During two days, more than 50 experts in this field have analyzed the evolution of volunteering as a tool for social transformation, shared good practices and new formats, and set out the challenges and trends that will be drawn in the coming years. Likewise, the challenges of the decade have been discussed: alignment with the SDGs, the potential of new technologies and the role of employees in the companies’ social action.
Ten years after the celebration of the first congress in Valencia, the second edition of the International Congress of Corporate Volunteering was supported by the Atresmedia Group, Corresponsables, Endesa, Iberdrola, Fundación Telefónica, Red Eléctrica de España and laCaixa Volunteers. The event was attended by more than 300 companies and entities from the social sector that are promoting this Corporate Responsibility tool.
What, how and who: ODS, new technologies and human resources
The 2030 Agenda is a commitment of all the member countries of the United Nations that requires the involvement of all social, public and private agents. Companies are key and IMPACT 2030 focus on them: activating, measuring and communicating so that the expansive wave continues to grow, as explained by Sue Stephenson. We have also been able to learn in detail how to face the challenge of the companies alignment to the SDGs, with the presentation of Begoña Barberá, responsible for Social Projects at Iberdrola.
In the digital age, new technologies are an instrument and an end in itself. Carmen Morenés, Global Head of the Telefónica Volunteers Program, highlighted the importance of corporate volunteering in this context: "Telefónica is a technology company and therefore, from its Corporate Volunteering program, seeks to integrate all people in the new digital era, to contribute to equal opportunities. We use technology as a channel to go further. In addition, we know very well what is responsible and safe in digital environments, and we also transfer that to our volunteers".
People, force for change and progress
The human resources of the companies have been gaining prominence in the Corporate Volunteer programs. A step that companies have taken, given the improvement in aspects such as work environment and the commitment and involvement of their workers, with positive effects not only at a social level, but also in their income statement.
Communication has played a very important role in that chain of transmission. Susana Gato, head of Corporate Responsibility and director of the Corporate Volunteering program of Atresmedia, emphasizes listening, to understand and dialogue with stakeholders. And, from there, he says, "word of mouth is the tool that works best".
Demonstrated: employee commitment grows
The Congress has been the setting chosen for the worldwide presentation of the study of Engagement and Corporate Volunteering. Bea Boccalandro, president of Veraworks, has scientifically demonstrated the causality and determinants of that relationship, based on the study commissioned by Voluntare, in which Orange, Repsol and PwC Colombia have participated.
The last table closed the event with enthusiasm: "Corporate Volunteering has come to stay", says Ana Sainz, general director of Fundación SERES. On the other hand, Jaime Silos, from Forética, points out the predominant tendency: "Companies are migrating towards strategic Corporate Volunteering, which seeks the triple return".