united nations

WestRock paper and packaging is a giant company of sort – with a revenue of more than 14 billion USD, the company has been exhibiting good financial health in recent years. For WestRock, business sustainability is much more than a financial goal, reason why the company is constantly working with its supply chain, customers and communities located on the company’s factory site. We interviewed Cynthia Wolgien, WestRock Corporate Communications and Social Responsibility Manager in Brazil about the company’s community programs and vision for the future.

“Learning with the Tree” is a project which trains public school teachers with UN Agenda themes

(Versão em português abaixo – Portuguese version below)

– Tell us a bit about WestRock’s involvement in sustainability projects.

I have been working in the area of external communication and social responsibility for six years and at WestRock the two areas are closely linked. Sustainability has always been in our practices and, as the world has progressed, the company has evolved with it. In recent years, it started to work more thoroughly with the various dimensions of sustainability and this year will be the first to launch a sustainability report, aligned with the global report that the company launched last year. In Brazil, our company is privately held and has no obligation to file a sustainability report on investor standards. So we have the freedom to speak to other stakeholders, communities and clients in our report. What guides our work are the three pillars we call PPP: People, Planet and Performance.

– What are the regions of the country where your CSR programs are concentrated?

The vast majority of CSR actions are around the company’s units in Brazil, more specifically in Santa Catarina and Paraná Southern states, where we have our forests. With these communities we take special care, we run surveys and studies so that our social projects impact where they are needed most. But throughout the country we have at least 18 voluntary initiatives.

– Could you name one project of major relevance?

This year we are working with communities’ needs in a deep and smart way, in order to understand their needs and to know how they fit into what the company believes before implementing programs. One of the initiatives is “Learning with the Tree Project”, which is in its 23rd edition and trains public school teachers with themes that have always been related to the UN agenda. Two years ago, we launched the program with the 17 sustainable development goals, to present them more generally. Last year, we worked on goal 15 and land life, and this year we talked about water, goal 6. Approximately 200 teachers are trained each year, many of them coming from poor municipalities, without access to didactic material to implement the projects. So the company provides not only content, but also promotes debate and donates the material to the schools. Our goal is to reach out to children so they grow more aware and environmentally responsible. It is long-term, and they take this knowledge home, being agents of transformation and questioning.

– How can sustainability be good business?

Within the PPP philosophy, all these actions will give sustainability to the business over time. Performance is the financial health that, globally, is aimed at the investor. In Brazil, we think of performance as a profitable business that is sustainable to pay suppliers and reinvest in what we believe in. Our commitment goes beyond our operations – we have a code of conduct for suppliers to meet the goals of integrity, employee well-being and safety.

– What is your vision of corporate social responsibility within the company?

Our desire is to continue to be one of the companies that innovates and brings solutions to the customer but thinking from the forest point of view, passing through the paper mill and arriving in cardboard, which is our biggest business. We want to innovate in a responsible and committed way, in order to to minimize impact. In addition, we seek to involve employees, suppliers, customers and communities, to work always in a more holistic sustainability way.

Horyou, the social network for social good, supports social innovative initiatives that help the world to reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Horyou is the organizer of SIGEF, The Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum. Be the Change, be Horyou!

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Entrevista em português

Responsabilidade social corporativa define a sustentabilidade nos negócios

Professores participantes do Projeto Aprendendo com a Árvore (PACA)

A empresa de papel e embalagens WestRock é uma gigante em seu mercado – com mais de 14 bilhões de faturamento global, a companhia vem apresentando boa saúde financeira nos últimos anos. A sustentabilidade nos negócios está intimamente ligada à preocupação com a sua cadeia de fornecedores, clientes e comunidades nos entornos das fábricas da empresa. Entrevistamos Cynthia Wolgien, gerente de Comunicação Corporativa e Responsabilidade Social da WestRock no Brasil, que fala sobre os programas comunitários da companhia e sua visão de futuro.

– Conte um pouco sobre o envolvimento da WestRock com projetos de sustentabilidade.

Trabalho há seis anos à frente da área de comunicação externa e responsabilidade social e na WestRock as duas áreas estão intimamente ligadas. A sustentabilidade sempre esteve nas nossas práticas e, à medida que o mundo foi avançando, a empresa foi evoluindo com elas. Nos últimos anos passou a pensar de maneira mais centralizada nas diversas dimensões da sustentabilidade e esse ano será o primeiro que lançará relatório de sustentabilidade, alinhado com relatório global que a empresa lançou no ano passado. No Brasil, nossas empresa é de capital fechado e não tem obrigação de lançar relatório de sustentabilidade nos padrões para investidores. Por isso temos a liberdade de falar para outros stakeholders, comunidades, clientes, sem o viés da obrigação. O que norteia o nosso trabalho são os três pilares que chamamos de PPP: Pessoas, Planeta e Performance.

– Quais são as regiões do País onde estão concentrados os programas de RSC?

A grande maioria das ações de RSC estão no entorno das unidades da empresa no Brasil, mais especificamente em Santa Catarina e Paraná, onde temos nossas florestas. Com essas comunidades temos um cuidado especial, fazemos levantamentos e estudos para que nossos projetos sociais tenham impacto onde elas mais precisam. Mas em todo o país temos pelo menos 18 iniciativas voluntárias.

– Você poderia citar um dos projetos de maior relevância na área de sustentabilidade?

Esse ano estamos trabalhando com as necessidades das comunidades de maneira profunda e de forma inteligente, para entender seus anseios e saber como eles se encaixam com o que a empresa acredita antes de implementar programas. Uma das iniciativas é o Projeto Aprendendo com a Árvore (PACA), que está em sua 23a edição e capacita professores da rede pública com temas que sempre estiveram relacionadas com a agenda da ONU. Há dois dois anos, fizemos o lançamento do programa com os 17 objetivos de desenvolvimento sustentável, para apresentá-los de maneira mais geral. No ano passado, trabalhou vida terrestre, objetivo 15, e esse ano falou da água, objetivo 6. No total, aproximadamente 200 professores são capacitados por ano, muitos deles provenientes de municípios carentes, sem acesso a material didático para implementar os projetos. Então a empresa providencia não só o conteúdo, mas promove o debate e doa o material para implementação do projeto na escola. Nosso objetivo é chegar às crianças, para que elas cresçam mais conscientes e ambientalmente responsáveis. É longo prazo, e que levem esse conhecimento para casa, sendo agentes de transformação e questionamento.

– Por que a sustentabilidade pode ser um bom negócio?

Dentro da filosofia do PPP, todas essas ações darão sustentabilidade ao negócio ao longo do tempo. A performance é a saúde financeira que, globalmente, é voltada ao investidor. No Brasil, pensamos performance como ter um negócio rentável que seja sustentável para pagar fornecedores e reinvestir no que acredita. Nosso compromisso vai além das nossas operações – temos um código de conduta para fornecedores para que eles cumpram metas de integridade, bem-estar dos funcionários e segurança.

– Qual é a sua visão de futuro para a responsabilidade social corporativa na empresa?

Nosso desejo é continuar sendo uma das empresas que mais inova e traz soluções para o cliente mas pensando desde o ponto de vista da floresta, passando pela fábrica de papel e chegando no papelão ondulado, que é nosso maior negócio. Queremos inovar de maneira responsável e comprometida, para minimizar impactos. Além disso, buscamos envolver funcionários, fornecedores, clientes e comunidades, para trabalhar sempre com esse viés de sustentabilidade mais holístico.

Horyou apoia as iniciativas de inovação social que ajudam o mundo a alcançar os Objetivos de Desenvolvimento Sustentável, e é organizadora do SIGEF, o Fórum de Inovação Social e Ética Global. Seja a mudança, seja Horyou!

The Sustainable Development Agenda of the United Nations for 2030 has been staging since 2015 a series of goals to guide the world on the path of sustainability with the aim of eradicating poverty, improving living conditions and take immediate action in the conservation of the environment. Thus, each of the 17 SDGs support and promote a specific field that private, public and civil sectors are committed to empower and represent.

SDGs


The scope of these objectives reflects not only an advance in the development of each country or region of the world, but also demonstrates the synergies and international cooperation willing to act for the social good. But how can you contribute individually to these initiatives?

Here are a few tips:

1. Support them in social networks
Social networks like Horyou allow you to share projects and actions related to the scope of some sustainable development objective and allow other international organizations to help you achieve your goals, either through funding or promoting visibility.

2. Improve your visibility
Always use #SDG (as well as #ODD, #ODS, or other hashtag, depending on your language of choice) in any publication on social media, so that the support you give to a certain cause or project is visible. Thus, it will be easier to find people supporting the same objective and the probability of achieving future connections will be greater.

3. Join new challenges
Lose the fear and support new initiatives like the #HoryouLightChallenge whereby you can share your positive actions in favor of sustainable development as well as in your daily routine.


4. Turn your passion into help

Inspire your friends


Identify which of the sustainable development objectives is aligned more with your routines, habits and work and share innovative ways to contribute to solutions aimed at the proposed goals.

5. Be an ambassador for your goal of preference
Share with your community and inspire your circle of friends to support Sustainable Development Goals through their daily routines.

In this way, every one of us can contribute a bit to the global agenda of sustainable development and have by 2030 a healthier planet and better living conditions for us and future generations.

 

 

Written by Sueyfer de la Torre

 

Through time, the meaning of philanthropy has evolved from loving people to allocating private resources that help them tackle the challenges of an improved quality of life. Since the 1930s, philanthropy has continued to evolve through to the mid-twentieth century, in resonance with the major events of the period. Donors around the world are more aware of the challenges that different communities are facing every day.

Source: CNBC

While still remaining true to the memory of the great past practices, philanthropy today is more organized, professional, and global than ever before. Philanthropists work to improve and strengthen communities, support the arts, build schools and raise educational standards, combat epidemics, and provide relief to the victims of war and natural disasters; and they do so in a variety of ways. Individuals make donations and volunteer action. Neighborhood organizations take on local and global projects. Foundations support cutting-edge research. Corporations give back to their communities.

In Asia, the state of Singapore has been a benchmark for philanthropy initiatives for which many of its foundations have helped to develop a thriving environment, finding new ways to reach to people in need and, moreover, empower them to speak out for themselves and pursue the Sustainable Development Goals. Let’s have a look at the philanthropy foundations advancing these challenges in Singapore.

#SDG4 – Philanthropy advancing quality education: The Lien Foundation

The Lien Foundation was founded by Dr. Lien Ying Chow whose passion for education and commitment to the community led him to donate almost half of his wealth to help the deprived. The foundation supports and advocates early childhood education and elder care in Singapore, as well as access to clean water & sanitation in developing countries.

#SDG 3 and #SDG4 – Philanthropy advancing quality education and well-being: The Lee Foundation

One of Singapore’s oldest philanthropy institutions, the Lee Foundation, was founded by business tycoon Lee Kong Chian in 1952. A family foundation, it has since given nearly USD$1 billion charity, with tens of millions given annually to almost all sectors, including education, health, welfare, and religious groups.

#SDG8 – Philanthropy advancing decent work: ACSEP

The Asia Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy (ACSEP) is a research centre situated within the National University of Singapore Business School. It aims to advance the understanding and impactful practice of social entrepreneurship and philanthropy throughout Asia by focusing on research and education (NUS Business School, 2016). Its goal is to be a resource and knowledge hub that connects those who have the ability and desire to do good with those in need. The center also engages in collaborative efforts with academic institutions, government agencies, corporations, non-profit organizations, and social enterprises.

#SDG17 – Philanthropy advancing partnerships for the goals: NVPC

The National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) is a non-profit organization that aims to promote a culture of giving in Singapore by catalyzing development in volunteerism and philanthropy. NVPC facilitates partnerships with non-profit organizations, corporations, public sector bodies, and individuals in order to build Singapore’s giving ecosystem. NVPC also conducts research on giving motivations and behaviors, while it also creates roadmaps and landscapes of the giving sector, and aspires to be the go-to-place for giving.

The commitment and synergies that these foundations are creating towards the sustainable development goals demonstrate the progress on the oriented focus to look for new ways to help people in need by leveraging the giving networks to magnify the scope of philanthropy today. Horyou is proud to support disruptive Philanthropy through its platform, events and ever-growing community of innovators and social good doers, from Singapore to Japan, in all Asia and beyond.

Singapore is the host city for the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum (SIGEF), organized by Horyou, the social network for social good. The event will be held in September 2018.

About Horyou

Horyou connects more than 250,000 Internet users to Non-Profit Organisations, Artists, and Innovators in 180 countries. Horyou organizes international events in resonance with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, such as the Horyou Village in Cannes during the Film Festival and the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum, SIGEF. Horyou recently launched Spotlight, the first global social currency supporting economic inclusion worldwide, embedded into the social network. Horyou aims to connect CSR and innovative companies to its diverse community of change-makers worldwide.

Written by Sueyfer de la Torre

 

The Asian city was recently named top country for meeting UN health goals and has already achieved 4 of the 17 sustainable development goals. Here’s the story.

Singapore has already achieved 4 of the 17 sustainable development goals

The year is 2015. A coalition of countries, Singapore included, have adopted the UN Sustainable Development Goals and two years later 43 of them presented Voluntary National Reviews in which they committed to specific goals. Despite the regional and national commitments, many countries are still far from reaching the voluntary goals they set for 2030 but some are taking a straightforward path. Singapore is one of them.

According to the SDG Index and Dashboard Report, Singapore has already reached four out of the 17 SDGs (1, 7, 8 and 9), the highest number in all South and East Asia. The city-state is also closer than any other country to meeting health-related targets, according to a global health review published by The Lancet Medical Journal last September. Singapore is now placed at the 61st position out of 167 countries in the SDG Index.

Its Achilles’ heel is the import of emissions, including nitrogen and carbon dioxide, which is common in small countries due to their need to import and trade goods. In order to improve this scenario, Singapore should whether diversify its economy or set trade policies so the imported goods would be more sustainable.

As for the other SDGs, Singapore is clearly investing in reducing gender inequalities, promoting education and strengthening institutions. The literacy rate has now reached 99,9% and the rate of female labor participation in the workforce is over 76%. The quality of institutions and the safety of the population is one of the highest in the world.

The evolution is ongoing. The city is making an effort to host more events related to the SDGs, such as the Unleash Innovation Lab, next May, and the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum, SIGEF 2018, Horyou’s main SDGs event, next September. In addition to bringing diversity and innovation, the events help the city to become known as an SDG-friendly place and a hub for ideas and actions to attain the goals.

Le rêve de ne plus voir de mineurs incarcérés dans les prisons camerounaises a été le moteur de création de l’Association d’assistance à l’integration des enfants défavorisés (AAIED). Nouvelle et très active organisation sur notre plateforme, AAIED travaille sur des projets de sensibilisation et d’éducation des jeunes dans l’éspoir de leur construire un meilleur avenir. Horyou Blog a interviewé Gaëlle Caline, la fondatrice d’AAIED.

Discussion éducative avec les mineurs incarcérés sur les dangers de la drogue la mauvaise compagnie et le vol

Qu’est-ce qui vous a inspirée à créer votre organisation ?

Ayant grandit dans une ville au Cameroun, j’ai été toujours entourée d’enfants vivant dans la rue, des sans abris; et la grande majorité se nourrissait chez moi. Nous étions comme une famille ! Quand ils se faisaient arrêter, j’allais leur rendre visite dans le centre pénitencier avec de la nourriture. J’ai donc découvert ce milieu en 2008. J’ai longtemps longtemps travaillé dans les orphelinats, mais je prends plus plaisir à travailler dans le milieux carcéral parce qu’il y a plein de choses à faire dans les prisons de mon pays.

Eclairez-nous sur la situation des mineurs incarcerés dans votre pays et parlez-nous des projets que vous développez.

Au Cameroun, il n’y pas de département séparé pour les mineurs. La plupart des mineurs sont incarcérés à cause de leurs addiction à la drogue. Actuellement, nous travaillons à la prison de Foumban et à la prison de Douala. À Foumban, nous avons eu à traiter un certain nombre de problèmes comme l’alphabétisation. Les mineurs de cette prison ne savent ni lire ni écrire et ne font rien de leur journée. Notre objectif dans cette prison c’est de créer une école. Quant à la prison de Douala, elle est la plus vaste de la région. Notre rôle c’est d’assister juridiquement les mineurs et les informer des procédures légales. Notre expérience montre que beaucoup de mineurs sont carrément oubliés dans nos prisons. A leur sortie, nous avons deux options : les intégrer dans leurs familles respectives ou les placer dans une institution. À cause de leur addiction, mon but c’est de combattre ce fléau en invitant les jeunes de certains établissements à assister à des séminaires que j’organise dans les prisons pour qu’ils voient de leurs yeux les dégâts de la drogue.

Projet Arbre de Noel

Quels sont vos défis principaux en 2018 ?

Il y en a plusieurs, comme la création de l’école dans la prison centrale de Foumban et l’instauration d’une caravane dans toutes les prisons en invitant les jeunes des établissements scolaires à une discussion éducative donc le thème est l’impact de la drogue, de la mauvaise compagnie et du vol sur les adolescents. Nous avons aussi l’objectif de créer un cours de droit des enfants sur un trimestre. Enfin, comme tous les ans, il y a le défi de faire un arbre de Noël pour les jeunes.

Vous êtes une nouvelle organisation dans notre communauté Horyou. Partagez votre espoir et vous plans pour notre plateforme !

J’ai besoin d’une grande visibilité sur la plateforme. Cela fait 7 ans que nous existons sans partenaires, sans sponsors, sans visibilité. J’attends beaucoup de la plateforme Horyou ! Notre combat, nous le menons avec amour et passion !

L’organisation Adelarte travaille pour l’autosuffisance et l’éducation des communautés vulnérables en Colombie. Particulièrement active sur les éthnies indigènes, Adelarte dévéloppe, en partenariat avec les communautés locales, des solutions durables et soutenables, en utilisant l’art et la culture. Interview avec la présidente Marline Fayollet.

Elèves du Centro Etnoeducativo Numero Doce de La Guajira, dans la communauté de Muurai, Colombie

Racontez-nous un peu sur votre histoire et vos principaux projets.

Fondée en février 2017, Adelarte a pour objet de construire, au travers de l’art, des solutions locales, durables et soutenables pour faire face aux enjeux sociétaux mondiaux. Nous constituons des équipes multidisciplinaires de volontaires internationaux qui exécutent des missions de développement durable avec des communautés vulnérables en utilisant l’art comme vecteur de changement. Durant l’année 2017, en coopération avec des associations colombiennes et selon les priorités identifiées par les communautés wayuu bénéficiaires, nous avons monté un projet ayant pour but d’offrir de meilleures conditions d’éducation, d’augmenter les possibilités d’autosuffisance, de contribuer au maintien de la culture wayuu et de permettre le développement personnel de chacun, qu’il soit wayuu ou volontaire.

Quelle est la situation actuelle des communautés wayuu et de quel type de support ont-elles besoin ?

Les communautés identifiées en 2017 sont celles de Loma Fresca 2 et Muurai. Elles appartiennent à l’éthnie Wayuu dont l’organisation est matrilinéaire et vivent d’une économie mixte basée sur l’élevage et le pâturage caprin, le maraîchage, l’artisanat et la pêche. Les wayuu vivent dans la péninsule de La Guajira, l’une des plus pauvres de Colombie. C’est une région sèche et aride, presque uniquement recouverte de sable, constamment balayée par les alizées marins et connaissant une longue période de sécheresse qui a tendance à s’accentuer avec le phénomène El Niño. La végétation y est très pauvre, l’accès à l’eau potable compliqué et la corruption qui y fait rage a rongé, entre autre, le système éducatif. A Muurai, pour que les enfants puissent étudier dans de bonnes conditions, il manque des salles de classe, des toilettes, des cantines équipées, mais aussi de l’eau potable pour s’hydrater et de l’électricité.

Pourquoi favorisez-vous l’éducation artistique et culturelle ?

L’association mise sur l’art pour aller de l’avant, d’où son nom Adelarte une contraction de Adelante con el arte (En avant avec l’art). En effet, l’art n’a pas de frontières et offre un terrain de dialogue qui dépasse les limites du langage. Il est capteur d’attention et facilitateur d’implication. C’est un vecteur d’expérimentation collective et de développement personnel qui stimule l’estime de soi. Nous utilisons la musique et la peinture pour motiver les membres des communautés à s’impliquer lors des activités de construction. Nous montons également une pièce de théâtre basée sur les contes ancestraux et animons la radio étudiante de notre partenaire dans le but de valoriser les cultures, donner envie aux futures générations de s’exprimer dans leur langue, ainsi qu’en espagnol, et de leur donner confiance.

Êtes-vous engagés pour les Objectifs de Dévéloppement Durable de l’ONU? Lesquels?

Nous nous engageons sur plusieurs objectifs, notamment les 4, 6, 7, 10 et 17.

Adelarte est un nouveau membre de notre communauté. Partagez vos espoirs et vos plans avec Horyou !

Nous souhaitons pouvoir donner envie à la communauté d’Horyou de s’impliquer de manière plus ou moins directe dans nos projets. Partager nos bonnes pratiques ainsi que notre retour d’expérience sur ce type de projet.

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