Skip to main content


Employee volunteering

Employee volunteering is a core component of our integrated community strategy. We believe firmly that employee volunteering is good for communities, good for our employees and good for our business. As an organisation, we are committed to fostering a volunteer-friendly environment for our more than 80,000 employees worldwide. Since 2007, every member of staff has been entitled to two additional days of paid leave annually to use for volunteering in their communities.

Our employee volunteering programme allows communities to benefit from the skills and experience of our staff. It helps our employees meet the critical needs of their communities, while gaining knowledge and learning new skills. Additionally, it helps us build stronger relationships with the communities where we operate, while gaining a more engaged, skilled and passionate workforce in return.

In 2010, staff responded to our efforts to make volunteering easier and more impactful. A total of 49,050 employee volunteering days were recorded across 58 countries, greatly exceeding our projections.

Stepping up our effort

In 2010, we enacted a new strategy to promote employee volunteering across our business. Steve Bertamini, Group Executive Director and Chief Executive Consumer Banking, was appointed as the executive sponsor and, to celebrate the launch of Here for good, our new brand promise, we increased the leave entitlement for our staff from two days paid leave to three.

We launched a number of new initiatives, including a network of staff champions to encourage a more positive volunteering culture across Standard Chartered. At the same time, we reviewed our internal reporting of volunteering days to ensure greater accuracy and transparency. Since the start of 2010, our data no longer include assumptions about employee volunteering related to our network of volunteers working on our Group community initiatives, like SiB, Living with HIV and Goal. We measure actual employee volunteering recorded by staff in the HR area of our intranet.

In December 2010, we conducted an internal global survey to measure our staff’s opinions on our new employee volunteering strategy. The findings suggested that 74 per cent of respondents believe that employee volunteering increases their job satisfaction, while 81 per cent preferred working for a company that supports employee volunteering.


2010 employee volunteering highlights

  • 49,050 volunteering days taken by our staff
  • USD14.3 million equivalent contributed to communities in employee time

2011 employee volunteering priorities

  • Increase employee volunteering days to 57,000 across Standard Chartered
  • Provide more high-impact volunteering opportunities, such as non-governmental organisation (NGOs) board service for senior leaders
  • Drive skills-based employee volunteering through our partnership with Global Giving

Employee volunteering: Case study

Seeing is Believing at Shanghai EXPO

In 2010, Standard Chartered organised a large-scale employee volunteering activity for Shanghai EXPO and Seeing is Believing (SiB).

The aim was to bring people who had regained or improved their eyesight thanks to SiB to Shanghai EXPO. Around 200 SiB beneficiaries, including school children, students and elderly people, were given the opportunity to visit this signature event – something that they would not have been able to do on their own.

Around 200 of our staff volunteers supported the activity. We also engaged local community partners, including Ai’er Hospital, Shanghai Blind School and the Elderly Council.

Organising a large-scale volunteering activity is not easy. We worked hard to make the event successful, by engaging with the official Shanghai EXPO Volunteering Committee and organising pre-event training for our staff volunteers.

Lim Cheng Teck, CEO and Vice-Chairman of Standard Chartered Bank (China) Limited, said at the event: “Our objective is simple: Seeing is Believing helped these people improve their eyesight. Now that they can see, we want to give them the chance of witnessing the Shanghai Expo with us.”

Employee volunteering: Case study

Pakistan flood relief

In 2010, Pakistan was hit by catastrophic floods. Over 14 million people were affected and more than 1,400 lost their lives.

Recognising the need for immediate support, the Group, led by Standard Chartered Pakistan, set up a disaster relief fund of USD883,000, of which USD383,000 was contributed by employees from various countries and USD500,000 was provided by the Group.

In addition to our direct cash donation, our team in Pakistan set up a number of initiatives to support local communities supported by staff volunteers. Over 350 of our staff in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad responded to our call for volunteers to help at a number of Flood Relief Collection camps that we organised. Many others, both in Pakistan and across our network, contributed relief items for the flood victims, including essential foodstuffs, clothing and blankets.

In total, 1,000 relief cartons, sufficient to provide relief to 1,000 families for a week, were collected at our Flood Relief Collection camps and handed over to the Pakistan Air Force for distribution to flood-affected victims.

Our response to the floods provided immediate relief to approximately 100,000 people.

Employee volunteering: Case study

Volunteering in South Korea

We have a long-standing commitment to employee volunteering in South Korea. In 2010, we engaged in numerous activities to support local communities.

Green Habitat is our initiative to install solar panels to housing, in line with the South Korean government’s Green Growth initiative. Green Habitat provides houses to low-income families and protects the environment by allowing these households to generate their own electricity. In 2010, a total of 400 of our employees volunteered to help in the construction process on 20 different occasions.

Through our community investment programme Living with HIV, we organised a variety of activities marking World AIDS Day. These included a co-branded live concert with MTV and Body Shop held on our premises and broadcast three times nationwide. We also held a street campaign event with local non-governmental organisations and HIV champions to raise awareness of AIDS prevention.

In an initiative organised by the Media Centre of the Korea Blind Union together with Seeing is Believing – our community investment programme for tackling avoidable blindness – our volunteers helped to produce audio and Braille books, by supplying their typing skills and voices. Standard Chartered sponsored the production and distribution of the books. The project strengthened our relations with both the Media Centre of the Korea Blind Union and Seoul City Government. It not only contributed to the local community, but also benefited our employees, leading to higher rates of staff engagement.

Employee volunteering: Case study

Lending a helping hand in Brunei

Staff at our Gadong Branch in Brunei came up with an initiative to provide relief assistance to 10 disadvantaged families with special needs children. The branch worked with the Community Welfare Department, who advised on families in need of assistance.

All staff were invited to donate much needed items such as food, clothing and general household items for the families. The Gadong Branch took charge of organising the donated items for each family, procuring pick-up trucks for transporting the items and guiding our volunteers on the day of distribution.

As a result of the initiative, ten families received much needed food and household supplies, brightening up their Hari Raya season. More than 20 staff volunteered to transport the donations to the families around the district, and more than 70 staff donated towards the initiative.

The project received recognition from the Deputy Minister of Culture Youth & Sports. It is an example of how we empower our staff and encourage leadership by encouraging individual initiatives.

In 2010, we also organised a Standard Chartered Charity Run to raise funds for two charities helping special needs youth and children – Pusat Ehsan and KACA – as well as Seeing Is Believing, our global programme for tackling avoidable blindness.

The charity run took more than four months to plan and attracted 1,300 runners, surpassing our target of 1,000. Funds raised totalled over USD57,000, greatly exceeding our target of USD30,000, and 135 of our employees volunteered to help out.

Annual Report and Accounts 2010