53 (148) 2022

Corporate social responsibility

Freightliner PL, a Genesee & Wyoming company, standing in support of the people of Ukraine

By Krzysztof Wróbel, Board Member at Freightliner PL (“FPL”)
Header header kwrobel

Just as we felt the world was getting back to some semblance of normality following the unprecedented challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, another crisis emerges – the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We have all been extremely moved by the tragic consequences that this war is having on the Ukrainian people, millions of whom are fleeing the Ukraine to seek refuge in neighbouring countries, including Poland.

So many of our employees worldwide have asked what we can do to support the humanitarian effort in the Ukraine. After liaising with our Genesee & Wyoming colleagues in the UK and the US, we donated 250,000 zlotys to the Polish Humanitarian Action Fund for the support of the refugees of the Ukrainian crisis. Polish Humanitarian Action (PAH) is an established Polish non-governmental, public-benefit organisation, operating since 1992. It supports countless operations throughout the world and its activities are regulated by the Red Cross Code of Conduct. It provides long-term humanitarian aid, protects civilian populations and educates society about the needs of the citizens of the countries in which they work, so we can be assured that the donation we are making in support of the people of the Ukraine will be put to good use.

Our thoughts and best wishes at this time also go out to all of our colleagues in Freightliner Poland, many of whom have friends and family directly affected and who have personally contributed so much to support fleeing refugees. We cannot begin to comprehend the pain and suffering they are seeing on a daily basis.  

Here are some inspiring examples of how our Polish colleagues are supporting their families and friends in the Ukraine. Their names have been omitted so as not to expose them to any potential risk.

  • Letter from a Ukrainian contractor – Sent: Monday, 7 March, from Kyiv, Ukraine

“Until today it was hard because there are up to 15 air-raid alerts every day, and explosions. Now we hear the noise and can identify what kind of weapon and how near it is.

“A lot of buildings have been destroyed and people killed. Very many are in hospitals as well.

“Some cities have been raised to the ground, for example, Kharkiv in the Ukraine is now in ruins.

“Tomorrow, I’ll try to organise evacuation for my daughter to Denmark through Poland, if it is not too late. Fields and roads near Kyiv are full of hundreds of burnt-out tanks and other destroyed Russian machines, shot-down aircraft, etc.

“It is so very hard. But we must look forward.”

  • A member of the FPL executive team managed to evacuate his parents from Kyiv where they have been staying in their flat close to government buildings. His friend brought his parents to the border, where they spent 24 hours queuing before their son could pick them up on the Polish side.
  • An FPL locomotive driver is hosting two Ukrainian families in his family house in Wroclaw, south-west Poland.
  • An FPL manager is hosting Ukrainian family with children in his house; FPL equipped them with new laptops, a Wi-Fi router and IT accessories so that they could continue their remote education.
  • An FPL locomotive driver spoke of his daughter’s godmother who is Ukrainian but has been living in Poland for a long time. They worked together to bring over her mother, daughter-in-law and her two little daughters and another aunt to Poland. However, the men stayed on in Ukraine and will fight.
  • An FPL locomotive driver went with his colleague to the Polish-Ukrainian border with two vans full of food and clothes and some equipment for refugees who were in need.
  • FPL Warsaw office employees and locomotive drivers organised a collection of camp beds, blankets, tables, chairs, refrigerators, sleeping bags, cooking pots, towels etc. for temporary accommodation on the Polish side of the border. They transported the load to the border on 28 February.
  • An FPL accountant serves as a translator in the reception point for refugees in Warsaw.
  • An FPL IT specialist helps Ukrainian refugees learn Polish language.
  • FPL launched a volunteering programme “#Najsilniejsi (‘The Strongest’) in support of Ukraine” addressed to FPL employees engaged in helping Ukrainian refugees.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the people in the Ukraine.

More in Corporate social responsibility:

Sustainability grows in Castorama across different areas

By Paweł Świętochowski, president of the Castorama Foundation

We’re giving a lot back to society. It’s what we normally do – but in these times which are anything but normal – we’re doing a whole lot more. Here’s a summary of how Castorama is engaging in CSR activities...

Poland: Last call to review ATAD 2 (reverse hybrid mismatches) position

By Łukasz Kupień, senior manager, tax advisor, MDDP Michalik Dłuska Dziedzic i Partnerzy

Poland has implemented European Council Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive (ATAD 2) by introducing anti-hybrid provisions into its domestic law from January 2021. The taxpayers should take new rules into account in their 2021 CIT settlements and onwards. The deadline for 2021 CIT return and CIT payment elapses on 30 June 2022, so there’s still time to review and include hybrid mismatch position.

Lux Med offers medical and professional support for Ukrainian refugees

Anna Rulkiewicz, CEO of Lux Med, Roger Davis, chairman of the board, Bupa (Lux Med’s parent company), Iñaki Ereño, Group CEO of Bupa, and Iñaki Peralta – CEO of Sanitas and Bupa Europe & Latin America, hosted a press conference in Warsaw on 29 March in which they outlined Lux Med’s support for Ukrainian refugees. The event was held on the third floor of the Marriott Hotel, where Lux Med has set up a clinic dedicated for their needs.

Regulating ESG: an impossible task?

By Félix Goodenough, political and public affairs consultant, FairValue Corporate & Public Affairs

From a moral to legal responsibility

As stakeholder activism on climate and social issues has gained traction and companies have been found culpable of ‘greenwashing’ or ‘socialwashing’ practices under the guise of CSR, regulators have been pushed into action to make ESG more than just a notion of moral responsibility. Indeed, by making requirements and obligations on companies more concrete, ESG is now taking on a legal dimension that promises to have far-reaching impact on business activities, models and partnerships. Although businesses have largely welcomed these efforts, with ESG engagement increasingly being tied with financial performance, the significant financial, human and information resources needed to ensure compliance may represent nonetheless a significant obstacle to an effective uptake of more transparent and sustainable practices.