An integral part of our CSR agenda is to care for those at the margins of society. We help build stronger and more inclusive communities by helping disadvantaged people to help themselves, contributing to the revitalization of distressed areas, and making cultural programs available to all (see ). Through our investments, donations, and volunteering, we tackle issues like poverty, forced migration, joblessness, and homelessness. We also provide relief in emergencies and encourage forward thinking on emerging challenges. In 2017, we supported 147 community projects in 25 countries, impacting the lives of almost 700,000 people.
Through global research programs like Urban Age, a joint initiative by the non-profit and the London School of Economics and Political Science, we foster fresh thinking on issues likely to impact communities in the future. Since 2005, Urban Age has become an international network of expertise, finding better solutions to the problems of urban living and megacities.
The recent refugee influx to Europe, especially to Germany, continues to bring integration challenges. As one of the founding members of Wir Zusammen (We Together), we pledged to engage 1,000 colleagues as integration coaches for refugees by the end of 2018. So far, more than 600 colleagues put themselves forward as integration coaches to help new arrivals learn the language, embrace the culture, gain new skills, or find a job. In addition, we have extended the scope of several and programs to accommodate refugees.
Last year’s disaster relief efforts supported victims of the Somalia famine, the floodings in South and Southeast Asia, and the hurricanes in the US and the Caribbean. In London, the bank and our colleagues donated towards the Grenfell Tower Dispossessed Fund, as well as the UK Solidarity Fund for those affected by recent terror attacks.
The highlights in 2017 include several non-profit partnerships in India to improve access to clean water, which have reached 85,000 people, and a further 65,000 benefit from watershed management projects. We also saw the 20th anniversary of StreetSmart, a fundraising charity for homeless and vulnerable people. We have supported this organization for eleven of these years, and £ 6.1 million have been raised in this period simply by adding £ 1 to bills in over 1,000 restaurants, pubs, and hotels, impacting an estimated 1,800 individuals each year.