Community Investment

Community InvestmentAs members of the local communities in which we operate, you want us to be good corporate citizens. In your community, you are aware of those who have less, those who are less able, those who are disadvantaged and those who need help in many different ways. You look to us, who draw our strength from your community, to be involved, and invest some of the value we generate from the community back with community. Actually, many of our employees and our communities are one and the same. They are primarily locals who have grown up in the areas in which we operate, so the community connection becomes doubly important.

 

You want us to engage. It’s not enough to invest money. You want us to invest our time and our energy. Over the years, we have encouraged our employees to do this, and we have reached unprecedented levels of involvement, with over 3,600 (28%) of our employees worldwide donating time in the community, adding up to 12,300 hours of service in 2012. We engage at a more strategic level with around 40 community associations and charitable organizations, partnering with them to advance important causes.

 

Our social investment policy

Over the years, we have focused on making a contribution to social development in areas where we identify an acute need in society and where we feel we are best able to make a difference. In recent years, we have decided to focus specifically on diversity and inclusion as the key social need which we believe is the root of empowerment and social development for individuals and communities. We engage at all levels with associations and groups that promote diversity and inclusion in society, employment and in the community, and we maintain a monetary fund for donations to such organizations in line with a clear policy with is transparent and available for all to view on our corporate website.

 

  • In 2012, the total value of @StraussGroup investment in our communities was U.S.$ 2.76 million.

 

In 2012, the total value of our investment was U.S.$ 2.76 million which includes 12,300 hours volunteered by our people around the world.

2012U.S.$ millions.
Total financial donations0.73
Product donations cost value1.56
Support for our Corporate Responsibility activities0.25
Value of employee volunteering time0.22
Total2.76

 

  • In 2012, over 3,000 @StraussGroup employees invested 12,300 hours of volunteer time in the community.

 

 

Checking how we are doing

In 2012, for the first time, we conducted a Community Engagement Evaluation Survey in Israel evaluating our community outreach efforts. The survey included community leaders, community partners, and members of our management and of our volunteering community and measured their level of satisfaction with the way programs are executed and their suitability to meet defined needs, as well as the level of cooperation and engagement by both Strauss and the community partners. We received over 50 responses from the different community organizations we engage and from our volunteers and staff. In general, the results were positive and most respondents attested to positive collaboration, meaningful contribution and effectiveness of the programs we undertake. However, some felt that we should drive for longer term activities which will be even more meaningful for all and support sustained change.

 

Investment in advancing women

  • We are committed to advancing women in business @StraussGroup #women #gender #diversity

advancing womenYou are a woman. If you are not, you probably have a woman in your life. A wife. A daughter. A mother. A grandmother. A girl-friend. A neighbor. Think about how the limitations in society which prevent you, or the woman or women you know from realizing their true potential. We at Strauss Group are determined to do something about it. It starts with creating an equal opportunity workplace, as we have discussed in the Employee Engagement section of this report. It continues with us using our resources and passion to support women in our community, and in business in general. Study after study conducted in different parts of the world confirm that businesses with gender diversity do better.

Our partnership with Catalyst: One of the ways in which we work to promote gender diversity is through our partnership with Catalyst. Catalyst is the leading non-profit organization, headquartered in the U.S., with a mission to expand opportunities for women and business. Catalyst’s Census Partners around the world work to track the representation of women on boards and senior management using Catalyst Census methodology.

Strauss Group and the Israel Women’s Network have been Catalyst’s Census Partners in Israel since 2010. In 2012, the census was conducted for the third time, providing once again an accurate up-to-date view of the percentage of women in senior management and leadership positions in public companies traded in the TA-100 index of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Results of the census allow comparison of women’s representation in these roles across companies, industries and countries, as well as reflect the reality of the Israeli market in this issue.

The 100 largest publically-traded companies in Israel have only eight female CEO’s. Strauss Catalyst Census 2012 @StraussGroup #women

The 2012 census demonstrates that women’s representation in top executive positions and on Boards of Directors remains low and emphasizes the need for a structured work plan encompassing all sectors of the economy. In 2012, an increase in women CEOs of leading companies was observed, but the level of women remains inadequate, at 7.9%. Women only hold 20% of management positions in the largest companies, serve as board members in only about 16% of companies and head Boards in only three large companies in the Israeli economy. Israel ranks fourth in the world (16.6%) for women on Boards of Directors among all the countries reviewed in the Catalyst census.

 

The 2012 census also included an additional study focusing of the career paths of women as they progress to senior positions in business, in comparison to the career paths of men. Combining the results with those of previous studies from around the world, the picture is clear. Women are held back in the workplace by social, managerial and cultural perceptions.

Progress to top executive positions – gender comparison20

Progress to top executive positions

 

JasminOur support for women-owned businesses: We partner with Jasmine, the Association of Business Women in Israel, to promote women’s entrepreneurship in Israel. Jasmine was established to realize the economic potential of Jewish and Arab businesswomen in Israel. The association offers women professional courses, training, networking opportunities and other tools that help them empower their business as well as share information with other women business owners, and learn by sharing experiences. Jasmine also lobbies with government officials and policy-makers to advance the interests of women business owners and prevent legislation that may hinder their economic independence.

In Israel, there are currently about 400,000 registered small and medium sized businesses, of which only about 20% are women owned compared with 33% in Europe and 44% in the US. Promoting women in the business world helps diversify and strengthen our social and economic landscape. As a company with extensive buying power in the market, we take an active part in supporting this agenda by promoting the importance of purchasing from local, women-owned SMEs.

Following this partnership with Jasmine, Strauss is now committed to examining how it can ‘walk the talk’ itself and form business relationships with more women-owned businesses, using their service and products in its supply chain.

Ofra Strauss, Strauss Group Chairwoman, is pleased to serve as the President of Jasmine.

 

Community Investment: Romania

    • In Romania @StraussGroup employees cleaned up a beach and supported a local kindergarten #women

Strauss Coffee Romania undertook two community projects in 2012, one to clean up a stretch of Black Sea beach, and one to support a Bucharest Kindergarten. Both activities involved the majority of our small team (118 people) in Romania, who demonstrate community solidarity year after year.

 

The beach clean-up was undertaken by over 45 employees in partnership with the neighboring Sfantu Gheorghe Town Hall. Within the first three hours, the group had collected more than ninety bags of trash, enough to fill two garbage trucks. PHOTO: Shore cleanup3, Shore cleanup2

 

Support for the Sabangia Kindergarten, which cares for 21 infants in a poor community near Bucharest is an ongoing event, and our people in Romania provide toys, supplies and gifts, as well as volunteer to support the children and the teachers. After helping teachers at the kindergarten make a wish-list, Strauss donated educational games, notebooks toys, a computer, school supplies and gifts for each of the kids. Our employees in Romania also donate clothing, shoes, books and more. In fact, in 2012, we collected more than 30 boxes of items which were both needed and appreciated. PHOTO: Kindergarten3, Kindergarten5, Kindergarten7

Social investment

 

 

Community Investment: Israel

The Strauss chocolate factory in Nazareth has been a substantial source of employment and revenue to the city since it became a Strauss factory in 1956, and even before that. The factory has always invested in the support for the local community either through participating in city council’s initiatives, or through its own programs. The Nazareth factory flagship community program is called “leap to Industry” which is a program which encourages teens from a weak socio-economic environment to learn about industry, relate the work to what they currently study at school, and help them develop skills that will later help them in securing jobs and employment stability. In 2012, 16 teens participating in this program were from the 11th grade of a local technical school and were able to learn about life in a factory, in order to gain a better chance of future integration into the job market and earn a wage in the process.

 

Community Investment: Max Brenner

  • Max Brenner donated warm cookies and hot chocolate to Hurricane Sandy victims @StraussGroup

In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit the greater New York City area leaving behind it massive devastation of private and public property and millions of people with no electricity, water or heat. In the aftermath, the work of rebuilding took long weeks and months, and many individuals volunteered in different causes around the area, using their talents to help wherever possible. Max Brenner’s employees took part in the volunteering efforts in two main ways. First, Max Brenner sent in the “chocolate love truck” with a team of Max Brenner employees bringing some fun relief to the Rockaway Beach community in New York City. 1,000 warm cookies, and 1,000 hot chocolate drinks were served by the Max Brenner team to the residents of the Rockaway Beach Community. Second, a Max Brenner team of volunteers worked on clearing debris and restoring nature in the Fort Tryon Park in Northern Manhattan. The team cleared 10 bags of debris from baseball fields, collected 300 bags of leaves, loaded 3 truckloads of refuse and filled seven truckloads of fallen branches and trees.

 

Meghann Fruin

 

Community Investment: Strauss Water

In 2012, Strauss Water in Israel, we partnered with “MY”, our community partner and the not-for-profit organization of the social community centers in Or Yehuda, Strauss Water’s HQ location in Israel. The product of our collaboration was a program for young adults who seek jobs following completion of their mandatory army service. The program, ‘Aiming for Success’, provides participants with tools to guide them through the first steps of seeking employment, while focusing on their interests, and learning how to utilize their skills and capabilities in the job market. The program, which ran over several weeks, included personal assignments for the students and a dedicated website in which resources were posted for the students. During the program, students received coaching from two Strauss Water employees. 15 students graduated from this program.

Strauss Water