P&G builds on partnership with Habitat for HumanityOctober 2013
American FMCG titan Procter & Gamble (P&G) is partnering with Habitat for Humanity to fund the construction, repair, and cleaning of homes in 12 countries around the world.
The commitment represents Habitat’s highest level of global volunteer engagement in a single year, with nearly 3,000 P&G employees volunteering alongside Habitat partner families in countries including the US, Singapore, Malaysia, South Africa, Poland and Costa Rica.
In the Philippines, for example, five homes are being built and families provided with critical training on financial literacy, sanitation and hygiene while in the US, P&G will provide a gift basket of family and home care products to all new Habitat families – an estimated 6,000. Baskets include products like Charmin, Dawn and Tide.
“For the past 175 years, Procter & Gamble has focused on turning houses into homes,” Brian Sasson, global manager of social investments at P&G told Ethical Performance. He said that the gift basket initiative is to be taken a step further soon with the inclusion of a new booklet which is aimed at first-time home owners as a quick resource on how to look after the home. Starting in the US and Latin America , the guide will cover areas such as air conditioning and heating systems as well more fundamental issues “like taking care of your yard” Sasson explained.
Sasson agreed that P&G brands get a lot of positive reputation associations out of its social responsibility policy and that it was an important part of it. The company does look at the ROI of its programmes. “We look at how many people we can help and how many people we do help. We measure outputs and are looking at how we develop those metrics,” Sasson said.
He explained that there were two strands to his role: setting social responsibility strategy (looking at where the corporation will invest its money) and looking at implementing that strategy. He also looks at who P&G should work with and fosters partnerships with organizations such as Save The Children, World Vision and the Red Cross. P&G has been partnering with Habitat for Humanity for close to10 years.
“Disaster relief is an area where P&G can have tremendous value,” Sasson said and revealed that the next big challenge was within personal care, where the company is ramping up its efforts with the introduction of a personal care kit for disaster areas and people who have been displaced (the kit uses P&G personal care brands). “We are currently scaling that up. Hundreds of employees have recently been putting together those kits and put aside for when they are needed,” he said.
Sasson is thrilled that 3000 employees have already stepped up to the volunteering challenge and is hoping for steady, significant growth of that number in 2014 [the 3000 applies only to the Habitat programme]: “We have 127,000 employees around the world and we need to harness those talents and pitch those resources against solving society’s challenges and issues.”
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