Environmental, Social and Governance

The tide is turning

Digital technology isn’t the only thing accelerated by the pandemic. When it comes to ethics and sustainability, more and more users now demand full transparency from brands. The global political and economic agenda is also shifting towards carbon neutrality as a goal, and new models are emerging in energy, transport, food production, work, and how we collaborate.

Emakina has responded to this period of transformation by actively supporting social responsibility initiatives. As well as having a positive impact on the world around us, these actions are also beneficial to our organisation, our employees, our partners and our clients.

This trend is here to stay: companies that that seek to make a difference in the world will attract top talent and create value in their own sectors as well as those related to sustainable development. Our Group’s employees and their managers have always supported initiatives with great enthusiasm, gifting their time and energy to numerous social and environmental projects.

In 2020, this movement continued and became more structured. We covered a variety of fields, from an internal drive to support colleagues’ well-being to skills-based volunteering and digital support for health, education, ecological and social engagement.

Sustainability is no longer a nice-to-have. It’s a survival tactic that drives development of the economy and society at large. Brice Le Blévennec, CEO

Turning claps into acts to support Belgian teaching hospitals

When the pandemic started to compromise the valuable work of Belgian teaching hospitals, they urgently needed extra financial support. Emakina’s teams wanted to show their commitment to carers by creating a fundraising campaign called Clap & Act. Every evening at 8pm, Belgians applauded the health workers who work so tirelessly for us all. Our idea was to create a special rhythm to convert these claps into donations.

What if... we could bring our staff closer together during lockdown?

When the first lockdown was announced, we immediately asked ourselves: how do we support our teams and make them feel connected with Emakina and one another? Six days later, a real radio station was born – with its own brand identity, all the necessary agreements for music broadcasting, plus its own news programmes and original content.

Backing the coders of the future

As Digital Natives, Emakinians are passionately involved in supporting talented would-be coders. That’s why Emakina.BE is a partner of HackYourFuture – an initiative that teaches development skills to people who might not otherwise have access to these professional opportunities. Since 2019, we have offered training and practical support to students and invited them to train at Emakina’s offices. We also donated 25 laptops to help HackYourFuture reach its 2020 goal of accommodating 90 additional students on the programme.

Campaign to fund a training centre for deaf children

As part of our normal support for NGO Close the Gap, Emakina designed the #MakeAGesture campaign to fund the construction of a new vocational training centre at Msandanka School for The Deaf in Tanzania. Because of their special needs, these children are already young adults when they complete grade seven. A training centre was created to help them continue their studies and learn a trade.

Recycled telephones for the poorest of the poor

What do you do with all those telephone dinosaurs gathering dust in a drawer? Why not recycle them for the benefit of the most vulnerable populations? In 2019, Emakina.AT contributed to an eco-responsible recycling project for old phones. Usable phones are refurbished and sold in developing countries, with the profits going to the charitable initiatives Licht ins Dunkel and Caritas. In 2020, the agency also supported PCs für Alle, extending the initiative to used computers, which were donated to schools, NGOs and families in need.

1% of time and profits dedicated to good causes

Emakina.NL renewed its ‘1% commitment’ in 2020 – devoting 1% of its profits to charities and employee initiatives, and 1% of its time to traditional or skills-based volunteering. In 2020, the two causes of choice were ‘Grow a Mo’, in aid of the Movember Foundation, and a hackathon to raise awareness across the group of the importance of accessibility and inclusive design principles.

The winning team donated their winnings to Alzheimer Nederland. Emakina.NL also supported a number of smaller initiatives, such as offsetting the carbon footprint of travel with Trees for All and the donation programmes Niños de Guatemala, Medulawi in Malawi, The Gambia Team and FAST. Finally, ShelterSuit also benefited from donations and a web shop created by Emakina. The experience was so positive that in 2021, Emakina.AT has also pledged a ‘1% commitment’.

Ethical choices

Emakina.FR participates in several sustainable development initiatives. As an accredited member of the United Nations Global Compact, the company is committed to reducing its ecological footprint, developing a more fulfilling work environment and maintaining a high level of professional ethics. The agency has also partnered with the Exalt Design Lab, the first joint laboratory dedicated to the value of user experience design, and contributed to the launch of Opquast, an initiative for a universal and accessible web. Since 2014, Emakina.FR has received the ENR label each year, recognising its commitment to voluntarily integrating ethical, social and environmental concerns into its business activities. Finally, Emakina.FR has strict equality practices for equal treatment of men and women in recruitment, career management and remuneration.

Keeping people together, even when apart

The pandemic has brought the importance of staff wellbeing back into focus. In Serbia, Emakina’s partners found the perfect solution. They used a tool called Heartcount which employs artificial intelligence to make it easy for managers to keep track of employees’ well-being at work. By conducting weekly assessments, HR was able to gauge employees’ feelings and the quality of their key work relationships. With real-time data from all employees in the ecosystem, HR decisions were more effective and people-focused. Heartcount is now being now used across the Emakina Group.

Greener ways to get to the office

Emakina.BE has been involved in environmentally friendly mobility for years. Since 2017, Emakina.BE staff have been riding attractive Ahooga folding electric bikes, available for leasing through a partnership with KBC.

Dress the world in flamboyant hope

Elikia na Biso is a Swedish non-profit organisation established to help children and young adults with special needs in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Among its projects is a workshop for handcrafting flamboyant accessories from traditional fabrics. Emakina supported the organisation by creating a visual identity, inspired by the colours and patterns of these textiles. We also contributed to the design and development of an online shop selling their creations. All profits are reinvested in develpment projects.

Supporting earthquake victims in Turkey

When a massive earthquake struck Turkey in October 2020, we immediately got involved. Emakina, created an earthquake support programme to provide professional help to colleagues, their partners and children. We started with transport and hotel accommodation for families who found themselves without safe accommodation.

Property consultants helped those who needed it to find a home. We also assisted staff with salary advances, so that they could cover urgent costs, and provided legal and psychological support. Colleagues from all over the world sent messages of comfort, captured in a heart-warming video. Finally, we made sure that each employee received an individual message: ‘We stand by you in this difficult time’.

At Emakina, we place an increasing emphasis on sustainability in our business and we’re pleased with the long-term impact this has. Aline Durand, Head of Emakina/Insights