At Unity, we recognise the value of Corporate and Social Responsibility and the positive contribution it can make to our employees and the wider community. We aim to be recognised as an employer of choice, both by our employees and others; this is an integral part of our business strategy. If our employees are ambassadors for Unity, then we are better able to turn our customers into ambassadors too.
As a progressive organisation, with a heavy reliance on Information Technology in our day to day activities, we are passionate about connecting people, not just with each other or with friends and family, but also with the community and the things they care about. By harnessing our skills, together with the active involvement of our employees and customers, we show that working together can enrich lives and help others.
Since moving into our modern open plan office space, we have focused more on our role in protecting the environment. We recycle at every available opportunity and promote a paperless office and paperless billing.
We promote best in class technologies and are heavily involved in cloud computing, which reduces costs and energy. Cloud computing facilitates remote working for both our employees and our customers. Where possible we use the latest in Unified Communications and teleconferencing technologies to reduce un-necessary travelling to meetings.
Unity Technology Solutions believe strongly in work/life balance and we actively encourage our staff to maintain a healthy lifestyle. We make every effort to ensure a healthy work environment.
We are fortunate that our HQ office is located close to many public transport links – Milltown and Windy Arbour Luas Stations is a short walk, as is the Stillorgan Quality Bus Corridor. Many employees walk, cycle or take public transport to work.
The measure of Unity’s Corporate & Social Responsibility mission is the commitment within our own business to educate our staff and our customers. We believe we can all make a difference, no matter how big or small the contribution.
CRY, The Robert Flynn Trust and Cork Penny Dinners
Every second year we plan a major CSR initiative which is run by a team of employees from across the Company. In 2016, Unity Technology Solutions chose to work with three exceptionally worthwhile charities:
- Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY): a charity founded by parents who have experienced sudden or unexplained death in their families.
- The Robert Flynn Trust: a trust founded by the family of Robert Flynn who is a survivor of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome and a former colleague of staff in Unity.
- Cork Penny Dinners: a charity that serves almost 2,000 meals per week to people that sometimes cannot afford a meal – for example, homeless people, those suffering from substance abuse or those that simply struggle to make ends meet.
The challenge in our 2016 CSR initiative was to fundraise €8,000 and to complete a 7km walk in both Dublin and Cork to be divided between the three charities/trusts. All of our employees embraced the challenge and went about the fundraising efforts with tremendous enthusiasm and in many cases involved other members of their families in the fundraising effort. There was also a great amount of teamwork involved with a great example of that being a bag packing initiative by our Cork office members which raised a significant amount towards our target. We were also very fortunate to receive a signed Irish rugby jersey (donated by our friends in the Irish Rugby Players Association) which was worn in the victory over New Zealand in Chicago in November 2016 and the auction of that signed jersey at the CRY Ball raised close to €6,500.
“I would like to thank all the people associated with the wonderful contribution to the CRY ball and indeed the two other charities. We are hugely appreciative of all the trouble you went to. Many thanks for your great generosity.”
Dr David Mulcahy, Consultant Cardiologist
The highlight, however, was the walk which took place in December on a cold fresh day when over two hundred people walked in both Dublin and Cork with friends, colleagues and families… all dressed as Santa Claus! Great fun and all done for good causes.
Our target was to raise €8, 000 and we ultimately raised €17, 000 for the three organisations. A great result for everyone.
Pieta House and St Patrick’s Mental Health Foundation
In 2014, Unity Technology Solutions undertook to fundraise €10,000 to be split evenly between Pieta House (the centre for the prevention of self-harm or suicide) and St. Patrick’s Mental Health Foundation (Ireland’s largest independent provider of mental health services). A 5km walk formed part of our initiative. The final amount fundraised came in at €14,790.
“It’s really wonderful to see the staff of Unity’s Dublin and Cork offices taking positive and proactive steps to raise funds and awareness for mental health. Lots of people turned out for the 5km walk and through funds raised by Unity we can really make a difference to the lives of young people in Ireland with mental health difficulties.”
Kate Moran, ‘Walk in My Shoes’ Project Manager
“We’ve seen nearly 3,500 people this year across our nine centres and demand for our service is always on the rise. Because we receive less than 20% of our funding from the state, fundraising by organisations like Unity Technology Solutions is vital to ensure that our service can continue to thrive and grow. We are delighted that Unity chose Pieta House to be part of their CSR initiative.”
Marie Peelo, Volunteer and Fundraising Co-ordinator at Pieta House
As part of our 2012 CSR strategy, Unity Technology Solutions installed an NEC phone system for Childline. Childline is Ireland’s oldest and most well-known children’s charity with a long, proud history of service delivery and advocacy on behalf of children. The ISPCC has 11 sites nationwide, handling an average of 10,000 phone calls per week with the help of a network of 600 part-time volunteers.
The existing telephony system in the ISPCC was unable to handle the call volumes received by the charity and provided no automated reporting. Childline was only answering around 60% of the calls received, simply because they did not have enough physical phones available. The new NEC system has helped resolve many of the technical issues and challenges they faced and allows them to provide a better service to the most vulnerable children in society.
Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind
A member of staff at the time was heavily involved in training and fundraising for the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. The Management and staff at Unity help fundraise and actively support the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. During 2012, we helped to support the training of a Labradoodle, called Unity, who was the featured dog for the month of April on the 2012 calendar. Following her puppy walking training (in Dublin), Unity went to the Guide Dogs Training Centre in Cork where she received extensive training. Unity now works as a companion dog and lives with an elderly person in Cobh, Co Cork.
Irish Wheelchair Association
Twice a year, we help fundraise for the IWA. We participate in the IWA Easter Egg & Christmas Appeal and raffle their beautifully presented baskets.
At Unity, we want to make a difference; together with the help of our senior management, staff and customers, we want that to become a meaningful difference. Corporate & Social Responsibility is about how we interact with our local communities, our customers, our suppliers, and the people we work with every day. At Unity, it is about how we can make those relationships better – by working together.