Why is this important?
According to surveys focusing on the social engagement of Poles during the pandemic, 76% of respondents participated in at least one form of charity work during the last year. The authors of the study stress that the trend of purchasing products the proceeds from which support charities is gaining in strength in Poland. Consumers expect the businesses be involved in actions responding to global challenges and supporting local initiatives — nearly 60% of Poles are more willing to buy products or use the services of companies that are engaged in supporting the consumers’ communities. At the Żabka Group, we are in close touch with those local communities every single day, and we want to properly focus our real impact on their everyday lives by responding to their predefined needs.
Engagement of our stakeholders
Engage our employees and business partners, in 50,000 interactions per year, in activities promoting sustainable growth.
Taking care of Żabka’s image
By 2023 we aim to increase the share of our regular customers who perceive Żabka as a valuable member of their local community to 50%
Supporting employee volunteering
Our employees aim to spend at least 1,000 hours on volunteering by 2023.
We aim to increase the engagement of franchisees in local community oriented initiatives.
Żabka stores are a permanent part of the everyday life of many people, meaning that they remain in close touch with local communities. Our franchisees often have a broad knowledge of the most urgent needs of local residents. It is our intention not only to support the daily purchasing choices of consumers by expanding the range and improving availability of the solutions we offer, but also to be an active participant of the life of local communities we function in. We are aware that the scale of activity of the Żabka Group’s ecosystem translates into huge opportunities as far as impacting social change are concerned. We are also aware, however, that we bear a great responsibility for the environment in which we operate. Being aware of the increase in social awareness of our stakeholders, we attempt to motivate and activate them in order to make the best use of the organisation’s potential in the field of social engagement. We focus our attention on the most important aspects that are of key significance from the point of view of the impact that Żabka Group exerts on its external environment, but also stem from the needs of the most important stakeholder groups. We are structuring our efforts by focusing on key programmes and projects whose implementation will bring about measurable benefits for all parties involved.
What have we done so far?
Relying on our organisation’s social competence, we have structured our projects, investments and engagement by drawing up a Social Engagement Strategy. Its three pillars support the achievement of five UN Sustainable Development Goals. The core ideas behind the Strategy include awareness of and sensitivity to the needs of our stakeholders. The activities we have implemented so far within that strategic framework will be continued in the future as well. The programme we are working on in cooperation with Fundacja Samodzielni Robinsonowie is a good example here, as it involves the social partners and our franchisees alike. We are also supporting Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy. As it is the case each year, we provided the organisation with a financial donation, while our customers and franchisees organised fund-raising campaigns at their stores. Users of the Żappka app were also able to donate their Żapps points. In total, we donated PLN 3 million to WOŚP. We were also continuing our activities supporting a significant number of stakeholders in their fight with the COVID-19 pandemic. We provided our franchisees with financial, material and legal assistance, so that they could ensure continuity of operation of their stores, thus providing customers with the ability to shop safely. In 2021, we participated, together with our partners, in over 37 thousand sustainable development interactions — that is 18% higher than the year before.
Pillars of our Social Engagement Strategy
We provide support to our customers in making conscious choices every day by promoting an active, nature-based and healthy lifestyle, with our focus placed both on physical and mental health.
At the Żabka Group, we make people’s lives easier by offering them solutions that change their habits for the better. We want people around us to be able to enjoy the pleasures of their everyday life. We expand our areas of influence by building awareness of the significance of physical and mental health.
We bring people who live in the same neighbourhood closer together, support initiatives establishing local ties, as well as projects intending to create resident- and environmentally-friendly meeting places.
We are both a local and wide-ranging ecosystem. Together with our franchisees and their employees, along with technological solutions and services, we intend to promote and to play an important role in the process of restoring good neighbour relations, taking care of each other and caring about our environment.
We promote independence of young people threatened by social exclusion and assist them in starting their professional careers. We also promote entrepreneurship and the innovative approaches.
The principle of equity is enshrined in the operation of the Żabka Group. It applies to relations between our employees, to cooperation with franchisees and with other business partners. We also intend to promote this principle by offering access to knowledge and equal opportunities when entering the labour market.
Helping by shopping
We encourage our customers to support initiatives promoting social engagement – when shopping at Żabka stores, taking advantage of the Żabka Jush! platform or using the Żappka app. As it is the case each year, our franchisees were collecting money for Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy and were the largest group of volunteers participating in the effort nationwide. Donations could be made via money boxes available in stores. Cashless deposits could be made as well, (for instance via the e-money box, by transferring funds to the Foundation’s account or by using payment cards). The users of our app were able to exchange Żapps loyalty points collected during shopping, for charity donations. The total value of funds transferred in 2021 amounted to PLN 3 million. The mechanism relying on using Żapps points for supporting charities is very flexible and we rely thereon as one of the means of implementing our Social Engagement Strategy. In 2022, our customers using the app were also able to donate their Żapps points for supporting refugees from Ukraine. The total amount of support amounted to over PLN 1 million.
Supporting those willing to engage
In 2021, we continued to pursue Żabka’s Scholarship Programme that has been, for a number of years now, an important part of our social engagement initiatives. The programme is aimed at ambitious and talented children of franchisees, employees and co-workers who, thanks to our monthly support, are able to develop their extraordinary passions and skills. During the 11th edition of the programme, we awarded as many as 60 scholarships: 13 for artistic, 9 for scientific and 38 for sports achievements. Biographical notes of the scholarship holders, along with a description of their talents and the results they achieved, are published in Żabka’s information materials. This allows the young people to communicate the impact of support they receive under the programme has on the expansion of their passions. For employees and co-workers valuing cooperation and physical activity, we have created Żabka’s Sports Team. It is made up of active members of our company’s staff who are keen on practicing sports, often work out together and represent Żabka at numerous sports events. The team is currently made up of approximately 130 people showing interest in individual and team sports. They participate in a number of competitions, primarily between March and October, but our players train all year round — they run, ride bicycles, swim, and play basketball and football.
Offering a good start
When defining our agenda for the “Equal Opportunities” pillar of our Social Engagement Strategy we relied, among others, on the experience gained while supporting youths in a difficult situation and at risk of exclusion. The “Safe internship with Żabka” programme is aimed at people over the age of sixteen. It allows them to take part in an internship at a selected store, thus taking their first steps along the path towards independence. The programme is implemented in cooperation with Fundacja Samodzielni Robinsonowie, with active participation of our franchisees who, as mentors and caretakers, share their experience with our trainees and help them build entrepreneurial skills. During eight editions of the programme, we organised internships for 146 young males and females that the Foundation is caring for. Interns have already worked more than fifteen thousand hours in Żabka stores. Eighteen of them were employed at Żabka stores after the programme had ended, and one of the female interns became our franchisee. So far, ninety franchisees operating Żabka chain stores have been involved in the programme at seventeen locations throughout Poland. Young interns could also count on the support of twenty-six mentors designated by the Foundation.
Olympic silver medal
In August 2021, we took part in a charity auction organised by Maria Andrejczyk — a silver Olympic medalist from Tokyo. Maria put up her medal for sale, with all proceeds benefiting a campaign raising funds for medical treatment (available in the US) needed by an eight-month-old boy named Miłosz. We offered PLN 200,000 for the medal and won the auction. Maria Andrejczyk admitted the medal was “a symbol of struggle, faith and ability to make dreams come true, despite many difficulties”. It was natural for us, as winners of the auction, that this extraordinary symbol should remain where it belonged. That’s why we returned it to our proud champion. In addition to the PLN 200,000 from Żabka, Maria’s fans raised an additional PLN 300,000 for the treatment of Miłosz. The fund raiser has allowed to finance the child’s heart surgery at the Stanford hospital in the US. Maria Andrejczyk’s gesture was widely commented by Internet users. Information about the auction was trending very high on social media. The event was reported by the largest media in Poland and by the press worldwide (“The Times” or “The Sun”).