How We Manage Local Community Investment
Our community program is led by our affiliates who encourage employees to engage in local volunteering and fund raising activities. Across our global network, we support around  community initiatives that are initiated by employees and leadership teams in our affiliates in response to local challenges. Our community actions are focused around three community pillars: Education, Empowerment and Environmental Sustainability.
- Education projects are aimed at improving access to elementary, primary, secondary, higher and further education, as well as informal education in the form of employment training schemes and skills workshops
- Empowerment projects focus on promoting the physical, emotional, intellectual and economic empowerment of women and men through access to healthcare, counselling, mentoring, enterprise schemes and micro credit
- Environmental sustainability projects are aimed at reducing or eliminating the reliance on non-renewable or scarce resources such as fossil fuels and water
During 2016, we revised our community policy and guidelines to bring them in line with the SGS Business Principles, the SGS Human Rights Policy (as of April 2017) and our Sustainability Ambitions 2020. The new policy and guidelines, which were approved by the Sustainability Steering Committee, will be deployed globally in early 2017.
We have also revised our annual community survey to provide qualitative and quantitative indicators of the impacts of our community investment. The survey, which is aligned to our refreshed community policy and guidelines and the London Benchmarking Group (LBG), enables us to evaluate our community contributions through cash donations and sponsorships, employee volunteering time, pro bono services and in-kind support. The survey also helps us to evaluate project outcomes in our communities and the environment.
In line with our Sustainability Ambition 2020 to increase our investment in local communities by 30% (on a 2014 baseline), all affiliates are encouraged to engage employees in volunteering and to invest in local community projects. In addition, selected countries (based on revenue and historical community investment levels) have been assigned specific investment objectives to 2020 to invest in projects that support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
A feature of these investments involves the provision of scholarships to promote inclusive and quality education. The aim is to equip young people and adults with the technical and vocational skills necessary for entrepreneurship and meaningful employment in pursuit of a better quality of life. Our affiliates will work with stakeholders to identify people existing on or below the living wage, with the aptitude and educational background to benefit from technical training.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) define global sustainable development priorities and aspirations for 2030 and seek to mobilize global efforts around a common set of goals and targets. The SDGs call for worldwide action among governments, businesses and civil society to end poverty and create a life of dignity and opportunity for all, within the boundaries of the planet. SGS is working with an advisory company to map our existing community activities with the SDGs and to develop action plans focused on integrating the SDGs into our management and reporting processes at affiliate level.