Innovation Nation: Could you start by talking briefly about the history of Capgemini Poland’s CR&S program and the scope of main projects?

Karolina Długosz: Capgemini Poland has been making a positive impact within the country’s local communities through our Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (CR&S) program since 2011. Our approach towards CR&S is a reflection of the Capgemini Group’s vision of taking corporate responsibility and sustainability beyond legal compliance and philanthropy. The program focuses on creating opportunities, imparting skills, diversity and inclusion, and sustainability—and the program continuously drives engagement within our Polish team, encouraging greater community involvement.

Our CR&S strategy covers a diverse range of initiatives driven locally across the following key pillars environmental sustainability, community engagement, people culture and our “Win with Capgemini” inclusion initiative.

Capgemini Poland’s Granting Program was awarded the “Best CR&S project in Poland in 2016” by ABSL. What makes this program so special?
The “We invest in good ideas” Granting Program is part of our community engagement CR&S pillar and supports local initiatives run by our employees in Poland. The idea of the program is to empower and encourage employees across our centers to share their competencies and skills, and promote ideas to benefit the local community. Grants are awarded to the most interesting proposals by a program jury compromising people of public trust, CR&S experts, local universities, NGOs, as well as Capgemini representatives.

The Association of Business Service Leaders (ABSL) Diamonds jury awarded the program with the “Best CR&S project in Poland in 2016.” We are extremely proud of the recognition this project received, and the teams set new standards and direction for the development of the modern business services sector in Poland. This is testimony to our efforts and achievements towards impacting local communities in Poland.

How is Capgemini Poland working towards disability inclusion?
“Win with Capgemini” is a disability inclusion initiative that focuses on providing employment and employability skills to persons with various disabilities across Capgemini’s offices in Poland. As part of this initiative, we equip our disabled employees with assistive technologies on an everyday basis and provide them with the required knowledge and skill trainings.

For the very first time in 2016, a number of companies in Poland decided to work together as a sector towards the common goal of inclusivity. For this, we initiated “The Come CloSeR to Disability Declaration,” which was signed by ABSL, the aim of which was to create a network of companies to work on disability inclusion internally within their respective companies. This included producing a guideline brochure for companies who want to employ people with disabilities and share best practices.

We also partnered with “Come CloSeR” organized by Fundacja Menedżerowie Jutra (Managers of the Future Foundation—MOFFIN), aimed at sustainable and responsible development through cooperation and experience exchanges between sectors.

What has been the impact of these initiatives?
Over the past five years, the Granting Program has enabled us to directly impact over 5,000 beneficiaries across different age groups by extending our support through grants, imparting skills and education and various other programs. This has been made possible due to the efforts of over 600 employees working across 78 projects.

Our endeavor to create a culture of inclusivity and equal opportunity has also gained positive outcomes, with a significant rise in the number of disabled employees joining Capgemini Poland. Using assistive technologies in our workplace is helping to create awareness about the potential of using such technologies adapted to the needs of employees with disabilities among our clients and other businesses.

What does the future hold for Capgemini Poland’s CR&S initiatives?
We are on our way to achieving ISO 14001 certification and by the end of 2017 we will be stronger in the environmental space. We want to continue our focus our CO2 emissions, which we currently follow as per global regulations, to bring about further improvements.

In terms of diversity, our goal is to create an inclusive workplace and “walk the talk,” for which we plan to include diversity as a key component in the management and leadership’s development path. We also want to increase employee participation in our community engagements by simplifying the current mechanism and engaging those who don’t have a clear idea or approach about what or how they intend to become involved.

We are also working towards becoming more aware of global risks such as extreme weather, large scale involuntary migration, major natural disasters, large scale terrorist attacks and a massive incident of data fraud, which can impact our clients and the communities we work with, to developing our CR&S policies and approach to take them into consideration.