The Australian team of global media agency UM, participated in its fifth IMPACT Day on July 21, downing tools and closing all UM offices for the day to take time out to care for the communities we live and work in.
Originally launched in 2016, UM’s global corporate social responsibility initiative IMPACT Day is the agency’s annual day of service representing two of its core values: Care and Community. On July 21, over the span of 36 hours, across 50 Countries, 100+ markets and 120+ offices, more than 3,000 UM volunteers gathered within their respective communities to make an impact towards a #BetterWorld.
UM’s Sydney team
After two years of celebrating IMPACT Day virtually, due to COVID, the official theme for this year was Homecoming, celebrating the opportunity for UM’s global community to finally come together in person and to make a positive difference.
“After two years of giving back virtually, it brought me great joy that this year’s Impact Day allowed us to come together in person — a true homecoming for our people and communities around the globe,” said Eileen Kiernan, global CEO, UM.
“Our 3,000+ employees partnered with community-based organizations to do everything from providing aid for the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine to cleaning up our natural resources to delivering COVID relief to marginalized communities, and so much more. Impact Day is a beloved and important tradition at UM, and it was wonderful to be able to take to the streets once again as a community to make a difference.”
Anathea Ruys CEO of UM Australia said the collective impact is always so powerful on this special day in UM’s calendar as the global teams work together and participate in the company’s loved annual tradition of contributing to a #BetterWorld through IMPACT Day.
Ruys said: “For this year’s IMPACT Day we chose to unify our efforts and partner with one of Australia’s most well-known and meaningful charities, Clean Up Australia, following the simple logic that when we work as one, we have the biggest impact.
“The environment, climate change and sustainability are core issues close to the heart of all UM-ers and its clients, so partnering with Clean Up Australia matched our sustainability values perfectly. We were delighted to donate our time to clean up popular parks, beaches and other beautiful public spaces around Australia to help make an Impact,” Ruys explained.
Across Australia more than 250 UM-ers from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra gathered at well-known landmark destinations including St Kilda foreshore (Melbourne), Circular Quay and Sydney Harbour surrounds (Sydney), Haig and Turner Parks (Canberra) and West End Foreshore (Brisbane), removing several tonnes of rubbish and debris from iconic locations and helping to keep Australia’s beautiful and unique landscape clean.
Pip Kiernan, chair of Clean Up Australia said the state of the environment means people are expecting their employers – and brands – to show leadership and be true stewards for the future. “It’s wonderful to see UM stepping up in such a powerful and meaningful way. When we take time to connect with the environment and clean it up, we become more conscious of our environmental footprint,” she said.
“We’re seeing a real drive amongst the Australian population to take action, we know people want to reduce their environmental impact. The collective efforts of “the UM-ers” have made a real difference.”
UM’s regional offices across APAC, EMEA, LATAM and North America partnered with local charities, NGOs, partners and more. Activities across the Asia Pacific region included:
- Working with the non-profit Green Foodbank in China to collect surplus food resources and provide them to individuals, families, and communities in need, working to simultaneously reduce food waste and combat the food shortages in Shanghai.
- Running a disability awareness program and signing tutorial with Wheel For Oneness in Hong Kong to promote social inclusion and support one another.
- Working with RPlanet in India to collect e-waste (obsolete, outdated or non-functioning electronics that can lead to the release of toxic chemicals) for proper disposal.
- Promoting wellness at work in Indonesia by decluttering the workspace and partnering with waste management organization Duitin to recycle and upscale unused items raising funds for a local mental health organization KitaBisa.
- Donating to Charity By The Book and Free The Children in Japan. In addition to assisting Make-A-Wish Japan, and coaching elementary school children in sports.
- Working in collaboration with Goodwill Store in Korea, donated reusable and unused items are reborn as items for sale by disabled people promoting their employment and profit.
- Collaborating with the Autism Café Project in Malaysia, on a project which aims to help youth with autism secure future independence.
- Partnering with Masungi Georeserve in the Philippines, to address ongoing deforestation and forest degradation by running a donation drive to plant and nurture 50 trees.
- Volunteering with the Waterways Watch Society in Singapore to clean waterways, coastlines and reservoirs, helping to protect and conserve local wildlife.
- Working with The Mirror Foundation in Thailand to collect recyclable plastics and reduce plastic waste surplus in offices and households.
Ruys concluded: “The day was fun-filled and community-focussed, bringing together our teams to pick up and remove rubbish in support and protection of our environment. I am exceptionally proud of my team as they worked together, inspiring each other to help build a #BetterWorld for us all to share and love.”