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KLM and UNICEF are adapting their working relationship
Over the past three years, KLM and UNICEF have been united in their commitment to safeguarding children’s rights. This important topic will not be set aside just because the formal cooperative relationship is drawing to a close. Both organisations have learned a lot from each other over the last few years and will continue to work together on an ad-hoc basis.
Both organisations are convinced they will easily find each other whenever they need to in the future. However, neither party at the moment perceives any added value in a formalised partnership. Cooperating in a spirit of mutual trust has brought so much confidence, that they are certain these strong ties will not be broken.
Both parties have thoroughly enjoyed taking a peek behind the scenes at each other’s companies in recent years. Inka Pieter, Director Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Strategy at KLM, saw how both organisations could learn from each other. “We have designed a new way for an NGO like UNICEF to work with a company like KLM. The aim was to share knowledge and to give children’s rights a more prominent position within an organisation and to act with greater awareness of this issue. We have learned a lot and can now set about putting this experience and insight to use ourselves.”
Children’s rights respected
In 2013, and as UNICEF’s first partner, KLM kicked off with the Children’s Rights and Business Principles (CRBP), a tool developed by UNICEF to help companies respect children’s rights in relation to business operations. A major challenge, especially for a company like KLM, which works with a vast number of suppliers all over the world. The CRBP journey generated a new Supplier Code of Conduct for the airline. Since then, every party that supplies KLM signs a declaration that children’s rights are not violated anywhere in their production chain.
Employees and passengers also joined the partnership. Sporty KLM employees raised €11,000 during the Dam to Dam race and an entire social media hub, staffed by KLM agents, was set up to support the national relief campaign for Nepal.
Passengers raised €24,000 by rounding up the price on their inflight sales, and three consecutive editions of the Charity Challenge of the KLM Open golf tournament were together good for €165,000! On top of this, UNICEF has been able to use Flying Blue Award Miles donated by KLM’s frequent flyers for business trips for the past three years.
This support will not vanish once the formal partnership ends. In the years ahead, employees working for UNICEF The Netherlands will be able to fly to UNICEF projects around the world using Award Miles. This will generate huge savings on UNICEF’s travel expenses.