Working in the community

Our approach is to combine strategic corporate partnerships with targeted impacts with country-level projects focusing on education and healthcare. Our contributions can make a difference to people’s lives, our corporate reputation, and how welcome we are in the communities where our business operates.

ABB contributed to several hundred community projects and charities worldwide in 2014, focusing on education and healthcare. There is a long tradition of community involvement and volunteering at ABB. In 2014, employees and companies donated approximately $9 million and provided nearly 3,600 person-days in volunteering time.

The educational schemes and institutions we support serve to improve learning opportunities, raise ABB’s profile and help us to recruit qualified engineers and other staff. Strengthening healthcare can have positive social and economic impacts among key company stakeholders, including our employees, suppliers and customers, as well as the communities around our facilities.

An internal community measurement tool, introduced in 2013, helps measure the impacts and overall value of our investments in community schemes. The results give guidance on the return on investment, and helps us to streamline our efforts towards the projects which provide most benefit for the targeted stakeholders.

ABB works with students, schools and colleges in a variety of ways. Here are some of our projects:
– In the United States, ABB provides both funding and equipment for colleges and universities in areas where we have operations to support those institutions and attract successful graduates.
– ABB in India has a long-term program to refurbish government schools near company operations and to provide a mid-day meal scheme for children.
– Children from impoverished neighborhoods in Brazil come to ABB factories in Sao Paulo for additional schooling and preparation for a working life.
– In Italy, ABB volunteers actively support student entrepreneurs to develop sustainable start-up projects throughout an academic year.

ABB also has a focus on helping disadvantaged students. Our Group-level foundation to support talented but disadvantaged engineering students now has partner universities in 11 countries, having added Bulgaria and South Africa in 2014. Several of the student scholars in the scheme have pursued careers at ABB.

Many of the projects that ABB supports involve helping the less abled. Our projects include:
– ABB supports summer and winter Olympics for people with mental disabilities in several countries, including Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom.
– There is strong support for medical charities in Canada and the United States where employees give in different ways – from donations to sponsored golf tournaments.
– In Singapore, ABB employees are involved in a range of schemes, supporting the elderly, helping children with disabilities and a blood donation program.

ABB also provides support in the event of humanitarian and natural disasters. In 2014, ABB in China contributed to efforts to reconstruct earthquake-damaged schools, while ABB in India supported flood relief efforts by providing blankets, nonprescription medicine and solar lights.

Corporate sponsorships
ABB takes a more strategic approach to humanitarian aid through the ongoing partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Our annual contribution to the ICRC is used to support clean water access in areas of humanitarian need in Iraq and the Democratic Republic of Congo. A number of other further areas of cooperation have been identified.

ABB also has a long-term agreement with the global conservation organization WWF, under which we work on several schemes. Two of them have focused on the electrification of villages in remote areas of Tanzania and India, and have resulted in economic and social development in those areas. More details can be found on our website under “Access to Electricity.”

In recognition of our social, environmental and community engagement activities, ABB won 28 awards worldwide in 2014. These awards build brand value in the countries where they are given, and increase employee commitment both to the causes that ABB supports and to the company as a whole.

One of the most prestigious awards in 2014 was in the United Arab Emirates where ABB won the Zayed Future Energy Prize in recognition of our efforts to drive innovation, renewable energy and energy efficiency. ABB’s health and safety performance was recognized at several individual sites in the United States, while in China ABB won a corporate social responsibility award from the Ministry of Education.

Last edited 2015-03-16
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    Volunteers in Brazil support soup kitchens close to ABB factories - one of many ways in which staff help local communities.
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