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 2021, 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 non-profit organizations and social or humanitarian initiatives. We have also continued supporting cultural events and entities.
The sponsoring and support of disadvantaged children, young people and their families, together with enabling them to have 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 to be considered, reinforcing the engagement and motivation to collaborate with the initiatives.
Dufry's help to these causes consists of direct monetary contributions, complemented by the paramount role of our customers, who allow us to raise additional funds by buying charitable products in our stores for the benefit of different NGOs, as well as by making donations in the boxes available in some of our airport locations.
Throughout 2021, we have seen our first global charitable initiative, Captain Dufry, grow and expand to a remarkable number of Dufry operations. Through the sale of Captain Dufry, a soft toy dog in an aviator costume, Dufry helps SOS Children’s Villages by donating the proceeds from the sale of this product to the organization.
Launched at the end of 2020, Captain Dufry’s first year can be described as success, and we hope to see growth continue for this initiative in the years to come.
We are also very proud of the activities carried out by our staff to aid 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, neighbours 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, as well as 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 ongoing 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.
SOS Children’s Villages supported programs in Brazil, Mexico and Kenya
It was back in 2009 when Dufry began its relationship with the international charity SOS Children Villages. What started with the sponsorship of a project focused on preventive care in Igarassu, a town located in the northeast of Brazil and one of the poorest areas in the country, has evolved into long-standing and constantly growing support reaching more geographies and involving a greater number of Dufry locations. Now, more than a decade later, the partnership continues evolving with initiatives like Captain Dufry being added to the mix, to help raise additional and much needed funds that will help improve the living conditions of many children in need.
Dufry continued supporting the Igarassu village in Brazil and, in 2021 alone, our donation benefited nearly 500 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. During this decade, Dufry has also lent similar support to other villages in Mexico, Russia, Kenya, Jordan and Spain.
The way SOS Children's Villages works permits families to evolve and reinforce family ties, whilst giving the necessary attention to children. Mothers are given the opportunity to leave their children in the child-care centers during the day so that they can go to work and earn a living for themselves, and opt for better work opportunities. At the same time, children in these daycare centers are included in childhood development programs.
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.
SOS Children’s Villages also promotes family strengthening programs, like the Dufry-sponsored program in Nairobi, Kenya. This program seeks sustainable and innovative ways to prevent family separation and addresses the situation of those children who are at risk of losing care from their biological family.
The pillars of this program are family 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.
Beyond Dufry's global contribution to SOS Children’s Villages, a number of our operations – including those in Italy, Sweden, Finland and Spain – 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
During 2020, Dufry launched its first global charity initiative with the introduction of Captain Dufry, a soft toy dog wearing a Dufry scarf and aviator hat with goggles, which is sold across Dufry stores in 23 countries.
Benefits obtained from the sale of Captain Dufry are donated to charities and, for the 2021-2023 period, Dufry has agreed to donate proceeds of this initiative to SOS Children´s Villages. Beyond the financial objective pursued with Captain Dufry, this initiative also serves to increase awareness of Dufry’s customers towards SOS Children’s Villages and their activities.
Captain Dufry is available at an accessible price and designed to be an irresistible “feel-good” purchase. This item gives our 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 complemented with in-store communication and signage to build awareness. Dufry is identifying high visibility spaces across the stores where Captain Dufry is 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.
The first year of Captain Dufry has been a great success with almost 55,000 units sold worldwide – a figure that is expected to continue to grow over the next years.
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” 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 419,500 lives.
Over the last two years, the importance of this partnership has been even more in the spotlight with countries all around the world having been severely impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic, presenting enormous challenges to communities, health systems, schools and businesses. As the pandemic continues to unfold, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) remain at the forefront of the global community’s response. Safe water, sanitation and hygienic conditions are essential to protecting human health during outbreaks of infectious diseases – yet millions of people across Africa still lack access to clean water and basic sanitation services.
Through partners like World Duty Free, The One Foundation is helping to bring clean water and improved sanitation to communities through the repair of broken water points and the strengthening of water and sanitation systems across Malawi, Kenya and Rwanda. All of which is critical in the prevention and reduction of infection risks.
Awareness campaign of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals
The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), hosted in Glasgow, Scotland, between October 31 and November 12 – was a great opportunity to, again, raise awareness about the United Nation´s Agenda 2030 and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Over 100 world leaders, alongside thousands of negotiators, government and business representatives as well as citizens, travelled to Glasgow for the twelve days of talks; and many used three airports where Dufry operates duty-free stores, including Heathrow, Edinburgh and of course Glasgow.
In collaboration with the UN Geneva office, communication around the 17 SDGs was prominently displayed in store through pop up banners and screens, reminding the world that we have specific objectives to achieve – structured under these 17 Sustainable Development Goals – and that these objectives are not achievable without individual and personal contributions.
This campaign follows others organized in previous years at the Zurich and Basel airports in Switzerland, coinciding with the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, and with other activities around some of the world’s largest airports, including Zurich, Madrid, London Heathrow, Malpensa in Milan, Mexico or Moscow.
Charity Water Project in Zurich and Basel Airports
Back in 2014, Flughafen Zurich and Dufry embarked on a joint project under the name of “Charity Water” to raise funds for charitable causes through the sale of bottled water in the airport. For every bottle of mineral water sold at the price of CHF 2.50, which is obtained from the Adello spring in Adelboden, in the Swiss Alps, 50 centimes are donated to a charitable organization.
During the month of June 2021, Dufry and the Zurich airport handed over a cheque worth CHF 167,676 to Kinderspital Zurich as part of the cooperation started in September 2019. Locally known as “Kispi”, Kinderspital Zurich is a non-profit private institution serving 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.
As of June 2021, Kinderhilfe Sternschnuppe is the new beneficiary of the “Charity Water” project. This Swiss non-profit organization brings joy and excitement into the lives of children and young people living with an illness or disability. It fulfils the dearest wishes of children and gives the whole family the opportunity for exciting excursions and worry-free family activities.
RgZ Foundation – Fostering unhindered development
Dufry also donated to Foundation RgZ, which is supporting the development, way of life and social integration of children, teenagers and adults with movement disorders, development problems and mental and / or multiple disabilities. Over 2,700 children, young people and adults are fostered, taught and supported by the 280 RgZ employees in the greater Zurich area every year.
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, 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 proven 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. Whilst during 2020 the education activity was suspended due to the pandemic, Dufry remained determined to keep supporting this program.
In 2021, following strict health and safety protocols, the program restarted in Brazil with the presence of 20 young people divided into two groups. The program started in April and ended in November, with 100 % approval from all students and with no Covid cases registered in the class. The classroom and all content have been adapted to meet local health and education guidelines. Despite this challenging economic and health environment characterised by restrictions, more than 50 % of the class left the program with a job in the Brazilian market.
Hudson: empowering education and supporting communities
In 2021, Hudson remained focused on inspiring the next generation of students. Through the Mario Di-Domizio Excellence in Education Scholarship Program, 10 children of Hudson team members received an educational scholarship. Hudson has now awarded a milestone of $ 150,000 in scholarships since 2017 to help its team members’ children with affordable higher education opportunities.
Hudson also continued its decade-long partnership with Communities In Schools® (CIS™) to empower students to realize their greatest potential in school and beyond. With more than $ 4 million donated todate by customers in the US, Hudson and CIS are helping to keep students in school and prepare them for success, while also making schools equitable places where all students receive what they need to succeed.
Throughout the year, Hudson also launched several local fundraising initiatives to give back to the communities it serves and does business in. This included the Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program (HJTEP) in New York; the Richmond Hospital Foundation and the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Toronto Branch in Canada; as well as a number of other important causes in its duty free locations, such as in kind donations to shelters and participating in November for men’s health issues.
Mind – for better mental health
As we come to the end of our three year partnership with Mind and its sister charities SAMH in Scotland and Inspire in Northern Ireland, we are proud to have been able to make a real difference across all four nations of the United Kingdom in the campaign for better mental health. It has never been more important to take care of mental health, with around a third of people in the UK saying their mental health has deteriorated since March 2020. One in six people have accessed mental health services for the first time during the pandemic and through our fundraising we have helped Mind, SAMH and Inspire to provide life-changing information, advice and support so that people can make their own choices and access the treatment and support that is right for them.
Despite everything, our teams have pulled together throughout this past year to help raise as much money as possible. The most remarkable event of the year being our “Active in April” campaign, where the Dufry UK team organised activities to get people moving, connecting with colleagues after furlough, as well as raising awareness and funds. We raised over £ 10,000 from this event and were even nominated for an award as “Outstanding Employee-Led Initiative” at the Inspire Workplace Wellbeing Awards.
The charity supported by our UK colleagues is chosen every three years based on the votes of the employees. For the 2022 – 2025 period, Dufry UK has now chosen to partner with Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group, a leading children’s cancer charity and the UK’s and Ireland’s professional association for those involved in the treatment and care of children with cancer.
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 includes psychological and emotional support, as well as material and financial assistance. With its donations, in 2021 Dufry again supported Aladina´s Extraordinary Special Fund, 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.
Support to multiple projects in Greece
Hellenic Duty Free Shops continued with the on-going support to Make-A-Wish Hellas, an organization granting wishes of children with critical illnesses to transform their lives. For Make-A-Wish, a wish is an inherent part of the healing journey, as these help with the regaining of the physical and emotional strength they need to go through very serious illnesses.
Hellenic Duty Free Shops also supports the Galilee Palliative Care Center – which provides palliative medical and nursing care along with psychological, social and spiritual support to patients and their families – as well as the Skytali Hellenic Heart-Lung Transplant Association.
Ladybug Dufry École Maternelle – Kindergarten project in Senegal
During 2021, Dufry continued supporting Formación Senegal and the Kindergarten Ladybug École Maternelle in Nguiguiss Bamba, in the Louga region of Senegal – a facility constructed and developed in 2019.
This school, 100 % funded by Dufry, can host 60 children aged between 0 and 7 years old and has been placed near a training and work cooperative, also built by this NGO, which is empowering over 140 women in the region. The location of this kindergarten close to the workshop allows women to leave their children being looked after, while they build their skills and develop their professional activity. The school project financed by Dufry provides children with early stimulation techniques and essential learning for young children. This is a pioneer initiative in this area of the Sahel, where schooling – in the best case scenario – usually doesn’t begin until the age of seven.
The project will be improved by providing it with a suitable floor at the school, building a perimeter to protect the children, constructing a storage area for school materials, using rainwater by means of gutters and installing solar energy to use the facility at night as a literacy school for local women.
And a long list of other local contributions
Support for the underprivileged is deeply rooted in our company. In addition to the main initiatives mentioned above there is a long list of causes and projects of all sizes that Dufry subsidiaries and employees support year after year.
From food collection initiatives for food banks, such as those carried out by our colleagues in Canada, to scholarships and school supplies, they all have a place at Dufry.
The main protagonists of many of these actions are our employees, who champion the causes and promote support for them through micro-donations, charity runs, bike rides, bake sales and more to support the many deserving projects.
Internally we give voice to these initiatives to recognize the effort and generate notoriety about them. In addition, where possible, financial support is given to these causes.