The Impact that Cannot Be Measured
It’s that time of year. Time when companies and organizations take stock of their results in the past year. Much of the assessment is financial, with tax filing season right around the corner. Much of it is strategy based, so companies can assess what did and did not work. For one organization, Sealed Air’s Soap For Hope™, their results can be counted in numbers. However, the numbers they are counting are lives changed.
Sealed Air’s signature livelihood program, Soap for Hope, has become well known in recent years. The program is touted by many sources for its ability to reduce hotel waste, save lives through hygiene education and enhance quality of life for participating community residents. Soap for Hope is a result of companies, hotels, NGO’s and communities coming together for common good. For participating hotels, the program offers a unique waste reduction and community involvement opportunity. Fore NGO’s and local communities, it offers collaboration with companies who have both the resources and the desire to give back. The partnership between Sealed Air and its hotel customers is the key driving force that brings the program to local communities. Both parties benefit from the program, and local community residents ultimately win. As local hotels reduce their waste by collecting and repurposing used guest soap, residents are given a second chance by learning valuable hygiene and work skills as part of the program.
In 2016, Soap for Hope™ expanded programming and now includes more than 380 participating hotels in reaching people in 31 countries around the world, including Vietnam, Rwanda, Morocco, Philippines and Costa Rica. The Soap for Hope™ initiative has diverted over 1,400 tons of solid soap waste from landfills and reprocessed it into more than 11.6 million bars of soap, serving over 590,000 people.
One of the organizations in Asia Pacific which Sealed Air partnered with in 2016 was the First High School for the Hearing Impaired in Cebu, Philippines. The school works with high school students who have hearing impairments and provides them with tools to succeed in the world. Soap for Hope™ provides critical work skills for the students by teaching them how to recycle used soap bars into fresh soap. “When I finish high school it will be difficult to find a job,” signed a student from the First High School for the Hearing Impaired. “I do not want to beg, so work skills are very important. It’s a start for me to live more independently and this makes me happy.”
In Latin America, Soap for Hope™ launched for the first time in Costa Rica with Sealed Air partners Double Tree by Hilton Cariari and non-governmental organization, TECHO. This innovative program was introduced into the community of El Jazmin, near San José. “Soap for Hope is a program that engages our hotel customers in waste recycling and in contributing to a healthier environment for their local communities,” said Terry Grill, Americas Regional Sustainability Director. “Soap for Hope truly benefits everyone involved – our company, our customers and the community.”
As Sealed Air teams assess the impact and results of the Soap for Hope program in the year 2016, one thing is for sure. The lives changed cannot be accurately measured. When you give someone a second chance, an opportunity to improve their quality of life, the result is unmeasurable.
Vote for Sealed Air’s Soap for Hope program in the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship video contest.