Community engagement A tradition of social engagement

As an integral part of society, ABB contributes to economic and social progress in many ways

ABB Junior achievement programme (photo)

ABB has a long history of working with communities to support education, healthcare and diversity and inclusion. Our approach is to combine strategic corporate partnerships with projects that focus on local needs in places where our businesses operate. Engaging with communities in this way improves people’s lives and reinforces ABB’s reputation.

ABB’s major social engagement programs include the Jürgen Dormann Foundation, which assists financially disadvantaged engineering students, our corporate-level agreement with the International Committee of the Red Cross, which supports innovative water and habitat projects, and our Nobel International Partnership, which promotes knowledge of and interest in scientific education, sustainability and other important global issues.

Supporting healthcare, diversity and inclusion can have positive social and economic impacts among key company stakeholders, including our employees, suppliers and customers, as well as the communities around our facilities. In 2019, ABB contributed to more than 580 community projects and charities worldwide. A total of 44 countries out of the 69 reporting on their social activities supported community projects. Employees and ABB’s businesses donated approximately $12.1 million to these projects and provided about 4,300 person-days of volunteer work.

Our global and local support for educational programs and institutions enhances learning, raises our company’s profile and helps recruit qualified ABB staff. ABB works with students, schools and universities in a variety of ways, improving research, especially in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and extending educational opportunities to more people.

ABB promotes STEM education and careers for girls and women in a variety of ways, including targeted scholarships and mentoring programs in Hungary, India, Poland, Sweden and other countries. In the United States, ABB is piloting a program with Girl Scouts in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas in support of a “Girls Write the STEM Future” patch. This program aims to inspire girls to embrace scientific discovery in their lives and also creates volunteer opportunities for ABB employees involving the Girl Scout STEM badge curricula.

Case study ABB Italy supports students in developing their digital future

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Through the “Premio Impresa 4.0” awards, ABB Italy is reinforcing its commitment to support young entrepreneurship

ABB Italy has partnered with Junior Achievement Italy (JA), one of the largest non-profit organizations dedicated to preparing young individuals for employment and entrepreneurship. As part of the collaboration, ABB successfully undertook the second edition of “Premio Impresa 4.0” award.

The award, which is a part of the “Impresa in Azione” initiative, promoted by ABB Italy and JA Italy, recognizes entrepreneurship skills among high school students, with a focus on digitalization. The award aims to create greater awareness about the importance of digital technologies.

Several students had the opportunity to present their ideas through projects that were evaluated based on factors such as, adherence to the digital theme, innovation, economic sustainability, business potential and results already achieved. This year, “BeeSafe” – a project by the students of ISIS C. Facchinetti, based in Castellanza, Varese – won the award.

The winning project impressed the jury of experts consisting of representatives from the digital, marketing and sales, communication, and sustainability functions of ABB Italy. The winning project presented a supervision system for beehives performing two main functions – monitoring the environmental parameters to maintain the beehive and bee health status, and an alarm integrated in the monitoring system that would prevent damage and theft to the beehives.

“The processes of co-creation at the base of the BeeSafe project reflect our approach to the market: a dialogue with our customers to be able to know more, do more and better in production processes thanks to digital technology. This young team has brilliantly interpreted this approach, demonstrating great entrepreneurial and digital potential,” said Mario Corsi, Managing Director of ABB Italy.

ABB has been collaborating with JA Italy for several years and has been deeply involved in its initiatives, winning the JA award for the best volunteer program in 2017. This year, around 70 ABB employees volunteered for this initiative, including supporting teachers during classes related to the projects. ABB remains committed to encourage young entrepreneurship through this initiative, carefully intersecting school training with business ideas.

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In many of our educational collaborations, volunteers from ABB play a vital role, inspiring, sharing experiences and encouraging students to pursue careers in technology. We are actively engaged in the United States, Brazil, Italy, Estonia, India, China and Zambia, among many other countries, and are proud to provide a wide variety of support for children, graduate students, recent graduates, disadvantaged students and other young talent.

Around the world, our businesses also support local education initiatives that promote diversity and inclusion. Among such initiatives, ABB in Australia launched the Reconciliation Action Plan in 2013 to help close the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous communities. Under the plan, ABB has partnered with the University of Technology Sydney on an outreach program called the Galuwa Engineering and IT Experience; the program aims to encourage indigenous high school students to continue their education and training. In 2019, the outreach program provided indigenous students with opportunities not only to see ABB robots in action, but also to program them.

Digital substation donated to Zambia’s School of Engineering (photo)

Case study Digital substation donated to Zambia’s School of Engineering

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For engineering students seeking to achieve mastery of the latest technologies, nothing is better than the opportunity to work on state-of-the-art equipment. That is why ABB donated a digitally empowered high-voltage substation to the School of Engineering at the University of Zambia.

This high-tech equipment will be used for training purposes and forms part of a partnership ABB entered in 2015 with the University of Zambia in Lusaka and Copperbelt University in Kitwe. This combined project with Education Partnership in Africa (EPA), Copperbelt Energy Corporation and the German government provides students with opportunities to work with ABB equipment in an engineering laboratory.

As part of this partnership, ABB has collaborated with Professional Training Solutions to support curriculum development and train-the-trainer initiatives for quality teaching. ABB specialists provide lectures on smart grids, solar technologies and other topics of interest. The intention is to bridge the gap between industry needs and university offerings, ensuring that students are well-equipped for the workplace after graduation.

ABB is pleased to support Zambia’s largest university and its talented engineering students, and believes that projects like this not only support economic growth, but also facilitate access to energy for all.

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Other ABB inclusion programs are focused on the differently abled, including a significant sponsoring partnership with the Special Olympics in Germany. Since the partnership was established in 2000, more than 3,300 ABB employees from sites across Germany have volunteered, dedicating their holidays to assist athletes with intellectual disabilities to participate in local and countrywide sporting competitions.