150 EMEA HQ employees, five NGOs, and a whole day’s voluntary work.
Over 150 employees at the headquarters of Whirlpool EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) will be leaving suit and tie at home for a day to don the clothing of voluntary workers. This event will be the Company’s first Community Day, an opportunity for anyone interested to devote their working hours to voluntary work for five local non profit organizations.
Banco Alimentare Lombardia, Fondazione Mission Bambini (in partnership with L’Amico Charly), Fondazione AVSI (in partnership con Farsi Prossimo), ATLHA and social co-operative Bee.4 (operating at the Bollate Reclusion Centre), are the five entities involved in a project that will be extended to all the countries in the EMEA region in which the Group operates.
On this first Community Day, in line with the Company’s social responsibility policy, employees’ voluntary work will be supporting the mission of the aforesaid organizations to:
- raise awareness of the need for responsible food consumption and the avoidance of food waste;
- help families in need to find safe and sustainable housing;
- promote employment for young people.
Whirlpool volunteers will be making their contribution with manual labour (eg. decorating, gardening) and will interact with the staff of the organizations and the beneficiaries of the projects.
“We’ve always been actively engaged in promoting a model of social commitment and sustainable development, wherever we operate,” comments Karim Bruneo, Corporate Responsibility and Government Relations Manager, Whirlpool EMEA. “It’s source of pride for us that Community Day has been launched here in Milan, where we have the headquarters of the entire EMEA region. The project is perfectly in line with our philosophy and our approach to business, and with the expectations of our stakeholders.”
Whirlpool Corporation has always promoted a business model in line the expectations of all its stakeholders. Its CSR and sustainability commitment aims to create a virtuous system based on initiatives to guarantee and safeguard welfare and respond to the needs of the environment and communities wherever the Company operates. This commitment translates on a daily basis into the creation of innovative and low environmental impact technological solutions and more efficient management of production and distribution processes.
Associazione Banco Alimentare della Lombardia “Danilo Fossati” is part of Rete Banco Alimentare, comprising 21 organizations across Italy and Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus. Its mission is to recover surplus food from the agro-food industry and distribute it free of charge to charities that support the poor. In 2016, through its aid to 1,259 facilities of partner charities, Banco Alimentare della Lombardia helped 208,882 people in need by distributing 15,193 tonnes of food, the equivalent of over 83,000 meals a day.
“We’re delighted to host Whirlpool employees in our association as 1-day volunteers,” says Marco Magnelli, head of Banco Alimentare Lombardia. “It’s very good to see a big corporation like Whirlpool doing something concrete to help the less fortunate.”
Fondazione Mission Bambini was set up in 2000 to help poor, sick and unschooled children in Italy and elsewhere in the world. In Milan’s “Zone 9” in 2016, together with 14 partners (including L’amico Charly), it launched “Nove+”, a community welfare project that combats school dropout and helps young people find jobs. It is sustained by Fondazione Cariplo.
“We’re happy to be partnered by Whirlpool in our efforts,” says Goffredo Modena, chairman of Mission Bambini. “On Community Day, the company’s employees will help us clean the outdoor spaces of the ‘L’amico Charly’ after-school facility, and in the afternoon they’ll give the students a hand with their study work. Corporate voluntary work is a great thing: it brings business and communities closer, it promotes the value of solidarity among employees and is visible proof to young people in need that there are people out there who care for them.”
Fondazione AVSI is a UN and EU accredited non-governmental organization set up in 1972 and engaged in some 130 development co-operation projects in 30 countries across Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia. AVSI’s 1,200 strong staff operate in the main sectors of cooperation, reaching 2.6 million direct beneficiaries.
“An initiative like this shows us once again that the only way to resist the massive provocations we’re being faced with these days, including the “migration” issue, is that of collaboration between the various entities: NGOs, the private sector, voluntary organizations like Farsi Prossimo, and the public sector. But all this is only possible if individuals, in the first place, put themselves on the line. Like Whirlpool’s volunteers,” explains Giampaolo Silvestri, General Secretary, Fondazione AVSI.
ATLHA APS was one of the first associations, some 30 years ago now, to have believed in the importance of leisure time in the lives of people with disabilities. Hundreds of families have been attracted by ATLHA’s numerous activities: exchanges with other countries, integrated summer camps, 1-day workshops, adapted sports activities, accessible playgrounds, conferences and cultural events, autonomy courses. Alongside these long-standing activities, the theme of inclusive employment is becoming increasingly important: it promotes on-the-job training and apprenticeships based on an inclusive staff model. Launched in 2015, the Cascina Bellaria project is leading ATLHA’s drive to create new opportunities for the employment and integration of disabled people.
“For ATLHA, Community Day is a privileged opportunity to promote knowledge and exchange. Needs can be met by new human resources stepping forward, and this experience is being organized to the principle of #anchioposso, which became the association’s official hashtag,” in the words of ATLHA APS president Fabiola Beretta.
Bee.4 Altre Menti is a social co-operative set up in Milan in 2013 to provide work for underprivileged categories at high risk of social exclusion, to enable them to learn trades and become active players in society. Bee.4’s work is based on respect for the individual and the environment. Its projects involve prisoners and people suffering hardship, and it also organizes activities focusing on sustainability, solidarity and energy saving. It is running four projects at the Milano-Bollate Reclusion Center: in the male section, 2 contact centres and 1 workshop for servicing and replacement of coffee machine components, and in the female section 1 workshop for finishing and quality control of coffee machine components.
“This is an extremely important opportunity for our co-operative. We’re really proud to be able to show society the work that goes on in prisons thanks to the commitment of a big corporation like Whirlpool,” comments Giuseppe Cantatore, head of Attività Produttive Bee.4 Altre Menti.