ABB community engagement strategy
Goal: ABB seeks to contribute to development and progress in areas where we work. We want
to be welcome in the communities where we operate. Responsible corporate behavior is good
both for the community and our business, and is part of earning a social license to operate.
Focus: We focus on education and health programs, as well as environmental projects. We
believe these are fundamental aspects of a thriving society, and strong pillars on which to build
for the future.
Scope: ABB participates in several hundred projects worldwide. Our contributions may be
financial, volunteering efforts or in-kind contributions. We are partners in a wide variety of
community engagement projects at local, national and international levels. They include
sponsorships of institutions and organizations, short- and long-term support for social projects
where ABB has facilities and projects, individual and country-based volunteering initiatives, and
local commitments related to agreements with international organizations. Volunteering in ABB is
organized on a country basis and the amount of company time allocated to employee
volunteering work is left to the discretion of respective country management teams.
Organization: Our activities are based on guidelines and processes defined by internal Group
Directives and Instructions. The choice of which projects to support is usually the decision of
country management teams. They select and support community projects which they believe will
be worthwhile for a particular sector of society and which match company values. While most
projects are organized in-country, there are a few sponsorships and development programs
which are selected and managed at a Group level.
Business case: Being a ‘good neighbor’ and associated community engagement are material to
ABB’s business success. In education, for example, we support a wide range of schemes and
institutions to improve learning opportunities, raise ABB’s profile and attract talent. In many
cases, we hire talented school-leavers, interns and graduates from such institutions to work as
engineers and in different functions. We save time and resources in being able to hire high-quality
recruits who already know the company.
We also believe there is a strong social and business case for helping to strengthen health care
in the areas where we have facilities and projects. Such projects can have a variety of positive
social and economic impacts on the community; additionally, local people benefiting from health
care programs are more likely to be inclined and able to work for ABB in secondary jobs and as
suppliers, as well as becoming employees.
ABB also sees the business value in raising brand recognition in the community. A community’s
awareness of and confidence in a brand is vital to effective business planning and operations,
particularly in sensitive areas.
The value of community work among prospective employees and staff members carries a
business value. Our employees want to work for a company that is a force for good in the
community, and their personal involvement in such projects strengthens their relationship with the
company. The attraction and retention of employees is a business issue; excessive staff turnover
and consequential replacement and re-training is costly.
Measurement of impact: ABB recognizes the need to measure the results of engagement
projects in order to understand the overall ‘return on investment.’ With certain initiatives and
projects, measurable results are available – such as the number of people hired from the
educational institutions we support, or the number of people helped through a health project – In
other cases, results may be less tangible. ABB introduced a tool in 2014 to help measure the
outcomes of its community projects.