Social engagement

(Photo: Hermes)

As a company, Hermes is involved in numerous organisations and initiatives and also encourages the social commitment of its employees. Local commitment is an important part of Hermes' corporate responsibility and credo as a ‘good neighbour’ in communities and municipalities, particularly at the company's sites.

We are committed to education, integration, environmental and climate protection and provide targeted support in three ways:

  • Through donations and cooperation
  • Through voluntary work (corporate volunteering)
  • Through logistical support

We focus in particular on regional projects and initiatives that are directly related to our core business. Proximity and commitment to the projects is also created through the personal commitment of our managing directors and employees, which Hermes specifically promotes within the framework of corporate volunteering.

Our social commitment is managed by the Human Resources (HR) and Corporate Responsibility (CR) departments.

Support with lasting effect

Hermes supports numerous initiatives and organisations with donations and cooperation. In doing so, it is particularly important to us to be a reliable and long-term partner of the initiatives and organisations selected in order to accompany the supported projects as widely as possible. Our focus is on the sustainable effects we can achieve in this way.

Here is a selection of some of the projects we support.

1. Ecological projects and sustainable disaster relief

NABU ‘Green Space’ consulting

When building new sites, it is important for Hermes to devise voluntary ecological land compensation. When we do, we would like to go beyond the normal intervention compensation rule. For this reason, we are cooperating with the German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union – NABU – to increase biodiversity on the compensatory areas.

A current example is NABU's Green Space consultancy for the new logistics centre in Berlin’s Ketzin district, which was opened at the end of 2017. Taking into account the surrounding flora and fauna, planting is chosen that is suitable for breeding and as a basis for food.

Atmosfair CO2 compensation using wood gas stoves

In order to compensate for CO2 emissions and at the same time provide an impetus for self-help, Hermes is supporting the non-profit organisation Atmosfair which calculates and compensates carbon emissions through appropriate initiatives. Hermes is currently supporting a project to sell wood gas stoves in northern India. These stoves now generate additional income for over 11,000 households in the Ganges Delta by enabling them to use or sell the charcoal the stoves produce. The stoves also consume only half the wood of conventional stoves and significantly reduce respiratory diseases. Overall, a total of 2.5 tons of CO2 can be saved per stove per year.

Habitat for Humanity e.V. - Helping people to help themselves

Hermes supports Habitat for Humanity e.V, an organisation that provides fast and non-bureaucratic help in disaster zones. Founded in 1976 in the USA, the association promotes sustainable projects worldwide with a focus on shelter and housing following the principle of ‘helping people to help themselves’. Habitat for Humanity e.V. builds houses for needy people worldwide.

2. Projects for the integration of refugees

Concrete help for refugees in Hamburg

In August 2015, the Hamburger Abendblatt daily newspaper called for donations for refugees. The response from thousands of Hamburg’s citizens was tremendous. True to our motto ‘WE DO!’ Hermes provided spontaneous help supplying trucks to distribute the donations on the one hand by providing urgently needed storage space. Hermes transported many aid packages to two refugee initiatives in the Hamburg city area. Over 40 tonnes of donations from 10,000 people were temporarily stored and distributed.

Hanseatic Help

In October 2015, Hermes intensified its refugee aid in Hamburg as the association Hanseatic Help e.V. was founded to secure the long-term commitment initiated for fugitives and people in need of help. Having begun with donations in kind and their distribution, the project was extended to accommodation. Hanseatic Help became better and more efficient and quickly developed beyond the city limits into a well-known humanitarian logistics service provider. Hermes supported the Hamburg association with a donation of €10,000. In addition, Hermes employees involved in distributing clothing received a hours credited to their working time. We have continued to support Hanseatic Help e.V. since then.

3. Commitment to children and young people

A heart for children

From 2012 to 2016, Hermes Germany supported the BILD hilft e.V. association ‘Ein Herz für Kinder’ – a heart for children. Under its slogan ‘Sending is donating’, Hermes donated two cents for each private parcel sent with Hermes. In 2015, a total of €140,000 was amassed. At Christmas 2016, Hermes initiated a fund-raising campaign for children in need. Gifts were collected at Hermes' Hamburg headquarters and then distributed by several couriers to various childcare facilities in the city.

Young ClassX

The Hamburg-based music project Young ClassX inspires children and youths in a playful manner for music. One of the programme’s modules, instigated by the Otto Group, is The YoungClassX MusikMobil. MusikMobil buses pick up the boys and girls from school and take them to concerts, rehearsal and music school events. Hermes supports the project as a transport partner, providing the buses free of charge. Since 2010, this has given over 6,300 school children from Hamburg the chance to enjoy a wonderful musical experience

Encouraging voluntary commitment

Hermes expressly supports the social commitment of its employees, thus making a further non-financial social contribution. The voluntary work of our employees in a non-profit organization of at least 7.6 hours per year is counted as special leave. Our employees are highly motivated to undertake tasks outside the company and support our corporate values. Since 2016, 2,300 ‘volunteer’ hours have been worked.