For Post NL, corporate responsibility goes beyond dealing responsibly with our employees and the environment. We are also looking for other ways to bring corporate responsibility to life.
Our partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is one example. For nearly a decade we have joined in the fight against hunger, using our knowledge and experience to support WFP, which each year provides food aid to some 90 million people in 70 countries.
This partnership includes our support for WFP’s school meals programme in Malawi. Under this initiative children from poor families are offered at least one nutritious meal a day when they attend school. It is a simple but effective concept: the free meal encourages parents to send their children to school, and the children get an education that can help them break out of the cycle of hunger and poverty.
Over the years many PostNL employees have worked as volunteers on location abroad, and in the Netherlands as well many of them are trying to make a difference by raising awareness and funds.
Sharing knowledge and skills
One way in which PostNL supports WFP is by sending specialists, such as project managers, to work on location, and by supplying logistical and financial know-how.
Advocacy and fund rasing
Our people also contribute by raising awareness of world hunger and by raising funds for the school meals programme, which has a positive effect on employee engagement. Examples include:
Kids Moving the World
Using a light-hearted approach, every year some three hundred volunteers visit primary schools throughout the Netherlands to educate children on topics like poverty, hunger and climate change. Thanks to the enthusiasm of these Game Guides, over 350,000 children have been introduced to the interactive educational package of Kids Moving the World.
Cookery book project - Master Chefs for Home Chefs
Since 2007 we have been publishing our annual fundraising cookbook Master Chefs for Home Chefs with the collaboration of celebrity chefs like Gordon Ramsay, Jonnie Boer, Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson. The project raises money for the school meals programme; with the sale of one cookbook a child can be provided 40 nutritious meals at school.
Mobile phone initiative
We also participate in the GSM Retourplan, which we co-founded with T-Mobile in 2010. This non-profit organisation, which now also includes Ben and Tele2, collects and sells on used mobile phones from the Dutch market for charity.
GSM Retourplan raises money for WFP and War Child, while preventing unused phones from being dumped into the environment.
Many advocacy and fundraising activities are organised on a local level too, such as mail and parcel sorting initiatives, auctions and sporting contests.
Jatropha (biofuel) project
For most developing countries, generating sustainable income in the agricultural sector is the most effective tool in fighting hunger and reducing poverty. With this in mind, PostNL has been involved in the Jatropha project in Malawi since 2008.
The project is run by Bio Energy Resources Limited (BERL), a social partnership in which PostNL also participates. Its objective is to produce biofuel on a sustainable basis. As part of the project, local smallholding farmers are provided with seeds to grow Jatropha Curcas as boundaries around their fields. Jatropha Curcas is a small tree that yields nuts that can be used to produce biofuel.
The Jatropha crops provide the farmers with additional income, and the biofuel can be used locally, replacing imported fuel. Carbon emissions from this biofuel are lower, meaning less impact on the local environment as well.
Millions of Jatropha trees have now been planted by thousands of farmers in Malawi. The first crops were harvested in 2010.