Groningen

Vision

GasTerra has translated the three well-known pillars of corporate social responsibility People, Planet, profit into Gas, Green and Groningen. The choice of Groningen was obvious. We consider it very important to make a meaningful contribution to the local community of which we are part. We do this by participating in different projects and initiatives which focus on greening our society, such as Sustainable Ameland and EnTranCe. GasTerra also sponsors various activities in the areas of sports, culture and social life.

After the establishment of GasTerra as an independent company in 2005, the emphasis in sponsorship policy was on activities and projects that could increase the brand awareness of the new company in the region. The most important example of this is our financial support to Groningen’s professional basketball club Donar. By connecting the name of our company to the team (GasTerra Flames), we generated maximum publicity at that time. Independent research has shown that this approach has been successful. GasTerra has now become a fixed and known value in the Groningen community.

As brand awareness has now reached a high enough level, we have shifted our attention to emphasising our economic and social significance and promoting our vision and knowledge of the energy and climate issue. One of the ways that we are doing this in practice is through the ‘GasTerra Doet’ (‘GasTerra Does’) campaign. Within this theme, six sub themes have been identified: GasTerra inspires, GasTerra sustains, GasTerra researches, GasTerra takes action, GasTerra shares and GasTerra connects. A special section of the GasTerra Doet website has been set up for this purpose, examining the various activities undertaken in the context of each sub theme in more depth.

In the past few years we have increasingly switched our focus to social sponsorship (good causes). This change of direction is related to changes in society and the demands we place on our role in it. The community is increasingly being asked to take responsibility for the quality and habitability of their living environment themselves. It is clear that companies as modern patrons have a special responsibility in this, and that includes GasTerra.

In this context, GasTerra launched the GasTerra for Groningen project in 2015. This is an initiative in which we investigate how – apart from sponsorship and donations – we can make a contribution to the structural strengthening of Groningen’s economy. In launching this project we are also mindful of improving our image, the image of gas, and knowledge of the role of GasTerra in the province of Groningen.   

Sponsorship

Volunteer Fund

GasTerra has encouraged its staff to be active as volunteers in the region since 2005. In recognition of their work, GasTerra staff can apply for up to €2,500 once every two years for the organisation which they support. These funds can be used for a variety of purposes, such as buying new balls for a local sports club or running a recruitment campaign for a good cause.

The Volunteer Fund has its own management that considers applications according to a set of rules. In return, GasTerra asks the recipient organisation to recognise the support given by means of an advertisement (for instance in a programme) and/or a statement on its website.

One of the organisations supported by the Volunteer Fund in 2016 was the Groningen Junior Chamber, which organises a campaign for a good cause every year. This year it was a fun day for young informal carers aged between 8 and 20 who do vital work at home or in their neighbourhood. This year’s event was a visit to the FC Groningen football club, including an opportunity to meet players and the chance to win a VIP package.

Another example is the €1,500 given to a girls’ team of the GHHC hockey club to buy training packs. In return, the team suggested running activities to collect at least the same amount of €1,500 for the Ronald McDonald House.
 

GasTerra for Groningen

At the end of 2015 GasTerra launched the ‘GasTerra for Groningen’ campaign, aimed at contributing to the structural improvement of the Groningen economy in ways other than sponsorship, donations and the volunteer fund. The image of gas and the role of GasTerra in the province of Groningen is one of the important aspects of this campaign. One of the ways in which we are doing this is by taking part in 'De Uitdaging' and by setting up a GasTerra Fund. 

De Uitdaging

Social organisations often need extra hands, materials or expertise in order to be able to carry out their activities for the neighbourhood and local residents. De Uitdaging is a national initiative consisting of a network of entrepreneurs, associations and (other) organisations that join together on a voluntary basis to match the supply of and demand for these resources and this knowledge to support social projects. GasTerra has donated €5,000 to the initiative, which means that it is a founder of the branches in Groningen, Central Groningen, Haren-Tynaarlo and Northern Groningen. In these regions experts in various fields offer a helping hand to local groups which do not themselves have the expertise. 

Since the summer of 2016 GasTerra has been supporting 'De Uitdaging' both by providing funds and by sharing knowledge and resources. Staff are encouraged to offer their expertise, and can be given time off to do this in consultation with their managers.
For example, staff have been working to raise the profile of the Central Groningen toy bank and collect toys for it. A member of staff is also helping to develop the policy plan for the clog museum in Haren-Tynaarlo.

GasTerra energy saving fund

In 2017 GasTerra will set up a fund that aims to encourage energy-saving in social organisations in which GasTerra staff are active. This is done by offering an interest-free loan (not a gift) that is “earned back” by savings on the energy bill. The money that comes back can then be used for new investments in energy-saving.

Involvement in the region

Noorderlink

GasTerra is a member of Noorderlink. Noorderlink is made up of the 40 largest employers in Northern Netherlands that work together in the field of P&O. The strategic goals of Noorderlink are to exchange knowledge, expertise and best practice in the field of HRM/HRD, promote mobility and increase the deployability of staff of Noorderlink member organisations. Other priorities for Noorderlink include presenting the northern region as an attractive place to live and work and being involved in regional social issues. All job vacancies with member firms are published on the Noorderlink website, and the organisations also offer internships for individuals wishing to gain work experience in another organisation and/or another role. GasTerra’s P&O manager is involved in the day-to-day running of Noorderlink.

The Noorderlink Days were held on 29 September 2016 in Assen. This is the largest bi-annual conference in Northern Netherlands dealing with management, organisation and HRM developments. GasTerra was a member of the programme board. A number of GasTerra employees attended the conference.

Accessibility of Groningen

GasTerra is a member of the advisory committee of 'Groningen Bereikbaar'. Groningen wants to remain an attractive destination in the future, which is why it is investing heavily in roads, bridges, stations, tracks and cycle paths in and around the town. The southern ring road will be undergoing renovation in the years to come, and major work is also planned on the main station, the station area and the rail tracks. The aim of all these investments is to improve access to Groningen and boost the northern economy. This is a major project that will in the short term make access to the town more difficult. Businesses, the council and many other partners will keep the town and the region as accessible as possible while the work is being done. GasTerra wants to act as a role model in Groningen when it comes to home-work mobility and ‘smart working’.