53 (148) 2022

Corporate social responsibility

Sustainability grows in Castorama across different areas

By Paweł Świętochowski, president of the Castorama Foundation
Header pawe   wi tochowski

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...

Castorama Foundation helps Ukrainians

Our foundation has started 13 projects for housing Ukrainian refugees; nearly 1,100 refugees will find a place to safe living once these are complete. Our staff are volunteering their help. One project that I’d like to talk about in particular – Modlin Fortress, which is enjoying strong engagement from Castorama colleagues. The 19th century fortress, just outside Warsaw, is being adapted as a shelter for up to 300 refugees newly arrived from Ukraine. The Castorama Foundation joined the project, donating funds for this purpose, as well contributing the labour of Castorama Polska employees themselves, who have volunteered for renovation and cleaning works.

Currently, various types of renovation works are being carried out in the area of the former defence barracks, refreshing the rooms, which will then still need to be equipped. The Castorama Foundation provided financial support to the Nasza Historia (‘Our History’) foundation operating at the Fortress for the purchase of necessary building materials to paint the rooms and install kitchen equipment, such as kitchen furniture, worktops, sinks and taps.

The Modlin Fortress campaign was met with great enthusiasm by Castorama employees. Volunteers from the company's headquarters and its Warsaw stores have been engaged in the construction work, while others have been busy in our warehouses, where supplies for those in need are collected. Volunteers dealt with sorting and picking basic necessities such as food, clothes, blankets, medicines and hygiene items as required. Parcels are currently being sent to Ukraine and also handed over to refugees arriving in Poland. After the renovation works are completed, these products will also be intended for people using the shelter in the Fortress.

As part of activities for Ukraine, the Castorama Foundation has already supported many projects, including from the Warsaw Cooperation Fund foundation or the Pogotowie Społeczne (‘Social Emergency’) association from Poznań – many more are under way.

Orchids for Ukraine

From 4 April this year. in selected Castorama stores, a limited edition of blue and yellow orchids was available. Income from the sale of flowers will go to the Castorama Foundation for activities related to supporting war refugees from Ukraine.

A sustainable store for a sustainable planet

On the weekend of 8-10 April, the spring 2022 edition of the Flowers for Electro-waste campaign took place in all Castorama, Castorama Smart and Brico Depot stores. Throughout the weekend, customers brought their broken electrical and electronic equipment to stores, where we replaced them with spring pansies!

The increasing amount of electro-waste and its negative impact on the environment is one of the biggest problems of the industrialised economy. The production of electrical and electronic equipment is constantly growing. Worn-out devices become waste, including old models, which are pushed out of the market by new technological novelties. Spring cleaning in every home reveals more and more household electro-waste that requires proper segregation so that it can be subjected to the appropriate process of disposal or recycling.

Waste electrical and electronic equipment is all unused, broken electrical and electronic equipment that used to run on electricity or batteries. Electro-waste contains numerous harmful substances, such as mercury, freon or asbestos, which, when released into the soil, groundwater or air, may pose a threat to the environment and our health.

Conscious segregation of waste electrical and electronic equipment reduces the amount which ends up in municipal landfills, and thus reduces their negative impact on the environment.

The Flowers for Electro-waste campaign aims to reduce the amount of hazardous waste thrown into municipal tanks by increasing the selective collection of used electrical and electronic equipment. Our partner in the campaign is AuraEko, an electrical and electronic equipment recovery organisation. During the event, all Castorama stores collect used home appliances and, in return, distribute spring pansies in pots made of 100% recycled and biodegradable materials that can be recycled, fully decomposing during composting

We create a good atmosphere together with Castorama

On 22 April, on the occasion of International Earth Day, Castorama reminds you that it is worth taking care of the planet not only on holidays. Through the Nasza Sfera (‘our sphere’) programme, Castorama encourages the creation of sustainable, economical and ecological homes and gardens – paying attention to specific solutions and products available in stores all over Poland and on the castorama.pl website.

With the present and future generations in mind, Castorama has created the Nasza Sfera programme to create a good atmosphere together. Nowadays, it is increasingly difficult to maintain the right balance between everyday functioning and living in harmony with nature. Poland’s Number One home-improvement network comes out with a helping hand and proposes solutions that help find this balance and provide better, and therefore healthier, conditions for living at home and outside.

Nasza Sfera allows us to better understand the benefits of environmentally friendly solutions and new technologies available on the market. It helps in choosing products and materials whose properties we can enjoy for years. Being ‘eco’ simply pays off, and not only in money terms!
Each of us is an inhabitant of the Earth, therefore each of us individually, but also together with others, should take care of its good condition. Making even small changes to your daily habits and green solutions in your home and garden can help save our planet.

The newest Nasza Sfera Castorama TV ad draws attention to the products thanks to which we will be able to enjoy a nature-friendly home and garden. More solutions and tips on how to create health-, planet- and wallet-friendly homes and gardens can be found on a website specially prepared for this programme – Nasza Sfera in Castorama.

More in Corporate social responsibility:

Helping locally and globally – Shell’s efforts to support Ukrainians

By Piotr Kuberka, country chairman, Shell Polska

For the past two and half months we have witnessed the tragic events in Ukraine. Like many people across the world, myself and my colleagues at Shell felt the need to help our Ukrainian friends, in a meaningful way. I can proudly say that the same feelings were reflected by the entire Shell group which took considerate steps to distance itself from the Russian Federation, at the same time providing support to those affected by this war.

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.