The war in Ukraine and the consequent humanitarian crisis have shocked, but also united people and communities all over the world. Also here at UPM employees joined forces from the very first days of the war, and the desire to help has been extremely strong ever since.
Aid for Ukraine
As our initial response we provided monetary aid to Ukraine through a humanitarian organization/Unicef. Additionally, UPM Plywood and UPM Timber committed to providing truckloads of material support to Ukraine for the repair of the damaged buildings. Both actions were initiated under UPM’s Share and Care programme.
Many UPMers have provided help privately by donating funds and supplies to Ukraine. In the neighbouring country Poland, UPMers have offered private accommodation and safe havens to their Ukrainian colleagues. They have also offered to help in many daily routines, such as visiting authorities, shopping, etc.
188,980 EUR donated to The Red Cross
In early April UPM launched a global fundraising campaign with The Red Cross to offer our employees all over the world a shared online platform to support people suffering from the war. At the same time, UPM committed to first match, and later on to triple the corresponding amount of money to The Red Cross. The matching campaign continued until the 1st of June and resulted in a total of 188,980 EUR (47,245 donated by UPMers). The campaign was very well received by our employees. They appreciated the concrete action taken by the company and the opportunity to join a campaign that unifies UPM people all over the world.
Various volunteering and other activities
were set up quickly and efficiently
Our employees have an opportunity to use one working day a year for volunteering. The company has widely encouraged this opportunity to find new ways to support people suffering from the crisis in Ukraine and the Ukrainian refugees. There have been many means - from fundraising through recognized organizations to practical helping hands in all possible ways.
For example, tens of our employees in Helsinki and Tampere in Finland volunteered as street collectors for the Finnish Red Cross with extremely good results. In Poland, volunteers have helped refugees in many daily practicalities and organized several events with charity collections to donate monetary aid and first-need products, such as hygiene products, diapers, batteries, flashlights as well as medical equipment and masks to those in need. Many employees have additionally helped privately, eg., by inviting Ukrainians to their homes or by making food for them. In Spain volunteers have helped in collecting and registering refugees and they have accommodated Ukrainian families in their homes. Spanish colleagues have also sent clothes, medicine, cooking equipment, etc. to their colleagues in Ukraine.
At UPM Schongau in Germany several company apartments were offered to Ukrainian refugees and employees organized furniture for them as donations. In Finland, UPM Tervasaari took part in a local project with the City of Valkeakoski to furnish apartments to refugees and provided, for example tables, chairs, beds and a washing machine for this purpose. In the UK, UPM Raflatac team organized support for the colleagues in Ukraine by collecting donations in the canteen during March - May. In addition, the local Union members made their contribution to the collection, too.
Support for Ukraine through Save the Children
Through the Save the Children, we support the children and their families who are suffering in the middle of the war in Ukraine. The support covers food, water and clothing deliveries, taking care of children who have been separated from their parents, bringing families back together as well as providing psychosocial support for children who have experienced the horrors of war. Save the Children has been operating in Ukraine since 2014.
Support for Foundation Ukraine
Foundation Ukraine, established in 2013, is a non-governmental organisation based in Wroclaw, Poland. It provides support for migrants and help them adapt to the Polish culture and environment. In the exceptional times due to war in Ukraine, the foundation focuses strongly on giving humanitarian and medical help to Ukrainian migrants residing in Poland and to civilians in Ukraine.
Foundation operates in the heart of Wroclaw city. It organises cultural events and gives many kinds of support and information for migrants. It also provides an open, multicultural and genuine space to bring migrants and local citizens together.
UPM has a business hub in Wroclaw. The employees wanted to show solidarity to our employees in Ukraine and the whole Ukrainian society by collecting funds for the Foundation. The collected amount was tripled by UPM.
The donation will be addressed to HELP UA Package Project (packing and delivering food kits for mothers with children and the elderly in Ukraine)
As part of this project, the foundation already sent 1,000 packages to Kharkiv, and they plan to send weekly another 1,200 packages to cities and regions that have recently been heavily attacked.
These are just a few examples of the great support given to people in the middle of the crisis. The need for emergency aid as well as reconstruction support are expected to continue for a long time. At UPM we also continue screening opportunities to support Ukraine and the Ukrainians and, thus, the majority of support given within the Share and Care programme in 2022 will be allocated for those suffering from the war.