How Achmea works towards an inclusive society

Achmea on Corporate volunteering

Achmea Corporate Volunteering. The Achmea Foundation aspires to create a world in which everyone can fully participate. It supports initiatives in the Netherlands and abroad that focus on making people in vulnerable situations more resilient, by providing money as well as expertise.
The recently launched GoodUp platform “Voor Elkaar” makes it easy for employees to actively contribute to social goals. The initial launch of the platform engages one Achmea division, and will be expanded to all Achmea divisions in the near future.

The platform has been operational for four months now. In this short time span, its awareness rate has already exceeded 40%.

Astrid Coelman, Programme Manager Volunteering platform at Achmea Foundation

The Challenge

Achmea is an important financial services agency on the Dutch market. And, with a big portfolio of different insurance brands, it’s the biggest insurer in the Netherlands. Its roots however, are in farming; over 200 years ago it was founded as a cooperative insurance for  farmers.

Because of its background, Achmea takes its position in society very seriously. They want to contribute to a healthy, safe, and future-proof country. As an insurer, it sees the effects of global warming in its work every day. Increasingly extreme weather, caused by our changing environment, is leading to more damage and higher premiums. Achmea knows it’s time to take action.

Battling climate change and promoting an inclusive society

And they’re serious about it. Last month, Achmea signed a climate agreement. Its involvement in climate change and sustainability also shows in innovations like BlueLabel, a tool that helps inform the government about climate risk for specific streets and neighbourhoods and its investment portfolio. Achmea measures the Co2 footprint of its investments and it’s working towards solely investing in companies that are actively contributing to sustainability and the energy transition. On 1 January 2019 it had 729 million in Green Bonds.

But Achmea focuses on more than climate change; health, safety, and inclusivity are also important to the company.

Social impact at Achmea – Achmea Foundation

The driving force behind all this is the Achmea Foundation, founded in 2006 by Achmea with the goal to create an inclusive society. Every year, Achmea gives 0.5% of its net profits to the foundation so they can fuel the social impact.

The Achmea Foundation manages a number of programmes. One of the programmes is the Achmea Impact Fund, which invests in social impact initiatives. Achmea also share in-house knowledge and expertise with charities through its Assignments programme and it set up ImpactPlus, an initiative that helps social entrepreneurs in the health sector boost its innovative health scale up with an intensive growth programme.

But, while the Achmea Foundation’s efforts to make a social impact and battle climate change were taking off, Achmea struggled to activate its employees on their do-good mission. It wanted to incorporate their social impact initiatives throughout the entire organisation, not just the Achmea Foundation. To truly integrate its social mission into the organisation, Achmea needed a way to get their employees on board.

Accelerating social impact with Achmea Voor Elkaar

Especially Achmea’s volunteering activities lacked exposure. Achmea looked for a way to increase the exposure of its volunteering activities, and to excite the employees to take part in it. That’s when Achmea got into contact with GoodUp. Astrid Coelman, Programme Manager at Achmea:

“We were really struggling to create awareness among our colleagues. In our search for an answer to this problem, we found GoodUp.”

We knew that the Foundation was successful in what they did, but we needed to find a way to involve the whole organisation. Make social impact a cause everyone at Achmea supports. Together we set up Achmea Voor Elkaar: Achmea’s corporate volunteering platform.

The plan was to start small. We decided to first roll out the platform within one division, the division Schade en Inkomen. We created an engagement plan, hosted engagement sessions, and held inspiration boosters. By working closely together with the communications department we were able to launch the platform effectively.

“Starting with the platform really helped us increase the awareness of the Achmea Foundation and the volunteering activities we do, and want to do, in the Netherlands. After four months, already 40% of our colleagues visited the platform. And 12% is going to participate in an initiative. That makes me very proud, I’m very happy to see it take off like this.”

Because of this success, Achmea decided to expand the programme. After the division Schade en Inkomen, three other divisions will start using the platform next month.

Experience the platform yourself

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