.
Employee engagement is one of our key priorities, with over 24% of staff actively engaged in various associations.
At SWIFT we care for the environment by implementing measures aimed at reducing our cooperative’s carbon emissions. We use renewable energy wherever feasible and we compensate carbon emissions caused by work-related travel and events. We carry out waste sorting and waste reduction campaigns and promote the use of electric and hybrid cars and electric bikes amongst staff. Protecting biodiversity remains important to SWIFT. In 2016, the three beehives located at our headquarters in Belgium produced 80 kg of honey. The proceeds from the honey sale were donated to local bee protection associations. SWIFT financed the planting of 130.000 trees in partnership with WeForest in India, an NGO devoted to reforestation of bio-diverse and indigenous forests in tropical countries while providing jobs for women and enabling them to send their children to school.