Home > Blog > Corporate Social Responsibility: How to make a difference at home

As the COVID-19 situation continues to change in Australia, we are considering new ways to reward, recognise and incentivise for our clients.  We are also exploring new ways to exercise Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) within local communities so we can continue helping our clients make a difference.

A history of CSR

For one of our clients, a telecommunications leader in Australia, CSR is in the DNA of their Pacesetters program (an annual incentive trip and conference) reflecting their continuous commitment to giving back to communities. In previous years, we’ve partnered with local organisations in Vietnam, Hong Kong, and most recently Bali, rebuilding a special needs school damaged by an earthquake.

As a result of government travel and event restrictions, combined with an increased need stemming from the devastating bushfires earlier this year, a new opportunity presented itself to give back to communities who are closer to home.

Our 2020 Pacesetters are #ConsumingLocal

Through the amazing initiatives of ‘Spend with them’ and ‘Empty esky’, Solterbeck Events sourced products from 16 small businesses from regional Australia (in SA, VIC, NSW and QLD) who have been doing it tough, from loss of vineyards and property during bushfires to reduced tourism and cancelled markets as a result of COVID-19. Using their locally made products, 277 custom hampers were delivered to qualifier homes across the country. The hampers were packaged with recyclable material and filled with comforts to make staying home a bit more enjoyable, including body scrubs, soap, wine and cider, olive oil, barbeque sauce, tea and coffee, candles, sweets and more.

“I opened up Perigrine Store late October 2019 and the bushfires hit only 6 weeks after. Our town in South Australia was evacuated, the shop had to be shut down and we lost our pre-Christmas trade. After the fire swept through, we returned home to find out that of our 33 acres, 32 had burnt. We lost most of our fencing, a shed, and our dog passed away from the stress of the fire. Luckily though, our home was still standing – the fire had come as close to 5 metres on one side and we still have no idea who saved it. Through all this, I’m incredibly grateful for the community that has been strengthened by these events and the new friendships that have forged as a result.”

– Jessie, Peregrine Store, Gumeracha, SA

The hampers were designed with something to eat, something to drink, something to entertain, something to delight, and something to feel like a winner – all accompanied with a brochure explaining the meaning of the hamper and the link with CSR. In the coming weeks, through their smartphone app, Pacesetters will hear the emotional stories as told by these small businesses – the hardships they’ve faced and the resilience they’ve shown during the most devastating period of their business’ existence. Pacesetters will learn how their participation in the program has had an impact on these businesses and communities.  

“Our home and business is based in Jindabyne, NSW. During the summer holiday season fires, our region was classified as a “no go zone” for visitors and our town was evacuated. Being surrounded by fires for weeks was devastating to our local economy and an emotional drain on our staff and community. And then the rain came: Part of our factory was flooded but that landlord refuses to call the building insurance company and instead wants us to pay for damages. And then came COVID-19: 70% of our business/sales is with the airline catering sector (11 years of consecutive supply to QANTAS) and now we have a warehouse full of stock with no clear way of selling the stock before it reaches its best before date. Your support means a lot”

– Nolen, Snowy Mountains Cookies, Jindabyne, NSW

Moving forward

Solterbeck Events is bringing extra comfort to the homes of qualifiers, building excitement for what is to come when it’s safe to travel and gather once again, and partnering with the industry’s finest suppliers of virtual alternatives. We are also designing future programs that are COVID-safe, with careful hotel and venue selection, risk mitigation systems and close monitoring of the global situation. Find out more about what we’ve been up to and keep up to date with our response below.