Corporate Sustainability, Social Responsibility, Corporate Responsibility, Corporate Conscience, Corporate Citizenship, CSR, Responsible Business, or more commonly known as community service done by a corporation. Regardless how you slice it, giving back to the community is becoming more important to employees and employers alike; So important that some companies utilize giving back as a base for their business strategy, for example Toms.
I am proud that I am interning for a company that also celebrates corporate responsibility. Not only has Key granted the Public Square revitalization $4 million, but they also encourage all employees to participate in “Neighbors Make a Difference Day”. Each year on “Neighbors Make a Difference Day” around 6,500 employees participate on a wide variety of community service projects that costs Key a $806,445 wage equivalent value for donating their employee’s time for the day. For more information on Key’s dedication to the community, please check out their 2014 Corporate Responsibility Report.
This year the Neighbors made a difference day fell on May 14th. Unfortunately, the internship began on May 27th after the volunteer day. Key is so invested in the value of corporate sustainability that the intern managers arranged an Intern version of the larger “Neighbors Make a Difference Day”. This past Friday, my fellow RRG interns and I departed the office around 11:30 and traveled to the Community Greenhouse Partners for an afternoon of greenhouse building.
Our afternoon started with a pizza luncheon to learn about Cleveland’s water sustainability. After the lunch we proceeded to our service site. The Community Greenhouse Partners show individuals who live in the city ways to live off of the land. It was a pretty incredible operation. For example they had a chicken coup and greenhouses right in the middle of the urban jungle. Upon arriving we were divided into 3 different teams. To my surprise, the team that I was placed on was staffed to fix a 15 foot hole in a chain link fence. I have never built a fence before or really anything to be honest. I experienced quite the learning curve. Once getting into the work we realized there was a bee hive in the ground right by where the fence is. In addition to the bee hive, there was also a mountain of wood chips to get to the fence site. Candidly, it was really challenging to perform the community service. Our first attempt resulted in failure because the chain link fence roll that we were instructed to use was too long, after getting the right size fence we were successful in putting up the fence. Countless bug bites later, the team emerged victorious against the tricky chain link fence.
Regardless the challenges our team faced, it felt really good to be able to give back to the community. Thank you to Key Bank, BVU, and Community Greenhouse Partners for making this experience possible. Check out this neat article by Cleveland.com about the volunteer day!
Opinions expressed are those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent those of KeyBank.