Astellas promotes its corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy by offering its 400 staff the opportunity to donate money to charity as they earn and volunteer for community projects. Employees also fundraise towards the organisation’s own foundation, the Astellas European Foundation, as well as its chosen corporate charity.
The pharmaceutical firm also has a ‘Give as you earn’ scheme in place, which allows staff to donate to its chosen charity, the Fistula Foundation, in a tax-efficient manner through payroll. The charity supports women who have developed the preventable condition of obstetric fistula after childbirth, as well as training surgeons to carry out surgery. Robert Wigmore, senior manager, reward at Astellas, says: “We chose a charity that many people haven’t come across before, to make sure we were really making a difference.”
Astellas also promotes volunteering opportunities on local community projects, such as building or decorating schools for children with learning difficulties. Wigmore says: “Charitable giving and volunteering is never a pressurised situation but it is something our employees are encouraged to do. We also lead from the top down, so our [chief executive officer] always takes part.
“These types of opportunities also give staff a chance to mix with colleagues they may not already know, and socialise out of work,” he adds.
These initiatives not only emphasise Astellas’ CSR policy, but are also implemented off the back of employee feedback to ensure good staff engagement.
Wigmore says: “We want to help our staff have a better quality of life, which is why we try to offer good benefits and opportunities to allow staff to give something back. This is helping us become an employer of choice.”