EPP employees carried out 199 good social responsibility deeds
As part of its ESG strategy, EPP is continuing its efforts to benefit the local communities living in the vicinity of the properties managed by the company. In the 2022/2023 financial year, EPP employees carried out a total of 199 good deeds across the company's three pillars of social responsibility: education, health and local social challenges. This is the highest number of initiatives completed since the start of this project. The actions involved 24 teams of employees from all over Poland, who collectively donated nearly 1,000 hours to help their neighbours. In addition to the '5 Good Deeds' actions, the EPP implements and develops its portfolio-wide initiatives, which increase the accessibility of facilities for recipients with different needs.
- We have been implementing the '5 good deeds' actions continuously since 2021. From the beginning, we have been guided by the idea of being an engaged neighbour - identifying the immediate needs of the neighbourhood and looking for ways to respond to them. Our activity in this area is steadily increasing, as shown by both the number of initiatives implemented and the commitment of my EPP colleagues. In the past financial year alone, activities were supported by 117 employees of the company, devoting a total of almost 1,000 hours as part of employee volunteering and helping those in need. The estimated number of beneficiaries of our activities is more than 20,000 people. The effects of the latest edition of the campaign exceeded our expectations and the results of previous years and invariably motivate us to continue our involvement," says Urszula Matej-Bil, board member, marketing and communications, EPP.
EPP's activities are implemented based on the company's three main pillars of social responsibility: local social challenges (128 actions), education (43 projects) and health (28 actions).
By analysing the needs of the communities living near EPP-managed properties, the company provided assistance where it was needed most. Support was given to 14 orphanages and 31 animal shelters. Twenty-eight health support events were also organised, including three blood collections. In terms of education, the company supported, among other things, the work of young artists, organised workshops for senior citizens and campaigns to raise awareness of ecology and climate change.
During the aforementioned period, EPP also continued to carry out joint projects covering all managed properties. Among other things, the company focused on supporting and educating about the circular economy and making facilities more accessible to people with different needs.
In the spring of this year, together with the brands Ubrania do Oddania and 4F, EPP conducted the largest collection of unused clothing in the commercial real estate industry to date. The campaign covered all shopping centres and office buildings managed by EPP. Every kilogram of clothing collected meant financial support for the Success University programme run by the Digital University Foundation. This is a one-year scholarship programme for women who want to associate their professional future with the IT industry, but are unable to study on their own due to their difficult financial situation. The EPP plans to continue its activities in this area, while supporting those in need and the planet.
Bookcrossing zones have been operating in EPP's retail and office facilities since 2021. They were created in cooperation with local libraries and are an example of another action in the spirit of the circular economy. The idea behind bookcrossing is to make books available free of charge and pass them on. In recent months, the zones in EPP-managed facilities have been enriched with new offers and titles, and actions have been organised to promote reading.
EPP is also taking care of the needs of different customer groups, including people with hypersensitivity to sound and light. As part of the 'Quiet Hours' introduced in 2021, music is turned off for a minimum of three hours a week in EPP-managed shopping centres and voice announcements are kept to a minimum. In total, customers had the opportunity to shop in silence for more than 2,400 hours in the 2022/2023 financial year. In addition, to raise awareness of the needs of people on the autism spectrum and the challenges of their shopping experience, EPP staff participated in a training session conducted by the Synapsis Foundation. The meeting was attended by a person on the spectrum who shared her experiences of visiting shopping facilities. As a result, shopping centres have been equipped with special kits consisting of soundproofing headphones, squishies and a blanket. Visitors, in moments of discomfort, can borrow these free of charge.
A further wallet-wide action, running from 2021, concerns pets, which are welcome in EPP-managed centres. Customers going shopping with their pets can visit common areas, food courts and premises marked with appropriate stickers. This financial year, office buildings from the EPP-managed portfolio have also joined the pet-accessible facilities.
EPP also continued to help people from Ukraine become members of local communities. Among other things, financial and in-kind support was provided through collections of essential products such as blankets, mattresses, footwear and medicines. The company was also involved in activities aimed at the youngest, for whom integration trips, green schools and half-schools or trips to the theatre were organised. Training was also provided for refugees, e.g. careers counselling, computer and language courses, to help them find their way in their new circumstances.