Making a difference
SCA wants to help solve social challenges. These challenges are a source of inspiration and change. In some cases, SCA can contribute to solutions as part of its business, while in others, SCA adopts a corporate citizen approach.
Over time, the social dimension has become an increasingly important part of companies’ CSR strategies – and this has also been the case for SCA. The social needs of communities are growing, and many of these can only be solved through cooperation between companies and communities.
At the same time, these needs are a source of inspiration and development for companies’ business models and product offerings. There are ample opportunities to create shared value between companies and the community, where business value for the company and social value for the community go hand in hand.
SCA prioritizes social initiatives with a clear link to the company’s values, expertise, operations and geographic presence. Many initiatives are in hygiene and health, often related to women and children.
The projects vary over time and between regions. They range from hygiene programs to support for refugees or young people who need to enter the labor market. These projects strengthen SCA’s position in the community and build loyalty and goodwill. They contribute to our reputation as an attractive employer, and make our employees proud to be working for SCA.
Supermarket for people in need
SCA aims to be a committed partner in the local communities in which it operates. In Rågsved, outside Stockholm, SCA has partnered with Matmissionen, a collaboration between businesses and the community in which leftover food from stores is sold at a much lower price. SCA contributes financially, and also donates Libero diapers and feminine care products from Libresse.
The purpose of the supermarket is to make everyday life easier for economically vulnerable people. The store also hires unemployed people and will provide jobs for 20 people during 2016.
“We help to support this ‘social supermarket’ by contributing money, products and job opportunities. Anyone can shop at Matmissionen, but economically vulnerable people and their families can become members and thereby pay a third of the price they would normally pay in other stores,” says Anna Dittmer, Key Account Manager at SCA.
The initiative also reduces food waste since food that might otherwise be thrown away is going to people who need it. Some of the other participants in the project are food company Axfood and the charity organization Stadsmissionen.
Integration in Vilhelmina
In Vilhelmina, Sweden, SCA is helping newly arrived young migrants enter the labor market. In cooperation with the municipality, their education is alternated with forest work. In addition to normal school subjects, young people from different countries are also learning about forest management, including pre-commercial thinning and planting. The aim is to make it easier for the newly arrived refugees to complete their schooling in a new environment, while also providing job opportunities in forestry. This will also make it easier to recruit new employees in the forest industry in the future.
“For us, this is an opportunity to show these young people the opportunities that exist in the industry. The forest industry needs labor and we want these jobs to stay in rural areas,” explains Jakob Hellstrand, Forestry Manager at SCA Skog.
Better hand hygiene can save lives
Poor hand hygiene is the most common cause of infections in hospitals. Studies show that one-third of those who die from infections while under hospital care could have survived with better hand hygiene.
In an endeavor to improve the hygiene situation, SCA has initiated a partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO). The project, referred to as POPS, comprises a group of companies working with the issue under WHO’s leadership.
“There is a lot of very old equipment left in hospitals, which doesn’t encourage people to wash their hands, and also sends a message from the hospital administration that hand hygiene is not a priority. We want to change this,” explains Peter Blomström at SCA.
“However, we not only want to sell better products that encourage people to wash their hands, we also want to change the behavior at hospitals.”
Poor hand hygiene is not only prevalent in emerging markets such as India and China, but also Europe and the US, where there is a considerable problem with post-op infections. The cooperation with WHO commenced in 2015, and SCA will launch a number of activities in 2016 within the framework of the program.
The companies will spread awareness of the importance of good hygiene, provide information about the methods and equipment that are available, facilitate the distribution of products in emerging markets and develop preparedness for assisting with equipment in disasters.
The refugee situation in Europe has touched many people emotionally and created considerable social involvement. This is also true at SCA, which has donated hygiene items and money to make everyday life easier for refugees. Access to hygiene products is the highest priority after food and water, and it is of particular importance in situations where people lack access to sanitation.
SCA has donated diapers and feminine care products that were sent to refugee camps in Greece and Austria through the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Red Cross. SCA was also behind the donation of a RIB boat – used to support SCA’s women’s Team SCA in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014–2015 – to the Swedish Sea Rescue Society. The boat was subsequently donated to the Hellenic Rescue Team charity in Greece and is being used to save lives at sea.
Many local initiatives were launched, through which employees donated hygiene products, clothing and money to aid organizations. Employees at several locations gave up their annual SCA Christmas present and the money was donated to relief organizations.