The support of charitable institutions and causes, as a way of giving back to society, has been inherent in the growth and evolution of Dufry since its early years.
During 2020, either at global, country or location level, Dufry has lent support – either financially, or by raising awareness, or through the volunteer work of our staff – to a number of nonprofit organizations and social or humanitarian initiatives, as well as supporting cultural events and entities.
2020 will be a year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact over all aspects of our lives. That has also been reflected in our interactions with the communities in the many locations in which we operate. Aware of the extreme pressure that health and assistance services experienced during the toughest months of the pandemic, we made contributions by donating food, confectionery and sanitary products to hospitals and care homes at the time they were most needed.
Nevertheless, the sponsoring and support of disadvantaged children, young people and their families, together with enabling them access to education, has remained the main line of action in our corporate community initiatives. At country level, similar projects have been supported and, in some of these operations, our employees have actively participated in the process of selecting the projects we support, reinforcing the engagement and motivation to collaborate with the initiatives.
Dufry's support to these causes is sustained in direct monetary contributions complemented by the paramount role of our customers, who help us raising additional funds by buying charitable products in our stores in support of different NGOs, as well as by making donations in the boxes available in some of our airport locations. The pandemic and its impact in terms of the reduction of passenger numbers, has inevitably reduced the amounts raised through the sale of products in our stores. However, it has not stopped Dufry from giving the much needed support, despite the challenging conditions of this year.
Towards the end of 2020, we celebrated the soft launch of Captain Dufry, our first global charitable initiative. Captain Dufry is a soft toy dog and the profits from the sale of Captain Dufry toys will be donated to the SOS Children’s Villages. Dufry has supported this charity for over ten years and benefits from this global initiative will serve to improve the living conditions of many children and their families. Beyond the financial objective pursued with Captain Dufry, this initiative will also serve to increase awareness around SOS Children’s Villages and their activities. Captain Dufry has already made his debut in many of our airport stores, and we will continue with his rollout throughout 2021.
We are also very proud of the activities carried out by our staff to support disadvantaged communities and charitable initiatives, often during their own free time. The pandemic has brought new needs that went beyond the material dimension, and these new needs have been addressed by many of our employees, who have gone “above and beyond” in terms of the help they have given to colleagues, neighbors and anyone in need around them. Where and when possible, we have supported and funded them and made the individuals and their great work visible to the rest of their colleagues, by using our internal communication channels. This serves a two-fold purpose, helping them to obtain vital, additional support and also providing a way of recognizing and thanking them for their philanthropic efforts.
The initiatives and projects described below represent some of the most prominent projects we support. The progress made and the encouraging results of our on-going support to these initiatives – the earliest Dufry supported project started in 1995 – make us feel very proud and is an incentive to strengthen our ties with them. Despite the COVID-19 related negative impacts on the travel and travel retail industries, and on our business results in 2020, we strongly believe that the most vulnerable in our communities need the continuous support of Dufry and companies like us.
SOS Children’s Villages supported programs in Brazil, Mexico and Kenya
Dufry and SOS Children’s Villages have been working together for more than ten years, supporting families worldwide with the aim that no child should grow up alone. Back in 2009, Dufry began sponsorship of an initial project focused on preventive care in Igarassu, in the northeast of Brazil. The construction of a social center was a tangible example of investing in the care of children and young people. Dufry has been continuing to support the running costs and training classes of the center ever since. In 2020, our donation benefited nearly 400 infants, young children and teenagers with their mothers and enabled them to join family strengthening programs focused on building self-esteem, improving gender relations and preventing domestic violence. Mothers were given the opportunity to leave their children in the child-care center during the day so that they could go to work and earn a living for themselves and their children. In addition to supporting this center, Dufry finances the annual family-budgets, medical costs and school fees for children in the SOS Children’s Village of Igarassu.
In Mexico, Dufry supports SOS Children Villages family strengthening programs in Comitán. Located in southern Mexico in the state of Chiapas, historically one of the poorest in Mexico, this city is known for its high rates of poverty and social exclusion. The programs of SOS Children’s Villages in the social center in Comitán ensure that children are included in early childhood development programs. The program aims to alleviate hardship in the community in a holistic and sustainable manner, provide childminding and day-care programs, which enable working parents or single mothers to leave their children in safe hands. Mothers hence have better opportunities to go to work and earn their own income, as they can count on day-care solutions for their children. Fathers on the other hand receive awareness raising support in connection with educational matters and are helped and encouraged to become more constructively involved in family responsibility, thus improving the overall quality of life for these families. The financial support covers expenses for food, school expenditures, medical assistance and educational staff. Dufry’s contribution in 2020 supported more than 1,000 beneficiaries.
In 2020, Dufry started supporting a family strengthening program in Nairobi, Kenya. This program seeks sustainable and innovative ways to prevent family separation and address the situation of those children who are at risk of losing care from their biological family. The pillars of this program are family empowerment and community empowerment to achieve the ultimate development of children through provision of quality care and protection. Community-based partners are strategically identified, assessed and engaged to help create a strong safety net around the vulnerable children and youth in the community. Diverse partners are actively sought and resources mobilized to increase impact through the provision of proper nutrition, quality education and healthcare, decent housing, training and development for young people, capacity development for caregivers and community-based partners, as well as emergency response when necessary.
Beyond Dufry's global contribution to SOS Children's Villages, a number of our operations – including those in Italy, Sweden and Finland – also support the local SOS Children's Villages projects in their corresponding countries. Their contributions, big and small, help this organization in their objective of keeping families together, providing alternative care when needed, supporting young people on their path to independence, and advocating for the rights of children.
Captain Dufry – Dufry's first truly global charity initiative
Supporting charities and contributing to the communities where it operates has always been at the core of Dufry’s way of doing business. Over the years this has crystallized in a long list of charitable initiatives supported at local level by our operations. The last quarter of 2020 however saw the kick-off of Dufry´s first global charity initiative with the launch of Captain Dufry.
Captain Dufry is a soft toy dog wearing a Dufry scarf and aviator hat with goggles, which is gradually being made available across Dufry stores in 23 countries. However, the most important part of this toy is not that visible: benefits obtained from the sale of Captain Dufry will be donated to charities and, for the next couple of years, Dufry has collaborated with SOS Children´s Villages to receive the proceeds of this initiative.
Captain Dufry is available at an accessible price and designed to be an irresistible “feel-good” impulse purchase. This item gives Dufry’s customers the perfect opportunity to buy a gift that truly makes children feel special – both their loved ones and those in need of support around the world.
The availability of Captain Dufry in stores is supported with in-store communication and signage to build awareness. Dufry is identifying high visibility spaces across the stores where Captain Dufry is to be made available – including dedicated sales displays and gondolas. On top of this, Dufry customers are offered additional options to donate using the Red By Dufry App, hence, increasing the possibilities of helping this charity initiative even more.
One Water – selling bottles to provide sustainable clean water
World Duty Free continues to be one of The One Foundation's main commercial supporters, a role it has held almost since the beginning of the partnership in 2016. World Duty Free sells the charity's bottled “One Water” and branded jute bags in all of its UK airport stores. To date, World Duty Free has raised £2.3 million for clean water and sanitation projects, changing in the process over 417,000 lives.
In 2020, World Duty Free helped continued to help improving water services in low-income areas in Nairobi through the promotion of household connections and pre-paid water dispensers. World Duty Free’s support has also helped to repair broken water points in rural communities in Malawi, to train community members to manage and maintain their water points for future sustainability, and to help deliver piped water systems in Rwanda.
Over the years, World Duty Free employees have been selected to go on trips to Malawi as part of a staff incentive to recognize stores that have shown the most growth in terms of One Water related sales. Employees who were nominated to go on the trip, are real advocates for the brand and the experience provides them with a chance to see for themselves the life changing work that One Water is doing. In 2020, six employees from our UK operation traveled to Rwanda to see the impact of The One Foundation’s work on the ground and see how this life-changing program is working with key stakeholders such as local government, communities and utility companies to deliver piped water into the districts of Rulindo, Kicukiro and Gicumbi.
These journeys to Africa are a great way to inspire our staff to get involved and keep supporting the One Water projects, taking back to the stores and our customers all that they have learnt.
Awareness campaign of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals
The #YouNeedToKnow campaign to raise awareness of United Nation's Agenda 2030 and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals returned for the fourth year in a row to Zurich and Basel airports in January 2020, in time to grab the attention of people heading to the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos.
The campaign was first launched in Geneva in November 2016. It has since travelled around the world’s largest airports, including Zurich, Madrid, London Heathrow, Malpensa in Milano, Mexico and Moscow. Between January 15 and February 14, 2020 the around 80,000 daily travelers transiting through Zurich airport were greeted at a 50 m2 pop-up stand showcasing communication material related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including videos, publications and games, urging them to rally around the Global Goals and think about how to rid the world of poverty, provide quality education, guarantee gender equality and foster economic growth, among the many challenges the world must tackle swiftly.
Charity Water Project in Zurich and Basel Airports
The Charity Water project launched in 2014 as a joint project between Flughafen Zurich AG and Dufry, continued in 2020. With the sale of bottles of mineral water in our airport stores, Dufry has been able to support several charity organizations, which are usually updated every year.
In 2020, Dufry has continued its cooperation with the Children’s Hospital (Kinderspital Zurich, locally known as “Kispi”). The Children’s Hospital is a non-profit private institution serving all children and adolescents. It is the largest university children’s hospital in Switzerland and one of the leading centers for pediatric and adolescent medicine in Europe. Each year, approximately 2,300 dedicated employees are committed to care for the wellbeing of more than 100,000 young patients, from the first day of life to the age of 18. At the same time, with the sale of bottled water in our stores at Basel Airport we continued to support the NGO Krebskranke Kinder Basel, an NGO supporting children with cancer being treated in the University Children’s Hospital of Basel. This foundation plays an important role in helping families financially with uncovered costs related to childhood cancer, as well as providing professional support for families in this difficult phase of their life.
Sponsoring children’s education in Haiti
As corporate sponsor since 2014, Dufry continued its support to the Hand in Hand for Haiti Foundation, supporting the NGO´s Student Sponsoring Program. Hand in Hand for Haiti runs the “Lycee Jean-Baptiste Pointe du Sable”, which was built as part of the collective response to the humanitarian crisis in Haiti, following the catastrophic earthquake of January 12, 2010. Through Dufry’s sponsorship, children receive trilingual education in French, English and Creole, as well as meals, health services, uniforms and school supplies and free bus transportation to and from school.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Helping to build the future of young teenagers
Since 1995, Dufry has been sponsoring a social promotion program in Rio de Janeiro aimed at improving the skills of young people and, hence, increasing their employability. This program features free professional education to young people from communities around Galeão Airport, including various classes and education modules such as English, computer classes, retail operations, professional orientation, teamwork, leadership, rules of etiquette, ethics and citizenship. The daily classes are attended by 16 to 20 year-old female and male students, who receive free meals, medical and dental care, uniforms, school and educational materials as well as transportation assistance. The commitment of Dufry with this program goes a stage further by supporting attendees in their first steps into professional life. Dufry coaches students on their career progression, alerting them to any job opportunities within Dufry’s organization or with external partners and giving support on how to successfully face a recruitment process. This program is also an institution amongst Dufry employees and one of the initiatives Dufry Brazil staff feel very proud of. Our staff in Brazil act as mentors to the program´s students and every year, more than 60 volunteers from both Dufry and its Brazilian partners get involved.
Over the 25 years that this program has run, it has proved to be a great success. Employability rates usually reach high levels for participating students and since Dufry started its collaboration, over 730 teenagers have benefited. And, whilst during 2020 the education activity was canceled due to the pandemic, Dufry is determined to keep supporting this program.
Hudson supports communities in need
In 2020, Hudson continued its long-term partnership with Communities in Schools (CIS), raising funds through its in-store donation program. CIS is the largest and leading school dropout prevention group in the United States, serving nearly 1.6 million at-risk students. With COVID-19 disrupting in-school learning, Hudson’s partnership with CIS was more important than ever this year. Hudson’s funds have helped CIS in providing technology for remote learning as well as access to mental health resources, social services and regular meals that students relied on from schools prior to COVID-19. Over the past 10 years, Hudson has raised more than USD 4 million for Communities in Schools, serving more than 15 million students during the duration of the partnership.
In late 2019 and into the beginning of 2020, Hudson also raised funds for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles to rebuild areas devastated by wildfires in Southern California. Raising more than USD 136,000 through in-store fundraising, the donations supported the Disaster Relief Program, which serves low-income families whose homes were damaged or destroyed in wildfires. Combined with funds raised previously for Habitat for Humanity wildfire relief, Hudson has donated over USD 336,000 to-date.
Manchester HOME project
Opened in 2015, HOME is Manchester’s cultural organization founded by the merger of two of the city’s long-standing arts venues – Cornerhouse, established in 1985 and the Library Theatre Company, founded in 1952. World Duty Free’s partnership with the Greater Manchester Arts Centre (HomeMcr) supports work with local schools, youth centers and community centers in the Wythenshawe area (south of Manchester).
Since 2016, World Duty Free has funded workshops at The Wythenshawe Community Workshop and projects at the Wythenshawe Primary & Secondary School. These projects provide opportunities to young people and pupils to expand their horizons, develop new skills and increase their confidence. The opportunity forchildren and young people to take part in creative workshops that help to develop a range of skills are fun, but most importantly, the projects give the group a chance to maximize their potential for future training and employment.
Mind – for better mental health
On its second year of a three-year partnership, World Duty Free in the UK continued collaboration with Mind, the mental health charity supporting individuals who suffer from mental health problems. Mind empowers people through advice, support and clear information. They campaign to improve services, battle stigma and end discrimination. In addition to its support of Mind, World Duty Free UK staff in Scotland and Northern Ireland continued supporting the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) and Inspire respectively. All three charities work towards the shared goal of supporting people with mental health problems and promoting awareness and understanding of mental health.
Mental health was one of the side effects of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. The months of lockdown and the anxiety and uncertainty generated by the sickness, have had a huge impact on mental health, with new mental health problems developing and existing ones getting worse. The importance of the work of this NGO hence became even more relevant, and the raising of awareness about mental problems, as well as how to get help and tackle them, became more urgent. The most remarkable event of the year coincided with the celebration of World Mental Health Day, when World Duty Free colleagues in the UK supported Mind through a number of activities organized to raise awareness, connect with colleagues and raise funds.
Fundación Aladina – supporting children with Cancer
Fundación Aladina is a Spanish NGO that provides comprehensive support to many cancer-diagnosed children and teenagers and their families. The support given include psychological andemotional support, as well as material and financial assistance. With its do-nations, Dufry supported Aladina´s Extraordinary Special, which finances the purchase of prosthesis, wigs, wheelchairs, hearing aids, physical therapy sessions, funerals, and any other expenses incurred as a result of the child’s illness. The support during 2020 was especially needed due to the growing needs that emerged as a consequence of the pandemic.
Support to multiple projects in Greece
Hellenic Duty Free Shops supplied fuel to heat up schools in the Northern areas of Greece. It also sponsors a variety of annual events that take place in areas where the company operates and supports a number of organizations through fund raising activities and direct donations. Amongst others, Hellenic Duty Free Shops have supported Make a Wish Hellas, SOS Children’s Villages Greece, Galilee Palliative Care Center and the Skytali Hellenic Heart-Lung Transplant Association.
Ongoing support to Richmond Hospital Foundation in Vancouver
For the fourth consecutive year, World Duty Free Vancouver continued its support to the Richmond Hospital and its community of care, by raising over USD 38,000 towards the Acute Care Tower for Richmond Hospital. Realizing the need for a new tower and understanding the impact it will have for health care in the community, World Duty Free Vancouver has committed to raising USD 100,000 towards the ACT (Acute Care Tower) NOW campaign within three years. Richmond Hospital urgently needs a new Acute Care Tower to replace the original hospital tower, which is more than 50 years old, seismically unstable and obsolete with a severely deficient infrastructure and unable to meet the needs of Richmond’s dramatically growing and ageing population.
Supporting healthcare workers on the frontline
Dufry and especially our staff were aware of the extreme pressure that the national medical and health services were going through during 2020, especially in the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic and the latter months of the year. And as Dufry had to start closing down stores due to travel restrictions, there was an opportunity to make donations to hospitals and care homes of the food and confectionery products that would otherwise expire in warehouses across many locations. In the case of the UK, a number of members of our staff volunteered to make multiple product deliveries to selected hospitals and care homes located near the airports where Dufry operates. This was coupled with lots of fundraising activities to support the UK's National Health Service and other local causes in real need during these challenging times.
In Spain, over 9,000 facemasks and hydro-gels were donated by Dufry to Spanish hospitals in response to the lack of self-protection materials suffered at the beginning of the pandemic, providing much needed support to medical professionals.
And a long list of other local contributions
There is a long list of yet more causes our staff contribute to and this has continued to grow in 2020. The high school scholarships program initiated a few years ago in Korea; the supply of school furniture in Argentina; and countless numbers of charity runs, bike rides, bake sales and more to support the many deserving projects. All these initiatives are often initiated by members of our staff and backed by Dufry, both with financial contributions and creating internal awareness to increase participation amongst our employees. We are very proud of our staff and the response given over the year, including a long list of individuals who have cared for those around them and lent support to local communities and colleagues in need, during this very challenging year.