SWIFT works with and for financial communities across the globe. We know this is a privilege as well as a responsibility, and we are committed to making a positive impact wherever we can.
We integrate social, environmental, ethical, and human rights concerns into our operational strategy, and strive to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Our CSR programme covers several of them, and in particular SDG 1 No poverty and SDG 4 Quality Education.
SWIFT has been sponsoring charities while organising events since 2007, with a special focus on education and under-privileged children. In 2017, ECPAT in Sweden, Pestalozzi Kinderdorf in Switzerland, Cliniclowns in The Netherlands, Working Well in the UK, Face for Children in Need in Egypt, Evergreen in Canada, Breakthrough in the US, Children’s Society in Singapore and Many Rivers in Australia and have been among our beneficiaries. Additionally, we have supported SOS Children’s Villages in China, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Ivory Coast, Mexico, Romania, Russia, Spain and Tanzania. This long lasting partner of SWIFT works to meet the needs and protect the interests and rights of children.
At this Business Forum in Zurich, we are happy to provide financial support to the Pestalozzi Children’s Village. Founded in 1946, Pestalozzi Children’s Village started accommodating European war orphans in Switzerland following World War II. Today the village in Switzerland is a venue for intercultural exchange that allows young people from different backgrounds to meet, thereby engendering an understanding of different cultures.
It welcomes an ever increasing number of unaccompanied young asylum seekers arriving in Europe, fleeing crisis areas and warzones. In its work abroad, the foundation is active in eleven countries worldwide advocating access to education for 120,500 underprivileged children. SWIFT’s donation will be dedicated to the European Youth Forum in the Pestalozzi Children's Village which offers young, dedicated people a platform to exchange with peers from other countries on the foundations of a peaceful world.
At Sibos 2017 in Toronto, we financially supported Sketch, an art platform for poverty stricken young people and at Sibos 2018 in Sydney, we will donate to the Girls and Boys brigade, helping children in need by providing education, recreation and activities that build life skills as a foundation for a brighter future.
In line with SDGs 1 and 4, we believe that obtaining a quality education is the foundation to improving people’s lives and sustainable development. Amongst many initiatives, we support projects of the Teach for All network in Argentina, Bangladesh, Belgium, Colombia, Ghana, and Nigeria, aiming at reducing education inequities through the development of transformational leadership programmes. SWIFT also supports education through the Student Scholarship Programme in South Africa and 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.
We also contribute to financial education and inclusion initiatives as they are close to our business. 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, Tanzania and Vietnam. Additionally, we support the Phakamani Foundation in South Africa and the Mann Deshi Foundation in India with grants.
We also strive to respond to needs arising from humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters through corporate donations, voluntary work and donation-matching campaigns. We supported the Red Cross, helping victims of the 2017 hurricanes in the Caribbean and contributed to rebuild a school in Barbuda. Additionally, we donated to the emergency fund of Doctors without Borders.
Employee engagement is one of our key priorities, with over 21% 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 compensate carbon emissions caused by work-related travel and events, and we continue our partnership with WeForest, 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.9