80 companies and 30 social entities, together, with one common interest: collaborating though volunteering. This has been the result of the first edition of the “Volunteering Point”, the first corporate volunteering marketplace, organised by Voluntare, with the support of Endesa and collaborators.
Volunteering Point, celebrated today at Endesa’s corporate work site, which has gathered over 200 people in total, has become a meeting point between companies that aim to develop corporate volunteer projects, and social entities seeking alliances to strengthen their projects.
The event has congregated department managers from the companies’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Human Resources (HR) departments. “It is of interest to both departments because Corporate Volunteering not only allows contributing to achieve social impact. Employees who volunteer also develop a series of competencies that are highly valued in the professional environment,” explains Benedetta Falletti, coordinator at Voluntare.
“At Endesa, Corporate Volunteering is deeply embedded. It has formed part of our social strategy and management of People and Organisation for over a decade. More than that, volunteering also forms part of our company’s business strategy, which is moving toward sustainable development based on a renewable and efficient electrical system for society as a whole. Endesa is an active agent in shifting the paradigm in the sector. As an innovative agent, Endesa is also a director and founder of VOLUNTARE, and is supporting this innovative idea of the Volunteer Point, as a contribution in this path that we are involved in together in fulfilling the SDGs. It is a commitment to get closer to companies and social entities and to make corporate volunteering more accessible, which is so important to social, environmental, educational, and cultural development, as well as to develop the talent of our own employees. At Endesa, since 2015, we have developed over 34 volunteer project activities, in which over 1,750 volunteers have participated and nearly 20,000 people have benefited,” noted Andrea Lo Faso, Endesa’s General Director of People and Organisation.
For his part, Federico Buyolo, High Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda, stated that “in today’s divided society, it is increasingly vital to forge alliances that go beyond mere interests and alliances and form a new global social contract”. In this sense, he has very highly rated the joint action of companies and social entities that involve corporate volunteering.
In the form of a marketplace
This first encounter has also been carried out in a very novel and dynamic manner: a marketplace with two distinct phases.
Seduction in 99 seconds
First, 48 volunteer projects (some social entities presented more than one) have competed to draw the attention of companies. They only had 99 seconds to do so, stopwatch in hand. In that time, they provided the most relevant information. With regard to the order, it was determined by the main Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) impacted. In this way, the attending companies had the opportunity to identify the goals most aligned with their corporate strategies.
After the sprint, which allowed presenting the wide panorama of proposals, the second-most important event was also bustling. At Endesa’s Exposition Hall, the entities provided more detailed information to the companies that approached them out of interest in their projects. “Promising meetings have taken place,” confirmed Falletti.
Among the projects that were presented, some were programmes with a long trajectory and others were in the launch phase. Some are linked to the environment, others to childhood, vulnerable groups, to the integration of immigrants, socio-professional integration, etc.
A quality education—the most present SDG
The 48 projects presented are focused on 15 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. And as a function of the volume of initiatives intended for each one of these challenges, it can be confirmed that a quality education (SDG 4) is that which has resulted in the largest number of projects—seven in total. It is followed by SDG 3 (Health and Well-being), SDG 8 (Decent work and economic growth) and SDG 10 (Reducing inequalities).
Volunteer employees, productive companies
Based on this marketplace, alliances between the entities and companies present will emerge. It will be an expansive wave that will reach the companies’ employees, who will have access to participate in these programmes. In this way, they will be able to discover social problems first-hand, and contribute their grain of sand to the Sustainable Development Goals.
But they’ll not only contribute their time and experience; they’ll also get something in return. According to Falletti, “numerous studies have shown that with this experience, they’ll improve their abilities and skills, which will impact the climate and productivity at their company. Moreover, that improved development will go beyond their work; it will reach all spheres of their life”.