2020’s best CSR strategy: Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield
Formed in 2018, the Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) group brought together CSR expertise and long-standing commitments from both Unibail-Rodamco and Westfield shopping centre operators. Since then, its CSR ambition has been taken one step further.
URW’s responsible strategy focuses on covering the most material topics for the group, from development and operations to the collective power of employees. The third pillar of this strategy, Better Together, focuses on a comprehensive CSR/HR strategy which aims to empower teams to be sustainability and diversity change-makers.
The main elements of the CSR/HR strategy are to have 100% of employees take part in the URW volunteering programme; to secure 1,000 local people a job or certified training through the URW for jobs community programme; to have 100% of its regions implementing the employee wellbeing framework; full equal opportunities in HR processes and to improve employee engagement on diversity and inclusion.
The group set some ambitious targets, but it started to integrate them through its Better Places 2030 strategy helping make CSR core to its culture while also embedding sustainability into the daily working habits of employees.
The URW volunteering programme, for example, offers employees the opportunity to dedicate their working time to support social initiatives. In 2019, 84% of employees volunteered to support the social and environmental development of local communities, an increase of 7% since 2018 prior to the new strategy being rolled out.
With a UK HR budget of approximately £55 per head, URW said the programme also delivers a strong return on investment, resulting in significant social value and an employee satisfaction rate of 98%.
The Better Places 2030 CSR strategy supported the community when it was most in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. The group delivered a number of effective initiatives in the immediate response to the crisis. Its teams worked together to adapt volunteering activities, demonstrating a real example of employees living and breathing the business values.
Judges were inspired by URW’s commitment to the community, especially during a challenging socioeconomic period. The company’s CSR strategy was also commended for excellent vision, purpose and impact.
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