Whirlpool EMEA: First Community Day
More than 150 employees at the headquarters of Whirlpool EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) left suit and tie at home for one day to volunteer in their local communities as part of the company’s first-ever Community Day. This event allowed employees the opportunity to spend working hours volunteering for one of 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) were the five organizations involved in this year’s Community Day, which was extended to all the countries in the EMEA region in which the groups operate.
As a reflection of Whirlpool Corporation’s own social responsibility policy, employees’ voluntary work supported the unique missions of these five 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 contributed by assisting with manual labor, e.g. decorating and gardening, as well as interacting with staff members and project beneficiaries.
“We’ve always been actively engaged in promoting a model of social commitment and sustainable development, wherever we operate,” said Karim Bruneo, Corporate Responsibility and Government Relations Manager, Whirlpool EMEA. “It’s a source of pride for us that Community Day has been launched here in Milan, where we have the headquarters of the entire EMEA region.”
Whirlpool Corporation aims to support CSR and sustainability initiatives based on environmental and community needs. On a daily basis, this commitment drives the creation of innovative and environmentally-friendly technological solutions, as well as more efficient production and distribution processes.
The mission of Associazione Banco Alimentare della Lombardia “Danilo Fossati” is to recover surplus food from the agro-food industry and distribute it free of charge to charities that support the poor.
“It’s very good to see a big corporation like Whirlpool doing something concrete to help the less fortunate,” said Marco Magnelli, head of Banco Alimentare Lombardia.
Fondazione Mission Bambini was set up in 2000 to help poor, sick and unschooled children in Italy and elsewhere in the world.
“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,” said Goffredo Modena, chairman of Mission Bambini.
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.
“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,” explained Giampaolo Silvestri, General Secretary, Fondazione AVSI.
ATLHA APS supports families of people with disabilities, offering them the chance to participate in a variety of activities, including: exchanges with other countries, integrated summer camps, 1-day workshops, and adapted sports activities. The organization also promotes on-the-job training and apprenticeships based on an inclusive staff model.
“For ATLHA, Community Day is a privileged opportunity to promote knowledge,” said ATLHA APS president Fabiola Beretta.
Bee.4 Altre Menti is a social co-operative set up to provide work for underprivileged categories, including prisoners and people suffering from hardship, to enable them to learn trades and become active players in society. It also organizes activities focusing on sustainability, solidarity and energy conservation.
“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.