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Alfa and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

  • Created on 14 Sep 2021
Un Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. The 17 Goals are all interconnected, and in order to leave no one behind, it is important that we achieve them all by 2030.

Alfa has selected four sustainable development goals to help shape and inform our efforts around social impact. We feel these goals fit well with a lot of the initiatives we currently have in progress, and some of the things we want to focus on in the future.

Quality Education
Quality Education

Quality Education

Alfa has selected four sustainable development goals to help shape and inform our efforts around social impact. We feel these goals fit well with a lot of the initiatives we currently have in progress, and some of the things we want to focus on in the future.

Our Actions 

Karismatic Minds

Alfa is increasingly getting involved in facilitating quality education. One particular initiative we are supporting right now is Karismatic Minds, a youth club based in Brixton that aims to build confidence and skills in young women to ensure they reach their maximum potential.

We aim to provide mentorship and guidance to the girls by holding sessions to discuss important issues related to education and careers in tech. Prior to the pandemic, we carried out our first session with the youth club and brought the girls into HQ. Currently we're exploring ways in which we can help the club tackle problems that COVID-19 has presented for the girls.

Code Your Future

Code Your Future is a charity which teaches refugees, asylum seekers and otherwise disadvantaged people how to code.

This is important as it helps to increase diversity in software development, which is stereotypically not diverse, as well as helping improve confidence and employment prospects for people who are more often unemployed. 

We have been able to find volunteering roles with Code Your Future that are suitable to our skill sets, time commitment and interests. This year we have volunteered as technical assistants, interviewing potential students, and leading sessions on software quality assurance and testing. We’re also hoping to establish a formal partnership with Code Your Future in the coming months.

Laptop Donations

Our Technical Operations team helped us to donate some of our old laptops to local schools during the pandemic. 

Over the course of the pandemic, technology has been a vital link between home and school, with lessons being delivered live over Zoom, Teams etc. However, remote learning is not available to all pupils and not all pupils had access to the technology to support remote learning. At Alfa we generally refresh laptops on a three-year cycle. This year we had a number of high-spec laptops of around three years old that were fully depreciated and awaiting disposal. Recycled and fitted with a new hard drive, we were delighted to donate these to local schools. We have also recently donated laptops to a local charity in London focused on empowering boys to reach their full potential. 

Partnerships
Partnerships for the Goals

Partnerships

The SDGs can only be realised with strong global partnerships and cooperation. A successful development agenda requires inclusive partnerships - at the global, regional, national and local levels - built upon principles and values, upon a shared vision and shared goals placing people and the planet at the centre.

Our Actions

Charity Partners

Alfa's 2020 charity partner in EMEA was Mind - a mental health charity that provides active advice and support to empower people. We carried out fundraising for Mind throughout 2020 through various events, and the total raised was matched by the company. 

Our 2021 charity partner in EMEA is The Climate Coalition, which also aligns with the Climate Action SDG. The Climate Coalition is the UK’s largest group dedicated to action against climate change. Along with their sister organisations Stop Climate Chaos Cymru and Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, they are a group of over 140 organisations - including the National Trust, Women's Institute, Oxfam and RSPB - and 22 million voices strong.

We also support and raise money for a variety of organisations whom we don’t necessarily have a formal partnership arrangement with. These include Feeding America in the US and Share the Dignity in Asia Pacific.

Hitachi 

Hitachi has been a valued client of Alfa for a number of years, and in 2020 we took the opportunity to work with them on social impact initiatives, looking for areas in which we can share ideas and collaborate on initiatives. Hitachi has so far delivered social talks to Alfa employees relating to the UN SDGs, and we're hoping to have much more engagement with them in the future. 

We have a variety of other partnerships that aim to increase inclusivity and diversity in our own industry and beyond. These include Alfa providing support to the Black British Network, The Women’s Association, DIAL Global and more.

We are currently exploring the possibilities of partnering with other clients and organisations on our social impact work and the effort to achieve the UN SDGs.

Gender Equality
Gender Equality

Gender Equality

Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. The goal here is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Empowerment is essential to expand economic growth and promote social development as women and girls represent half of the world's population and therefore also half of its potential. But, today gender inequality persists everywhere and stagnates progress. 

Our Actions

Alfa's Women's Community

The Women's community at Alfa was launched with a mission statement to 'foster a progressive environment with equal representation of women by providing a support network of allies to encourage gender diversity, in Alfa and across the industry'. A committee has been established to drive progress within the community. 

The community has hosted some fantastic events, and are working together to promote gender equality within Alfa.

One initiative includes the creation of a network of Champions, where members of the Women's community and wider external Alfa community can reach out to this network for advice and guidance. Regular blog post series raise awareness of issues relating to gender equality.

Women's Panel - Alfa Global Company Conference 2020

At this year’s Alfa Global Company Conference, a panel of women from different career paths and seniority shared their views and experiences of being a woman at Alfa and generally within the tech industry. All the panellists shared really great and relatable insights whilst answering audience questions. Many of our male colleagues joined in on the panel audience in order to better understand how they could be allies to women at Alfa, which reflects the support network we have here.  

Gender Pay Gap Report - Alfa Global Company Conference 2020 

Alfa's CPO, Vicky Edwards, led the analysis of the gender pay gap report and presented key highlights at the company conference. Along with the Women's Community, Vicky answered a series of questions from the audience, prompting an open discussion on the topic. This has been a big step in the right direction towards correcting the pay gap as, through Vicky's analysis, we have now identified key areas on which we can focus, to work towards reducing the gap.

Climate Action
Cimate Action

Climate Action

The climate crisis continues unabated as the global community shies away from the full commitment required for its reversal. 2010-2019 was the warmest decade ever recorded, bringing with it massive wildfires, hurricanes, droughts, floods and other climate disasters across continents. If left unchecked, climate change will cause average global temperatures to increase beyond 3°C, and will adversely affect every ecosystem. We must take urgent action to tackle climate change and its impacts. 

Our Actions

Cycle to Work scheme 

The Cycle to Work scheme has now launched at Alfa, encouraging employees to buy a bicycle (and accessories) to replace their usual modes of transport to work, such as the train. Once we're back to regular commuting, the Green Team are aiming to work towards encouraging people to cycle more with communal routes to work and potentially courses to help people gain confidence in cycling in the city.

Carbon Offsetting 

Alfa is looking into reducing our carbon footprint and effective carbon offsetting initiatives to make the company carbon neutral. One of the ways in which we are doing this is by proactively reducing the number of flights taken and taking advantage of some of the positive changes in working practices enforced by the pandemic. 

Green Team Tree Planting Day 

The Green Team will be organising a volunteer day soon where they will encourage all of us to plant a tree. There are a number of ways in which this is of benefit. Trees contribute to the environment by providing oxygen, improving air quality, climate amelioration, conserving water, preserving soil, and supporting wildlife.

These are just some of the actions Alfa is currently taking to help achieve the UN SDGs, but there is so much more we can be doing.