Partly as the result of discussions with its stakeholders, GasTerra has translated the three well-known pillars of corporate social responsibility into Gas, Green and Groningen. The choice of Groningen is obvious. The majority of GasTerra’s portfolio consists of Groningen gas, but aside from that, we consider it very important to make a meaningful contribution to the local community of which we are part. We therefore sponsor 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 the financial support to Groningen’s professional basketball club GasTerra Flames. By connecting the name of our company to the team, we generated maximum publicity. Independent research has shown that this approach has been successful. GasTerra has become a fixed and known value in the Groningen community.
Now that the brand awareness has reached a high enough level, we shift our attention to emphasising our economic significance and promoting our vision of the energy and climate issue. Inter alia, we do this in practice through the ‘GasTerra Doet’ (‘GasTerra Does’) campaign. Within this theme, five sub themes have been identified: GasTerra inspires, GasTerra sustains, GasTerra researches, GasTerra takes action and GasTerra connects. Depending on a sponsorship activity, GasTerra expands, inter alia on the website GasTerra Doet on a sub theme in order to raise awareness of its role in society.
In addition, in the coming years, we will gradually increasingly opt for social sponsorship. This change of direction is related to changes in society and the demands we place on our role in society. The community is increasingly asked to take responsibility for the quality and viability of their habitat themselves. As a result, the welfare state gets a different, more austere character. Enterprises cannot and should not fill the resultant gap, but they can help to ease the transition to what has become known as the participatory society. This is another way in which we try to bring our motto Energizing the future into practice.
In 2014, we started this recalibration of the sponsorship policy. From now on, our sponsorships will place more emphasis on social projects and initiatives, of course particularly in the Groningen region. In concrete terms, this means that charities will get a more key position than previously assigned. Where we do cultural or sporting sponsorship, we are always looking for a possible link with existing charities and encourage our partners to do so as well. This, in itself, is not new. Examples: a substantial part of the sponsorship money for the Flames (in the meantime renamed Donar) also goes to social projects. This summer, with our support, The North Netherlands Symphony Orchestra gave a concert in a less prosperous area of Groningen. The Ladies Run and the ‘4 mijl van Groningen’ racing event are also affiliated with charities.