Since 2004 our company has systematically and conceptually developed its activities in the field of communications, which is an integral part of an advanced and modern customer-focused company. We attempt to communicate directly via our customer centre, communications department, call centre and website; we also have taken efforts in other areas using other forms of communication. Such efforts include the use of visual elements, corporate culture, by increasing the quality and level of provided services, professionalization of the first contact employees, events for the public and the use of marketing activities and activities connected to corporate responsibility.
The most basic form of aid from any company, including our own, is provided in the form of the 2% contribution from paid income taxes. We divide this sum, despite the fact that it is shrinking year by year, on the basis of applications approved by the company's bodies to non-profit organisations that focus on ill, elderly, dependent and mentally handicapped residents and civic, youth, educational and health care institutions. For a number of years we have supported non-profit organisations and associations:
In 2008 the total amount distributed was € 17,301 (SKK 521,210).
Since 2004 the company has dedicated a portion of its budget for financial donations to other entities. In 2009 this was 1.32% of the before-tax profits for the company from 2008. This was then distributed on the basis of accepted applications approved by the company's bodies pursuant to the adopted corporate responsibility principles at BVS. These funds were used to support significant civic and important humanitarian projects from the organisations that have already been shown and from other institutions. We support significant cultural and civic events for residents and municipalities within our support for community activities.
As BVS's profits have been following a downward trend, non-financial activities have also been employed. Until 2008 equipment and employees have been loaded for construction work, for example in the repairs and revitalisation of the Better World for the Disadvantaged Association's premises; since 2008 this aid has been secured via the subsidiary Infra Services.
For the fifth year we have cooperated as a partner in various city events – Night of Museums and Galleries (Noc múzeí a galérií), Bratislava Inline, the Bratislava Marathon, the Bratislava for All event and International Danube Day. A drinking water fountain on the Main Square in Bratislava was constructed at BVS expense in 2006 along with the drinking water fountains in the City Forest Park at Partizánska lúka; in Bratislava there is a general lack of drinking water fountains. We also provided financial support for the creation of a new educational path on Rye Island (Žitný ostrov) and at Partizánska lúka.
Corporate responsibility also includes volunteer work. The first event where we called on employees was spring cleaning in the forest on Rye Island (Žitný ostrov), which also has significant drinking water sources. We intend to continue with such work and over the course of the year we will accept other calls and suggestions for volunteer activities. A slightly different form of assistance is also rewards in the form of various company benefits for employees who voluntarily provide blood donations.
Every personal or written letter of thanks that the company receives from beneficiaries is an award and a call to continue in our activities. In 2008 the company received its first significant award for corporate responsibility with its 2nd Place finish in the category of Regional Support in the TOP corporate philanthropy rankings. These rankings are established every year by the Donors' Forum Association in cooperation with the Trend weekly magazine. The goal of the TOP corporate philanthropy rankings is not only to monitor supported non-profit activities that have significant civic significance and impact but also to raise awareness in the public as to how the company invests into communities and improves their quality of life.
At the end of 2008 BVS decided to establish a foundation that will develop planning and intensify efforts related to publically-beneficial assistance. One of the main reasons for its establishment was the declining trend in profits and the ever increasing complexity of the situation regarding support for charitable endeavours. It will continue in activities that BVS has already completed and will attempt within its means to support good ideas and thoughts that will help dependent individuals, contribute to improving the quality of life for ill people, children and the elderly and to help improve the environment or develop other socially beneficial activities.
The Young Slovak Scientists (Mladí vedci Slovenska) civic association in cooperation with Bratislavská vodárenská spoločnosť as the main partner and professional sponsor have successfully cooperated for two years on an educational project with nationwide scope dealing with water issues named the Stockholm Junior Water Prize – BVS Prize for the best student water industry project. Secondary school students aged 15 to 20 join the competition and submit practical projects that focused on natural, technical and civil sciences that in any possible manner related to water-related issues. The winner of the national competition is awarded the BVS Prize for the best student water project. The winner at the same time continues on the worldwide final competition and receives the unique opportunity to participate in the World Water Week Conference in Stockholm. In 2009 BVS in cooperation with Young Slovak Scientists launched the long-term educational project named Blue School (Modrá škola). The program is designed for children and young people that are not yet of school age up to students in colleges and universities and has the main goal of systematically constructing positive relationships between children and drinking water as a symbol of a healthy lifestyle and building awareness of the value of drinking water as a product that has inherent value. The program is a collection of a number of types of activities and actions related to the theme of drinking water, which are led through education, the development of habits and skills, a change in value focus and cooperation between schools, the public and the water company. Individual activities are adapted to target groups and involve specific educational processes in schools or take the form of informal education (excursions and study groups).
BVS prepared potential excursions to selected facilities including water sources, water filter stations, wastewater treatment facilities and the BVS Water Company Museum for participating schools.