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Sustainability at OBO

Social sustainability

Social sustainability to help our employees: Get fit with OBO

To remain in daily competition, we at OBO need healthy, motivated people.
Under the slogan "Fit with OBO", every employee can take advantage of a comprehensive offer to look after their own health. This ranges from tips for coping with stress, through free preventive investigations to attractive sport and leisure offers. We want people to feel well at OBO.

Opportunities for our youngsters

"OBO Styles" is the successful trainee project, which has even won a prize for innovation.
In this extraordinary corporate concept, the trainees at OBO develop and produce their own products. In so doing, they learn how processes and project management work. They are instructed and supported by mentors in the appropriate technical divisions and their trainers.
Most importantly, OBO Styles makes the training process more lively and more practice-orientated, as well as giving the trainees an insight into the various branches offering training courses. The trainees are taught the course material in conjunction with their actual activity. This concept convinced the jury of the "Sauerland Innovation Prize", which is worth 100,000 euros – a brilliant success for our trainees.

Andreas Bettermann assumed the patronage of "Bundesleistungswettbewerb der elektrohandwerklichen Jugend (BLW)" (German Competition for Young Electricians) in 2011.
For the 60th time, the German craft trades organised its practical competition for young craftspeople. For many years, OBO, together with several other owner-run manufacturing companies, has been the loyal promoters of this national competition. It builds a bridge between the industrial companies and young people in the craft trades. The competition offers a chance to meet the people behind the electrical products and solutions installed during everyday work. This is why industrial entrepreneurs have been invited to the awards ceremony for several years. In 2011, Andreas Bettermann made it clear how important career training is and how essential it is for the craft trades and industry to work together.

Social sustainability to help children around the world: A new school for Uganda

OBO has, for many years, supported social and cultural projects around the world. Just before the end of the anniversary year, a new project in Africa was added: In Uganda, company donations are being used to set up the Christoph Bettermann School.
This is a school for disabled children who, until now, have had no chance of obtaining any training. The school is being created in the central Uganda district of Mubende, which is home to 440,000 people. Here, 400 children will be educated each day and will receive basic education for a period of eight years. Orphans and children living a long distance away will be housed in the school's own dormitory. The school also offers a medical station, therapies
and care facilities. The school is planned to open in April 2012.

OBO company director Ulrich Bettermann has made the project possible. His commitment to helping disabled children has a very personal background. Christoph Bettermann, the youngest of his four children, has sat in a wheelchair since his childhood, due to an error by the anaesthetist during a harmless operation. Christoph primarily lives in Hungary and has full-time employment in the OBO factory there, located in Bugyi, near Budapest, with its 600 employees. The 25-year-old is always cheerful, happy and on the ball. He and his father are almost inseparable and do everything together, wherever possible.

The partner in the creation of the "Christoph Bettermann School" is the association "Kindern eine Chance" ("Give The Kids A Chance"), which has been active in Africa since 2008, primarily helping the many orphans created by AIDS. OBO has ensured that all the monies are used directly and fully for this purpose. The school patron, Christoph Bettermann, said: "I know how important help is. Many people have helped me and I want to pass a part of this on and help the poorest of the poor."

Social sustainability to help children around the world: Anniversary donation for Vietnam

1,000 euros for each year: In the OBO anniversary year of 2011, the company, together with its partners, donated 100,000 euros for an SOS-Kinderdorf school in Vietnam.
On the occasion of its large birthday gala and the opening of the Metal Competence Centre at its headquarters in Menden, in Sauerland, the company said it didn't want any gifts, but instead wanted donations for the school. Together, customers and business partners of OBO Bettermann donated 54,461.93 euros. OBO added to this amount, so that 1,000 euros were sent to Vietnam for each year of the company's existence. SOS-Kinderdorf Ben Tre was opened in December 1997 and is located in the centre of the capital of the province of the same name. Ben Tre is located in the Mekong Delta, around 80 kilometres south-west of Ho Chi Minh City.

Social sustainability through shared rules of behaviour: Everyone shares responsibility.

Social responsibility starts in your own head. What use is it though if everyone has their own individual perception of it and wishes to force their ideas through? Rules and standards are an essential part of a functioning social system. Only this allows us to treat each other with respect and make interdisciplinary, responsible business processes possible. Manufacturers and service providers in the electronics industry have developed a global standard for this, of which OBO is also a part.

The primary basis for the acceptance of the behavioural codex of the electronics industry (EICC – Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition) is the acceptance that, in all its activities, a company must comply with and follow, in every respect, the laws, standards and regulations of the countries in which it is active. The codex encourages participants to comply with more than just laws, but also to create internationally recognised standards, thus promoting an awareness of social and ecological responsibilities. OBO supports this aim and also demands that its direct suppliers also recognise this codex.

Anyone working with OBO commits themselves to safe working conditions in the procurement chain and to respectful and dignified handling of all the employees.