Last Tuesday evening the time had finally come – the prize-giving ceremony for the 8th German CSR Award took place in Ludwigsburg. Our Corporate Responsibility Team was there and super excited, because Zalando was among the nominees for the first time.
Our colleagues were very proud when they heard they had won the CSR Award for Zalando's commitment in the special category “successful refugee integration measures”. The jury particularly liked the fact that as an up-and-coming company we pursue an innovative, multi-sector approach, focusing on identification of proven integration programmes in order to scale them accordingly.
We actually don’t have to reinvent the wheel: many countries have already found effective solutions for integrating refugees. At our Hello Festival last year, we brought some of the most successful social entrepreneurs from all over the world to Berlin and used our innovation fund for integration on Betterplace.org to finance German organisations so that they could use their existing structures to transfer these solutions to Germany. We would like to work with our employees and dozens of partners to continue helping the development of the best solutions in Germany. For this reason we are supporting the organisations together with our partner Ashoka within the terms of Hello Accelerator for a whole year in the fields of project transfer and scaling.
The initiatives have now reached a total of 100.000 refugees and offer thousands of volunteers the opportunity to become effectively involved – which is what over 500 Zalando employees already did in 2016, working as mentors, trainers or volunteers with our partner, Vostel. There are many other networks, such as “wir Zusammen”, that show the great commitment given by so many large and small companies across Germany. So our programme is also an invitation to join in, and we are delighted to welcome new partners. We need commitment from everyone to allow the best solutions to become widespread and continue to grow even in remote regions.