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Social Responsibility

 

Operating globally also entails taking on social responsibility on a global level. By being committed to social responsibility, we are making a positive contribution to society while also creating value for our company. Our activities focus on social welfare, road safety, education, science, and sports. The following are a few examples.

We take on social responsibility mostly on a decentralized basis. Charitable projects, activities and donations are predominantly set up and organized by dedicated employees and supported by the company.

In particular emergency situations, Continental provides central support with national projects and challenges, or offers assistance in dealing with international humanitarian emergencies. In doing so, the corporation as a whole fulfills its social responsibility.

Support in international disasters
Ecuador and Japan both experienced severe earthquakes in April 2016. In response, we provided financial resources to support relief workers in the regions affected by the earthquakes. In Ecuador, we provided assistance with reconstruction work, while in Asia we added to the donations from local employees for the Japanese Red Cross. We thus helped with reconstruction in a non-bureaucratic way and supported the local economy.

In November 2016, financial donations went to the emergency team of the Welthungerhilfe aid agency, which runs an extensive program to help people who have been displaced from Mosul in northern Iraq. The initiative includes the provision of emergency accommodation, food and drinking water, and the distribution of aid packages. Another part of the program supports education and social cohesion between different sections of the population. With our donation, we also want to help make education possible even in extremely difficult situations.

Local involvement
Continental supports charitable initiatives with financial donations both large and small, with donations of goods, and with active involvement. In this context, our employees show their strong social commitment as good neighbors locally.

As part of the Northeim Dragon Boat Cup, we presented the Northeim branch of the lifesaving organization DLRG with a rubber boat and a protective suit for water rescue work. These will help the volunteer lifesavers do their vital jobs even better. The boat and the suit are both made from materials that are produced locally.

In Changshu, China, four employees visited a rehabilitation center for people with physical and mental disabilities. They gave the people living there warm blankets and electric tea kettles to help them withstand the cold winter better.

At an end-of-year party at the location in Regensburg, Germany, the employees initiated a fund-raising campaign. The donations collected benefited two initiatives: the children’s cancer charity Deutsche Kinderkrebsnachsorge was pleased to obtain financial support, and the cystic fibrosis charity Mukoviszidose e. V. received a donation from the employees for the ninth time.

Education as an essential prerequisite for participating in society
Education is the key to the future – for people, for society, and for every company. Continental promotes education, helping to make future generations fit for tomorrow’s world.

For example, our Hungarian plants maintain close relationships with educational institutions. In the summer, they supported a one-week summer camp at Budapest University of Technology and Economics. At the “Children’s University,” pupils aged between nine and 14 were given an insight into university life and introduced to various areas of science in an entertaining way. The main objective of the summer camp is to help children grow and develop, and particularly to get them interested in science.

Recognizing and incorporating diversity and providing access to education for people with different origins and cultural backgrounds is part of our system of values. In creating education and employment prospects for refugees, we are putting our values into practice. For over a year, we have been working with the German Federal Employment Agency on a new, specially developed program that helps refugees enter the job market and offers them career prospects.

Sport brings people together
The language of sports is universal. It is understood all around the world. It overcomes language, social, and national barriers. For this reason, we have been promoting various initiatives for competitive and recreational sports for many years.

The HAJ Hanover Marathon takes place once a year; many Continental employees participated again in 2016. Over 1,000 of our employees from more than 25 countries ran a total distance of almost 14,000 kilometers to earn the title of “Most Progressive Company” for the fifth time in a row. The prize money was donated to a charity that cares for seriously ill children and their siblings.

Public dialog
Dialog with the public takes place as part of various different initiatives. One topic that will affect our future in many parts of the company is automated driving. To this end, Continental has created the platform www.2025ad.com to help advance public debate in this area. On www.2025ad.com, experts and consumers have the opportunity to form and communicate their opinions on technical, legal, and social aspects of future mobility.

Surveys on the future of work
In order to respond optimally as an employer to the needs of future generations of employees and to address social issues, Continental regularly conducts surveys of students and people in employment. The annual surveys were introduced in Germany back in 2004, and later in Romania, China and Brazil.

In the 13th representative survey in Germany in the year under review, we asked questions such as the extent to which people know about the power of digitalization to change the world of work. Around 1,000 employees aged between 35 and 50 were surveyed. One of the findings was that often people have not given much thought to how and when digitalization will have an impact.

According to the survey, 81% of the students and 68% of the employees surveyed rated the importance of digitalization in working life as high. But at the same time, many of those surveyed find it difficult to explain what digitalization of the working world means to them. Around a third said that the term does not mean anything at all to them. While students think mainly of smart technology and communication when it comes to digitalization of the world of work, employees generally tend to associate digital transformation with the idea of the paperless office that has already been propagated for decades.

Less than half of those surveyed – 46% of the students and 38% of the employees – expect digitalization to make life simpler. 41% of students and 43% of employees see more opportunities than risks in digital transformation. Around two-thirds of those surveyed believe that more investment in the expansion of digital infrastructure is required.

In our view, companies have a major responsibility to give people guidance while also involving them in and letting them shape change processes. We have therefore stepped up our communication activities, including internal ones, since digitalization has not only enormous technological significance, but also a strong social dimension.

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