Ahlström Collective Impact celebrates World Children's Day together with UNICEF Finland

 

United Nations' World Children's Day is celebrated on November 20 each year to promote children's rights and welfare. Ahlström Collective Impact joins forces with UNICEF Finland to raise awareness about the wellbeing of the new generations as part of the World Children's Day celebrations.

This year Ahlström Collective Impact wants to draw attention especially to quality education. The Convention on the Rights of the Child states that every child has the right to an education. To remind everyone about this right and children's rights in general, the members of Ahlström Collective Impact spread the message about World Children's Day among their employees and external stakeholders. This includes different internal and external communication campaigns and activities taking place during November 15-20.

Read more about World Children's Day: https://www.un.org/en/observances/world-childrens-day

Read more about Ahlström Collective Impacts investment into UNICEF's Global Education Program here.


Ahlström Collective Impact makes a significant investment into UNICEF’s Global Education Program

@UNICEF/UN0325666/ Ralaivita. School girls in Berano, Madagascar.

 

Ahlström Collective Impact is a joint responsibility initiative by the Ahlström Network companies and foundations. As of June 2021, this unique collaboration forum has been further strengthened as Suominen and Enics along with the Walter Ahlström Foundation have joined Ahlström Collective Impact. For 2021, Ahlström Collective Impact has succeeded in more than doubling the investment it makes and donates 600,000 euros into UNICEF’s Global Education Program.

Initiated by the Eva Ahlström Foundation in 2020, Ahlström Collective Impact is a unique co-operation model that joins together the Ahlström Network companies and foundations. Ahlström Collective Impact consists of Ahlström Capital, Ahlstrom-Munksjö, Destia, Enics, Glaston, Suominen, Antti Ahlström Perilliset, Eva Ahlström Foundation and Walter Ahlström Foundation and it acts in partnership with UNICEF Finland.

Ahlström Collective Impact is designed for targeted strategic investments that support the realization of selected United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In order to support the goal for quality education (SDG number 4), Ahlström Collective Impact has decided to direct its investment of 600,000 euros to UNICEF’s Global Education Program.

In 2020, Ahlström Collective Impact focused on supporting the COVID-19 crisis aid to children. In 2021, Ahlström Collective Impact will focus on the learning crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To address the learning crisis, UNICEF strives to ensure every student gains a solid foundation in basic reading and mathematics – skills that are the foundation for all learning throughout childhood and beyond. Focusing on the most marginalized children in low- and middle-income countries, is critical for meaningful progress on all targets under SDG number 4.

“The private sector has a huge role in the realization of the SDGs and for finding new ways to collaborate.  To further demonstrate our belief that prosperous businesses and stable societies are interdependent, shareholders from the Ahlström Family decided to match the companies’ investment for the year 2021”, comments Maria Ahlström-Bondestam, Co-founder and Chair of the Board at the Eva Ahlström Foundation.


Summary of Ahlström Collective Impact's and UNICEF's 2020 COVID-19 response published

©UNICEF/UN0380512/Das

 

These young girls are practicing safe handwashing in Odisha, India as part of UNICEF’s work against COVID-19. Last year Ahlström Collective Impact focused on supporting children’s wellbeing and health during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the investment of 240 000 euro, UNICEF could, for example,

  • provide 50 healthcare facilities with supplies of water and sanitation equipment in Nepal, and
  • provide 125 000 school children with access to remote learning programs when schools were disrupted in Guinea-Bissau, and
  • reach 1 million people with urgent health and hygiene messaging through social media in Costa Rica.

Disruptions to society caused by the pandemic have had a heavy impact on children: on their safety, their well-being, and their future. As these services were compromised, UNICEF took action to prevent this health crisis turning into a child rights crisis.

Read the summary here.

Read the full report here.

The family matriarch paved the way: Ahlström Collective Impact wants to spark change

@UNICEF/UN0339412/Dejongh

The goals set by Ahlström Collective Impact are high: through investments, the initiative aims to guarantee a better world for children. Ahlström Collective Impact is a unique initiative created to address the challenges sustainable development faces. The initiative is founded by Ahlström Network companies and foundations in strategic partnership with UNICEF.

 

Eva Ahlström, the matriarch who led the Ahlström family business at the turn of the 20th century, was known for her social responsibility. With her help, a shelter for the elderly and the Eva Ahlström Hospital were built in Noormarkku in Western Finland. The Ahlström family also supported, among other things, the construction of schools in the area.

Johannes Gullichsen, Chairman of the Board, Antti Ahlström Perilliset Oy, says: “For 170 years the Ahlström Family has acted according to the values of the founders of the Ahlström companies. Social and ecological responsibility as well as economic sustainability are high on our agenda. The Eva Ahlström Foundation has with its exemplary actions reconnected us with our values and proven to be an innovative force.”

 

Therefore, it is no surprise that the Ahlström Collective Impact, a collaborative project founded in August last year, was initiated by the Eva Ahlström Foundation. What makes the project special is that a group of companies come together to solve the challenges of sustainable development. The ambition is also high. The purpose is to make a strong impact through investments and create permanently better conditions for children.

“UNICEF is proven to make a difference”

UNICEF, with whom the Eva Ahlström Foundation has successfully collaborated for the past decade, was chosen as a strategic partner for the initiative that Antti Ahlström Perilliset and the Ahlström Network companies Ahlström Capital, Ahlstrom-Munksjö, Destia and Glaston have also joined.

“UNICEF works systematically for children's rights. The organization is reliable and is proven to make a difference,” says Tarja Takko, Executive Vice President, People and Safety at Ahlstrom-Munksjö. “Through strategic Corporate Social Responsibility, we are able to pursue both sustainable development and our business goals.”

Investments in responsibility also benefit business

Ahlström Capital's CEO Lasse Heinonen is pleased that so many companies have committed to the initiative.

“Ahlström Collective Impact is a project that benefits everyone. An investment in children is an investment in the future. We can achieve significant results when working together with different companies. Studies show that Corporate Social Responsibility also benefits businesses. I believe that the initiative will strengthen cooperation between the companies in the Ahlström Network.”

 

First investment contributed to the battle against COVID-19

The motivation of the members in the network is clear, as the first investment of €240,000 was made as soon as the initiative began.

“The negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children is so significant that we unanimously decided to invest in the battle against it,” Tarja Takko says.

The donation came in handy. The pandemic has increased poverty, made access to food more difficult, reduced health services, and disrupted the education of tens of millions of children.

“Ahlström Collective Impact enables us to support children in accessing primary health care, education and safety in difficult circumstances,” says Nina Vähäpassi, Corporate Alliances Manager for UNICEF in Finland. She says that Ahlström Collective Impact, like other partners, receives regular updates on the impact of investments.

Businesses needed in solving the challenges of sustainable development

The balance of power has changed radically in the world and the influence of companies' economic value has increased. Achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals also requires investments by companies. To promote children’s rights the solutions, skills, and perspectives that companies have are needed, says Nina Vähäpassi.

“Children's rights affect everyone. Companies need sustainable societies to ensure good operating environments.”

The initiative has evoked extremely positive reactions among company employees.

“I hope that our staff will be proud of what we have achieved through Ahlström Collective Impact,” says Lasse Heinonen of Ahlström Capital.

Nina Vähäpassi continues:

“Ahlström Collective Impact is a real pioneer. I would like to believe that this will inspire others as well. The world needs the hope that innovations like this create.”

 

Read more about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals at: https://sdgs.un.org/goals

 


Ahlström Collective Impact for World Children's Day 2020

Welcome to celebrate World Children’s Day with Ahlström Collective Impact!

This week, we celebrate World Children's Week and on November 20th the week's grand finale is the World Children's day! You have a unique opportunity to learn about child rights and why they matter.

Please take this inspiring possibility to learn why Ahlström Collective Impact (ACI) has decided to partner with UNICEF and how we in the Ahlström Network can make a difference - together!

Sit back, learn and maybe share your insights with your colleagues and the children dearest to you.

On behalf of Ahlström Collective Impact -Thank you for watching.

 


The UNICEF response to COVID-19

In 2020, Ahlström Collective Impact focuses on supporting the COVID-19 crisis aid to children, the hidden victims of the pandemic. The coronavirus pandemic has both short- and long-term impacts on the health, well-being and the development of children, and UNICEF is tackling these challenges by supporting governments worldwide in their efforts to secure basic healthcare and education for every child. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the lives of children and their families as health systems buckle, borders close, and schools and businesses shutter.