Building Strength Through Diversity

A study found that 75% of employees who believe that their company is focused on sustainability show high levels of commitment (Business in the Community, 2011). Moreover, Kuoni’s 2012 employee satisfaction survey known as EMPOWER revealed that our corporate responsibility initiatives were among the top five things our colleagues like about working at the company.  Kuoni also understands that its employees are an invaluable partner in reinforcing its sustainability strategy with our suppliers and our customers. Therefore, we focus on training, awareness building and open dialogue to ensure that everyone in the company has a shared vision of CR at Kuoni.

We seek our colleagues' commitment to reinforce the sustainability strategy, each in their own way.

Building awareness

 

For our employees to be able to contribute to sustainable tourism development, they need to be kept continuously informed and encouraged to engage in lively and active dialogue on the issues concerned. The Kuoni Intranet, the K-net, provides extensive information regarding sustainability initiatives and ensures that all the company’s personnel has adequate access to the latest facts and findings in the CR field. Moreover, an offline communication approach has been adopted which aims to communicate and provide opportunities for engagement on CR throughout the year. In 2013 this resulted in two CR Talks at Kuoni headquarters where Kuoni employees learned and discussed about issues related to the year communication theme "Respect Human Rights". The Kuoni CR team and further members of the Kuoni Group’s CR network also conduct regular training sessions with employees to promote a dialogue and an exchange of views and ideas, including introducing new employees to the company’s CR activities on their first day at work and holding employee workshops.

Encouraging Volunteerism

                                                                                                   Kuoni understands that its colleagues are an invaluable partner in reinforcing its sustainability strategy. Encouraging employee engagement is a key focus. Therefore, in 2013 Corporate Volunteering was launched throughout the Kuoni Group. Several units in China, India, the Netherlands, UK, UAE, South Africa, and the US implemented corporate volunteering actions in order to allow employees to engage in a good cause while spending a work day in a different and unique way. Through these actions Kuoni colleagues supported different charity organisations by, for example, running a marathon, teaching children with special needs or working in the nature. In Switzerland corporate volunteering was formally launched in collaboration with the Human Resources department, which provided a specific volunteering time allowance. Corporate volunteering days with the support of different non-profit organizations, such as Paneco, Bergwaldprojekt and Grünwerk will take place throughout 2014. 

Kuoni hosts CR Day on Human Rights

Kuoni is dedicated to engage employees so that they better understand the concept of sustainability in their working lives. Each year Kuoni organises a Corporate Responsibility Day where all business units and subsidiaries throughout the world organise activities to learn about different sustainability issues, such as saving water, reducing paper use and promoting fair trade in tourism. Kuoni's CR Day 2013 under the slogan “Respect Human Rights” focused on awareness-raising on Human Rights, its impact on tourism and what we as Kuoni and individuals can do to combat human rights abuses. This was done through various activities, competitions and feature stories on the K-Net, Kuoni’s internal communication portal. Tools for participating in a global charity miles contest to earn money for a charity just by walking, running or biking and tips on how to engage in volunteering projects were also made available.

The support throughout the “Kuoni World” was great. For example, Kuoni’s subsidiary Private Safaris Africa participated together with children from the SOS Children’s Village in the Cape Town Marathon 5km fun run. Several fundraising events for the NGO such as cake sales and raffles were held leading to donations of CHF 1000 and in East Africa, staff donated food, clothing, shoes and toys. The teams in Nairobi and Mombasa visited the SOS villages within their respective regions. Also Kuoni Nordic supported SOS Children's Village by offering its clients the possibility to donate money to the NGO when booking their holiday in Sweden, Denmark and Norway.  So far CHF 27 400 were donated in all three countries.

Making a mark internally

We are aware that many of our colleagues are engaged in charitable activities in their personal lives. So we wanted to give them the opportunity to tell us which organisation should benefit from our Favourite Charity Contest that was launched to kick-off the internal CR-communication theme on Human Rights. Kuoni colleagues from all over the world told us about their experiences volunteering for charity organisations. After rating their engagements for involvement level and effectiveness on development, three winners were announced that received donations from Kuoni. The first winner of this contest from Kuoni's division Global Travel Services (GTS) in Indonesia volunteers at Sahabat Anak, an Indonesian non-profit organisation which provides education and advocates children’s rights in an effort to encourage Jakarta’s street children to escape urban poverty.

Within GTS the strategic goal of partnering with one charity on a global level has been realized in 2013. GTS staff selected ECPAT International to be their global charity partner. ECPAT International is a global network of organisations working together for the elimination of child prostitution, child pornography and the trafficking of children for sexual purposes. ECPAT will be supported through staff fundraising, matched-funding contributions from the company and in-kind support. 

Dorothy Rozga, Executive Director, ECPAT International commented on the partnership:

“ECPAT is absolutely thrilled that Kuoni Global Travel Services has selected ECPAT International to be its global charity partner. Children who are victims of sexual exploitation rarely receive the care and attention they deserve.  Most often they are forgotten, voiceless….and without hope. The joining hands – of Kuoni Global Travel Services and ECPAT - holds the opportunity of making a difference in the lives of these most vulnerable of children.”    

 
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