We just published the third report about our efforts to improve the communities where we operate around the world. Deepening Impact is the title of Agility’s 2016 Corporate Social Responsibility report. And it feels good to see the breadth and depth of what we’ve accomplished since we launched our CSR program 10 years ago.
When we began this endeavor, we had a simple goal: give back to the communities where we work. In that first year, 2007, our employees initiated or contributed to 55 community projects that assisted 105,000 people in 30 countries. Since then, Agility employees have reached more than a million people in 80 countries through 1,370 community projects. Our workers have reached more than 2,000 children in 15 countries by providing school supplies and helping with the refurbishment of 22 schools. They have raised more than $270,000 of Agility’s total charitable contribution of almost $1 million.
We have an obligation to do more, particularly through our work for customers who come to us for logistics services, and in our role as a leader in emerging markets. How can we deepen the positive impact we are having on the supply chain and on these markets?
We know we have the ability to reduce the environmental impact of shipping, storing and distributing goods. We are able to show customers and suppliers where they can cut waste and reduce the amount of energy, fuel and water they use. And we can show them what we’ve done to make our own operations more environmentally friendly.
Labor rights are another priority area for us. We’ve been pioneers in the Middle East and in the logistics industry when it comes to developing programs aimed at ensuring fair treatment for migrant workers and, indeed, for all workers. In 2015, much of this effort went toward the training of workers and local management in Africa and Asia. We are expanding the program because we want our standards to be among the world’s highest. We also are bringing our logistics expertise to bear where people are struck by natural disasters and other catastrophes. Together with our humanitarian partners, we have joined in more than 40 emergency response operations over the past decade. They include 2013’s Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and the Nepal earthquake in 2015. At the same time, we’re working with NGOs and other first responders to train them in basic logistics and help them build their capacity and preparedness.
I am extraordinarily proud of Agility’s impact in communities around the world. I also realize – as do our employees – that we must continue contributing in order to better the lives of those we touch. True impact takes time, and these are our first steps.