Launched in 2012, the Günter Geyer Award for Social Conscience shines the spotlight on Group companies’ commitment to supporting social causes. Named after the Chairman of the Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein Managing Board, the accolade is awarded annually to three VIG Group companies which have provided outstanding service to the community through their social activities, or those of their employees.
As in previous years, the current winners stood out for their exceptional dedication to society.
The Gold Günter Geyer Award for Social Conscience went to Wiener Osiguranje in Croatia. The company has been helping to promote the very topical issue of internet safety for children and young people. Studies show that 75 percent of pre-school and primary-school age children in Croatia use the internet, but without parental control. There is insufficient protection against cyber dangers and an almost total lack of information material. So there were plenty of reasons for the company to help tackle the issue by participating in a project with Croatia’s Association for Communication and Media Culture and the University of Zagreb. The initiative involved carrying out an online survey, devising workshops for parents, teachers and pupils, holding information events and round table discussions with experts, creating a website, and drawing up guidelines for safe internet use. Over 500 Wiener Osiguranje employees and more than 100 Croatian schools took part in the exceptional project aimed at making cyberspace a safer place for the country’s children. A continuation of the project is planned.
Romanian insurer OMNIASIG took second place in this year’s awards, winning the Silver Günter Geyer Award for Social Conscience. At the start of 2017 the company adopted a new CSR strategy which led to the launch of several new projects. One of these was OMNIASIG for Omu, an initiative promoting hiking as part of a healthy lifestyle and awareness of environmental protection. On Social Active Day 2018, around 70 OMNIASIG employees repaired a 17km hiking trail to the Omu Peak in Romania’s Bucegi Mountains, a popular destination for day trips. To improve safety along the paths, they installed ropes and ladders at tricky points and steep sections, replaced damaged steps, and mended signposts and information boards. In addition, the company once again took part in a local Red Cross campaign to help children and young people who are at risk of poverty, participated in a tree planting initiative in the Baiu Mountains and bought books for schools. 12 employees also gave lessons on insurance, pensions and capital markets to four schools classes for a whole year. OMNIASIG is a partner in a nationwide programme to promote financial education in schools.
For the first time in the history of the awards, two VIG companies shared one of the accolades. Moldovan Group company Donaris and Liechtenstein-based Vienna Life were jointly awarded the Bronze Günter Geyer Award for Social Conscience for a project that brought smiles to a lot of young faces. The cross-border collaboration was born out of the annual Schnifisschnauf charity run for socially disadvantaged groups. The run is organised by Vienna Life employees, who also participate in large numbers. Last year Vienna Life decided to donate some of the money raised to social projects in other VIG countries. In the knowledge that Moldova has the lowest GDP per capita of any country in which VIG operates, Vienna Life approached Moldovan colleagues to help them identify a suitable project to support there. The two companies decided to club together to buy new playground equipment for the Snowdrop kindergarten in Răzeni. On Social Active Day 2018, staff from Donaris also worked in the kindergarten’s garden, including the playground, digging and levelling soil, sowing seeds and planting, painting the slides and swings and installing the new equipment.