2011-12-08 - ABB has renewed a six-year agreement to support the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) - the company’s largest corporate sponsorship.
Under the agreement, ABB will contribute financially to the ICRC’s Water and Habitat program, which supports people in water-stressed areas and countries, and provides emergency accommodation to people caught up in zones of conflict.
“We are proud to support a leading and highly-respected humanitarian organization which has such a distinguished record of supporting the victims of war and armed conflict,” said Joe Hogan, ABB CEO. “We trust that our contribution can make a difference to some people’s lives.”
"For the ICRC, this agreement is not only a way of diversifying our sources of funding, but also an opportunity to exchange skills and knowledge with private companies, with the aim of enhancing our capacity to help the victims of war," said Jakob Kellenberger, the president of the ICRC.
In agreement: The President of the ICRC, Jakob Kellenberger (right) with ABB's head of Corporate Responsibility, Ron Popper.
ABB’s previous six-year agreement, which expired in 2011, was geared towards supporting the training of delegates by the ICRC Foundation.
“We altered the focus of our sponsorship as we wanted to contribute directly to the wellbeing of people in countries which also happen to be significant markets for the company,” explained Ron Popper, ABB’s head of Corporate Responsibility, who manages the relationship with the ICRC. The projects which ABB’s contribution will support are still being evaluated.
In 2011, ABB started to participate in training sessions organized to upgrade the skills of ICRC technical staff. "Such transfers of know-how can be as effective and sustainable as financial contributions," commented Ursula Eugster Verhoeff, who manages the partnership on the side of the ICRC.
ABB is part of a ten-member corporate support group for the ICRC in Switzerland, which was set up in 2005. In common with other members, ABB has benefited from training sessions on humanitarian law and crisis management, as well as informal exchanges. In 2011, ABB engineers took part in a training session on electromechanical engineering for ICRC staff members.