NWB Bank tries to encourage its clients to invest in socially responsible projects. Within this area, NWB Bank itself is involved in the following external initiatives:
Money Week / Banks in the Classroom
The bank is keen to get involved in initiatives organised by industry organisations such as the Dutch Banking Association (NVB). Every year during Money Week, the NVB organises the Banks in the Classroom project. This year, NWB Bank participated once again in the Banks in the Classroom project. The NVB is a partner of the ‘Wijzer in Geldzaken’ (Money Wise) platform.
Money Wise aims to raise financial awareness in children at a young age, thereby establishing a basis for financial independence: learn financial responsibility young and it will stay with you. Learning to manage money effectively is becoming increasingly important and parents can certainly use help with this issue. The influence of advertising on spending, the growing trend for the government to leave more and more financial decisions to citizens and today’s digital age where payments are increasingly made using ‘plastic’: all these aspects make financial matters increasingly complex. Preparing pupils for this situation is essential. NWB Bank realises the importance of this preparation and is therefore keen to support these types of projects. Once again, a member of the Board attended the Money Week kick-off this year and also taught a class of primary school children in the town of Berkel en Rodenrijs. The guest class centres on the Cash Quiz, a classroom team game which is suitable for children and designed around the learning objectives of the Dutch National Institute for Family Finance Information (Nibud). NWB Bank makes a sponsor contribution every year to enable the project to go ahead. The bank also deployed a project officer to the Banks in the Classroom working group. Banks in the Classroom 2018 was an unparalleled success for NWB Bank, with a record 27 guest classes being delivered by some 21 enthusiastic employees. This promises more to come in 2019!
The NWB Fonds
The NWB Fonds [www.nwbfonds.nl] is fund comprising a long-term form of corporate social responsibility which NWB made a conscious choice to pursue. For more information on the NWB Fonds, see [www.nwbbank.com/nwbfonds].
The Water Innovation Prize
With the Water Innovation Prize [www.waterinnovatieprijs.nl] the Dutch Association of Regional Water Authorities (Unie van Waterschappen) and NWB Bank join forces to encourage sustainable innovations. You will find more information on this project at [www.nwbbank.com/waterinnovatieprijs-2].
‘Volunteer Work (NL Doet 2018) project’
On 9 and 10 March 2018, the Oranje Fonds, together with various organisations in the country, organised its annual ‘NLdoet’ volunteer day, putting volunteer work on the map. For the third year in a row, a number of NWB Bank employees registered for different activities.
NLdoet activity 1: Fishing for bicycles in a Leiden canal On Friday 9 March 2018 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., seven NWB Bank employees enthusiastically threw magnets and grappling hooks into canals in the city of Leiden. Both employees and bystanders were very curious to see what might emerge from the water this time round. The catch of the day was as follows: a full waste bin, six garden chairs, a handful of construction fencing panels, a cage trolley, a cash till drawer (empty), plastic bags and 35 bicycles. This activity was an initiative of ‘Onder water in Leiden’ (Underwater in Leiden), which is part of ‘Aaf Verkade Adviseur Stadsgrachten’. It killed two birds with one stone: raising awareness of the underwater environment and cleaning up Leiden’s canals at the same time.
NLdoet activity 2: Flower arranging with Stichting Eykenburg residents On Friday 9 March 2018 between 1 and 4.30 p.m., an avid team of three employees from the bank ran a flower arranging session with residents of the care home Stichting Eykenburg in The Hague. While enjoying a drink and a snack, the employees made colourful Easter arrangements with the residents, who clearly enjoyed the activity.
NLdoet activity 3: Collecting products for the Schappelijk social shop On 9 March 2018 between 3 and 6 p.m., an NWB Bank employee collected products for the Schappelijk social shop from a supermarket in Scheveningen. Schappelijk is a social shop for customers of the Scheveningen food bank and people on benefits living in the district of Scheveningen. This activity was coordinated by the Scheveningen Volunteers Office, on the initiative of the Scheveningen Rotary Club. The proceeds generated were substantial, thanks to the generosity of customers and the bank employee’s enthusiasm.
With this type of sponsorship, a contribution may be requested in the form of money and/or time for a sustainable project to which the employee demonstrably makes a significant contribution. NWB Bank is heavily involved with the activities of its clients and with Dutch society as a whole, as a result of which the bank supports social, cultural and environmental projects that have a clear positive impact on society. Among other things, we achieve this support by providing sponsorship in the form of money and/or time, and by encouraging employees to work as volunteers. Under the CSR sponsorship scheme for employees, a contribution was recently made to one of the bank’s employees for the Lansingerland citizen initiative, which the bank employee helped to set up. Below are some personal comments made by the bank employee:
‘I’ve recently been promised a contribution from NWB’s CSR employee sponsorship budget. With a group of residents from the municipality of Lansingerland (which is where I live), I’ve been working on setting up a sustainability platform since 2016. Our platform, lansingerlandsamenduurzaam, was officially launched by our Sustainability alderman in November last year. The platform was set up by six Lansingerland residents with the aim of giving all the great sustainable initiatives that take place in our community a voice and bringing them together. What we want people to know is that there’s a great deal happening in the field of sustainability. We’re not talking about a drop in the ocean here, but rather an ever-growing torrent of fabulous ideas, initiatives, projects, actions and measures. It is only natural that we want to involve everyone, because it’s not just our local authority that’s responsible for making our community more sustainable, it’s also the business community, civic organisations and everyone who lives in Lansingerland. Sustainability can be a fairly comprehensive but also empty term for many of us, so we make it tangible by focusing on eight specific themes: Living and Energy, Waste and Recycling, Mobility, Green and Nature, Water and Air, Education and Health Care, Swapping and Sharing, and Diet and Horticulture. The 3 I’s of the Lansingerland Samen Duurzaam sustainability platform entail that Information and Involvement make for an Improvement to the community. Among other things, we plan to use the contribution from the CSR employee sponsorship budget to produce a flyer that will allow visitors of Groenzoom nature reserve to tick off the Big Five once they’ve spotted them. Groenzoom is a relatively new nature reserve located between Pijnacker and Berkel en Rodenrijs. The idea of the flyer was developed in conjunction with the reserve’s manager Cor Noorman in order to encourage Lansingerland’s residents to visit the reserve and give visitors to Groenzoom an enjoyable experience. We asked Cor Noorman to draw up the ‘Groenzoom Big Five’, which includes a number of animals that you don’t often see, such as the black ibis or cattle egret. In addition, we attend various meetings of the local authorities, political parties and so on to highlight our views, we write a monthly column in a local newspaper and we are regularly invited to explain our views on a sustainable future.’
In 2015, the bank started organising trips with a view to raising awareness among employees of the bank’s green credentials. This involves visiting sustainable projects run by stakeholders to improve employees’ knowledge and awareness of how they contribute to a better society. The aim is to organise such a trip once a year. A staff trip is planned for the third quarter of 2018 and preparations are in full swing.
Ride for the Roses
Ride for the Roses (www.ridefortheroses.nl) is a cycle ride open to all and organised to support the fight against cancer. Participants receive a rose at the finish. On 3 September 2017, 25 people participated in this cycle ride on behalf of NWB Bank, which the bank also sponsored. The 2017 cycle ride started in the town of Bergschenhoek and covered the municipality of Lansingerland. Participants had a choice of three routes: 25 km, 50 km and 100 km.
Besides its sponsoring of the Water Innovation Prize [www.waterinnovatieprijs.nl], the bank also sponsors projects related to financial education, water, art, cultural heritage and history.
In 2017, projects sponsored by the NWB Bank included:
- Financial education: Money Week / Banks in the Classroom project [www.bankvoordeklas.nl].
- Water: the bank made a financial contribution for the publication of books: Tussen Stoom en Stroom’ (Between Steam Power and Electric Current) published by Nederlandse Gemalen Stichting, Rosmalen [www.gemalen.nl]. Polderen of niet? Participatie in het bestuur van de waterschappen Bunschoten en Mastenbroek vóór 1800’ (Join in? Participation in the management of Bunschoten and Mastenbroek water authorities prior to 1800) published by the Vereniging voor Waterstaatsgeschiedenis (Waterways History Association) [www.waterstaatsgeschiedenis.nl].
- Cultural heritage: NWB Bank made a financial contribution to the restoration, renovation and refurbishment of the museum run by Stichting Haarlemmermeer Museum De Cruquis [www.haarlemmermeermuseum.nl].
- History: NWB Bank made a financial contribution to the ‘Ooggetuigen van de Watersnoodramp’ (Eyewitnesses to the 1953 Flood) exhibition in Battenoord (Goeree-Overflakkee).