It is estimated that 60 top companies in Ireland have contributed over €30 million to charities and community groups last year while employees racked up 264,735 volunteer hours.
This is according to data captured by Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI), a business network that advises Ireland’s top companies on corporate social responsibility and sustainability. The data is featured on an online ‘Business Impact Map’ which gives a breakdown of how 60 companies and their employees supported local community groups and charities during 2018.
The Business Impact Map shows that over €13.5 million was given in cash donations; €11.7 million was contributed through in-kind donations and over €5.5 million was raised through employee fundraising. Employees also volunteered over 264,735 hours to local groups and projects during the year.
In 2018, the areas of health, social inclusion, education and children/youth were the best supported. Over €4 million was donated to health with a further €3.8 million being donated to social inclusion and another €3.3 million each going towards education and children/youth.
This year, for the first time, BITCI asked the companies to map their community support against the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. These are often called the ‘to do’ list for the planet and many employees are asking companies how they are helping reach these goals. The top 5 Goals supported by the companies in 2018 were Good Health and Wellbeing, Quality Education, Responsible Production and Consumption, Reduced Inequalities and Sustainable Cities and Communities.
Commenting on the report, Business in the Community Ireland Chief Executive, Tomás Sercovich said, "Employees want to work for companies that encourage volunteering as part of everyday business and crucially want to work where their values align with their employer. Companies understand the critical value of engaging in tackling social issues; it is a fundamental sustainability challenge."
He added, "Employee engagement is a critical tool to attract and retain the best talent as employees now expect their employers to have a community strategy in place as standard."