Ahlström Collective Impact (ACI), a joint responsibility initiative by a group of companies and foundations, continues to support UNICEF’s global education work with an investment of close to EUR 800 000. Ahlstrom is one of the members and founding partners of the initiative.
Human rights and children’s rights are social responsibility issues that are tightly connected to companies’ business activities. A key part of children’s rights is their right to education. Almost 90% of children worldwide are attending school. At the same time, learning is in crisis. More than 600 million children and adolescents across the world are unable to attain minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics, even though two thirds of them are in school.
UNICEF’s global education program provides support for millions of children to learn, grow and develop the skills necessary to thrive in life. By bringing together different companies and foundations, Ahlström Collective Impact can amplify the impact of individual organizations. As one of the biggest investors, Ahlstrom has had a key role from the beginning in developing Ahlström Collective Impact.
“Already 170 years ago, interaction with the local community was an important matter for Ahlstrom’s development. The company’s founders worked devotedly to raise the education level, especially for girls. This ideology still lives on today within us. Collaboration is our way of influencing and contributing to change, promoting equality, and improving child-related risk management processes in the company’s supply chains,” says Helen Mets, President and CEO of Ahlstrom.
UNICEF Finland trains the employees of Ahlström Collective Impact companies and foundations on children’s rights. In addition to general training on child rights and business, UNICEF Finland provides in-depth training on topics such as child rights in supply chains and creating family-friendly workplaces.
“Education is every child’s right. It reduces inequality and poverty and creates more stable societies in which businesses can thrive. At the same time, we are contributing to a future where every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential,” says Marja-Riitta Ketola, Executive Director of UNICEF Finland.
Launched in 2020, Ahlström Collective Impact consists of Ahlstrom, A. Ahlström, Ahlström Invest, Avain Yhtiöt, Destia, Detection Technology, Eva Ahlström Foundation, Glaston, M&J Recycling, Suominen and Walter Ahlström Foundation.