Structural policy on social return
DPA and its employees want to deliver social value. However, this is only possible to a certain extent through the projects run by DPA, which are all aimed at people with specialist professional knowledge. This makes it difficult to define social tasks, such as creating permanent jobs for people with poor job prospects. During its search for different ways to realise social return, DPA came into contact with MAEX. This social stock exchange provides connections between companies and relevant social initiatives, and also helps to manage and measure the social impact that has been achieved by the partnerships established.
The highly trained professionals at DPA are intrinsically motivated to do things for society. In addition to making an impact on-site for our clients, they also want to create added value for society and take an entrepreneurial approach to tackling society’s challenges. This means that DPA sees social return as not just a duty, but as a conscious choice and part of managing a business. Not because it has to be, but because they really want it to be. That’s why, in collaboration with MAEX, DPA has implemented a structural policy to help it achieve more than it can with ad-hoc initiatives that are spread across the organisation.
It goes without saying that individual initiatives can also be of great importance. An example of this is our partnership with the UAF, a foundation that helps refugee students get jobs in the Dutch employment market. In recent years, DPA employees have spent six months helping talented refugees search for a job. And coaches from the UAF were there to support them the entire time. DPA is keen to continue this successful collaboration, quite simply because the refugees’ motivation to succeed is so inspiring. Under the MAEX umbrella, many more of these valuable initiatives can be supported.
(Keep) making (more) impact
In 2019, MAEX put DPA in contact with JobOn (formerly DeBroekriem), the Dutch national community for job seekers, resulting in a successful partnership. MAEX also put DPA in contact with BuurtBuik, an organisation that prepares free, healthy meals from food taken from supermarkets, retailers and the catering industry that would otherwise go to waste. Since the beginning of the collaboration, DPA has supported 24 initiatives via MAEX, with 71,406 people benefiting from the partnership. What’s more, DPA offers personalised support in business law matters to the initiatives supported through MAEX. If an enquiry comes in and falls within DPA’s areas of expertise, it is assigned to a specialist at DPA, who takes time to look into the matter and provide appropriate advice so that the initiative can (keep) making (more) impact.
DPA wants to make its impact on society and the community as tangible and as measurable as possible. Thankfully, MAEX has devised a smart solution for this too: the Social Handprint. This is a calculation tool that shows the financial value of an initiative, as well as its impact in relation to a specific United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). The system also learns and directly processes new insights about indicators, units and value. This means that, at a glance, you can get an overview of what an initiative stands for. This also supports DPA’s transparent reporting objective. In this way, the company not only enhances its reputation as a socially responsible partner for clients, but also its profile as an attractive employer for professionals who also want to work on their social impact.