Norma Clean Water
Long-term partnership with Plan International
For NORMA Group, the responsible use of water is directly related to its core business. For this reason, NORMA Group is also involved in this area with its social project NORMA Clean Water. The project aims to show how the challenges in the field of water, sanitation and hygiene can be met: through cooperation between business and civil society.
Today, the NORMA Clean Water project can look back on a partnership of several years. NORMA Group’s partner is the children’s aid organization Plan International, which supervises and implements the projects in the respective countries. In 2018, the alliance between NORMA Group and Plan International received public recognition, when NORMA Clean Water was among the finalists for the German CSR Award in the category “Civil Society Commitment.” The prize is awarded to projects and initiatives that demonstrate exemplary CR.
Engagement in India and Brazil
From 2014 to 2017, NORMA Clean Water focused on the water supply and hygiene situation at Indian schools in the greater Pune area. In a total of 27 schools, construction measures for the repair or renovation of toilet facilities were implemented, and almost 18,000 students and around 600 teachers were trained in the use of clean drinking water and hygiene. The training courses formed the core of the work, as they ensure that the water facilities are used to improve hygiene even after the project has ended.
Building on the successful project in India, NORMA Clean Water has been continued since 2017 in the Codó and Peritoró regions of the state of Maranhão in northeastern Brazil. Here too, there is a lack of safe access to clean water. The project therefore aims to improve the living and health conditions of children and their families. Specifically, a total of 600 families have been given access to clean water through the construction and repair of new drinking water facilities. In addition, around 60 families benefit from vegetable gardens, which diversify and expand their food supply. Training has been at the heart of the project here as well to ensure the long-term success of NORMA Clean Water. In all project communities, water committees are actively involved in the implementation and maintenance of the construction and training measures, thus helping to anchor the project throughout the communities in the long term.
Continuing the commitment
The first phase of the project in Brazil was completed in 2020. Due to the success of the project and the continuing demand in the region, NORMA Group has extended the project in Brazil to include a second project phase. The total amount provided is EUR 325 thousand over three years.
Families in the existing project communities, where gardens were planted in the first phase, will now receive advice on fruit and vegetable cultivation. In addition, gardening tools and seeds will be distributed. In the area of health, hygiene and equal opportunities, workshops and exhibitions will be organized to anchor these topics in the communities. In addition, the project is being extended to two further communities, where measures corresponding to the first project phase are to be implemented (installation of water supply systems, establishment of water committees, workshops on gender equality). The expansion is expected to reach an additional 3,800 people.
The rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus in Brazil gives, the project an acute significance: The successes of the first measures – improved access to water and a better understanding of hygiene – can make an effective and lasting contribution to containing the COVID-19 pandemic and other viral infections.
Corporate volunteering at NORMA Help Day
Civil society is of crucial importance for the functioning of society as a whole. Against the backdrop of the current social challenges, NORMA Group is committed to getting involved and playing an active role. The basis for promoting the civic involvement of employees was created with the NORMA Help Day, which was held for the first time in 2014 in Maintal. The program has spread internationally to all NORMA Group sites since 2015, with employees’ participation being voluntary. In recent years, more than 700 employees have regularly taken part in Help Day. Numerous non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have benefited from the commitment of employees worldwide. Since the contributions or projects vary greatly from region to region, they are organized and implemented on a decentralized basis.
Due to the varying local coronavirus protection measures, it was only possible to hold a Help Day at a few locations in 2021. In China, a school for special education was visited and various games were organized together with the students. In Brazil, employees collected plastic bottle tops for a local project to make cloth blankets and donated them to a local non-profit organization. In Germany, employees supported a daycare center by building a garden and helping to beautify the banks of the Main River. At one site in the US, a non-profit organization was supported by donating clothing. In Serbia, a team helped people suffering from cerebral palsy. In France and Portugal, donations were made to local organizations.
NORMA Group has received a lot of positive feedback from participants and external project partners. An evaluation carried out in 2019 in cooperation with the University of Mannheim also confirmed the positive effect. Thus, the NORMA Help Day has been a complete success for NORMA Group and all participants and will be continued in the coming years.
Donations and sponsoring at the locations
NORMA Group has long supported local non-governmental organizations through donations and sponsorships with a focus on social, charitable and cultural projects in the regions. The approach here is also decentralized, as the efficiency of the support measures depends on the regional framework conditions.
Staggered approval processes apply to all donation and sponsorship activities, depending on the amount made available. The basis for this is the “Schedule for internal approval authority.” Donations to politicians, political parties and political organizations are expressly prohibited. Approval processes and reporting are also linked to NORMA Group's internationally applicable compliance management. COMPLIANCE In the past year, expenses for sponsoring and donations totaled around to EUR 302 thousand. NORMA Germany GmbH donated 50 used computers to the city of Maintal in fiscal year 2021. The donation will be used to support children and young people in the neighborhood. The computers will be used to support learning in homeschooling. NORMA Subotica also contributed to the local community by donating five used computers to the local school.
Cooperation with universities
In the spirit of giving back to our communities, NORMA Group’s US subsidiary NDS conducted its first Annual NDS Cares Scholarship Contest in 2021 and provided eight scholarships to college-bound or current college students. The candidates had to meet predefined applicant requirements (GPA, financial assistance need, career goals, and extracurricular activities) and submit an essay about why they think water management is important to modern day society.
These contents are part of the Non-financial Group Report and were subject to a separate limited assurance examination.