To maintain good social interaction within the company, personal contact between employees is essential. Since our employees live and work all over Germany, it is important to provide a framework in which an exchange can take place. Therefore, we usually meet once a quarter with the entire company for so-called team events. During the pandemic period, a monthly live stream called "abatTV" replaced these physical exchange opportunities.
Social commitment usually begins in the immediate environment and is part of corporate social responsibility, or CSR for short. Since abat was founded, we have been committed to society in various ways. From the very beginning it has been a matter of course for us to provide young people with training and a good start to their careers.
In 2019, our apprenticeship rate was 3.8% and in 2020, 4.7%. Students can gain professional experience with us through internships or student traineeships as well as through our cooperation with various universities, such as the University of Oldenburg, the Bremerhaven University of Applied Sciences, the Bremen University of Applied Sciences, the Wilhelmshaven University of Applied Sciences and the Deggendorf Technical University.
The diversity of our workforce is also an important concern for us. Dealing with social and national diversity is part of everyday life for us, as we employ people from almost 20 nationalities. We see this cultural diversity as an opportunity to look at things from different angles, for example by making ourselves aware of our views and behaviors through regular discussions.
It is also important to show diversity in terms of the age structure in our company. After all, we regard cooperation between older and younger employees as enriching. Only in this way can the different generations benefit from each other.
Younger employees are often familiar with the latest technologies - an important aspect in terms of our company's ability to innovate. Older employees can draw on extensive professional and life experience, gained in some cases over decades as consultants, developers, or internal employees. Close cooperation between the generations therefore allows all sides to benefit from each other.
In addition to social responsibility as part of our business activities, social commitment is also of great importance to us. As a result of our success, which is due among other things to social interaction and positive relationships with partners and customers, we are also in the fortunate position of being able to make important social contributions outside our company.
For example, abat regularly supports the association kidsneedfuture e.V., with which it has had a close relationship since its foundation, with donations. The association is committed to helping disadvantaged children worldwide through project-related support.
Another project we support is Nyuzi Blackwhite. Nyuzi Blackwhite creates upcycled products that tell stories. In a social project in Kenya, tailors* transform old cement bags, for example, into ultra-light, multifunctional and durable laptop bags. These unique items are produced under fair conditions and enable people to help themselves. Each tailor makes the product from start to finish, learning new things along the way and having the opportunity to further their education. The monthly orders generate a regular income for the social project and thus enable financial independence.
However, we are not only involved in faraway countries, but also on our doorstep. At our team events, we regularly hold activities such as auctions and team games, the aim of which is to raise money for regional projects. In addition to these events and donations organized from abat, our employees also get involved by, for example, independently organizing participation in charity runs or volunteering as teachers at elementary schools in Bremen's structurally weak neighborhoods, thus showing great commitment to equal opportunities and educational justice. We take a very positive view of such activities and support the social commitment of our employees by giving them special leave.