UPJ is the German national network of engaged businesses and local non-profit intermediary organisations. Founded in 1996, UPJ’s projects and programmes create new connections between businesses, civil society organisations and public authorities thus contributing to solving societal challenges and to shape sustainable communities. UPJ, a registered charity under German law, provides organisations from the business, community and public sectors with information and consultancy to improve their Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Social Responsibility activities.
UPJ challenges and supports business to play a more active role as responsible Corporate Citizens and to get involved in new forms of social co-operation with community organisations and public authorities in their communities. Moreover UPJ supports companies to introduce and implement responsible business practices not only in the community, but also in the marketplace, the environment and the workplace, as a contribution towards sustainable development and as a source of competitive advantage.
Very well linked with national and international partner organisations and authorities, the national network UPJ combines 35 businesses and 28 local intermediary organisations. The Network aims to foster cross-sectoral partnerships to contribute towards the sustainable development of society and combines the experience and knowledge of its members in order to further promote Corporate Citizenship and CSR within Germany’s business world.
Large as well as medium sized members get support from UPJ to enhance their responsible business practice e.g. through regular peer-to-peer workshops on CSR management, an individual helpdesk and the communication of activities.
The possibility to exchange and to team up with highly qualified community intermediaries is an unique opportunity within the UPJ network. These intermediaries provide guidance to companies wanting to invest in their local communities offering brokerage and a wide range of easy-to-step-in programmes as well as support on implementing CSR. UPJ co-ordinates this broker network, offers qualification and arranges the transfer of concepts nationally and internationally.
Through its website, social media activities, how-to guides, a national annual conference, workshops and through expert meetings UPJ offers beginners as well as experienced practitioners from all sectors of society a comprehensive set of information, exchange and qualification on Corporate Citizenship and CSR.
Projects and programmes
To help make community partnerships a common endeavour and to mainstream CSR, UPJ is running innovative programmes in co-operation with national governmental partners, the European Commission, foundations as well as local, national and international partners from business and society. Those programmes range from local community action days and social marketplaces, awards for engaged business, a roundtable on business and youth, a nationwide programme to advise almost 100 SMEs on CSR strategies or the pan-european project "INCLUDE - Pathways to community investment", which aimed to identify and to transfer instruments on how to involve business in cross-sectoral partnerships to enhance employability and social cohesion at the local level.
Based on more than fifteen years of practical experience UPJ provides companies, non-profit organisations and public authorities with customised consultancy services
- to step into responsible business practice and community investment programmes.
- to shape community investment and CSR strategies.
- to create suitable community partnerships and to facilitate and accompany their successful implementation.
- to run employee volunteering programmes.
- to link community investment with human resources development.
- to improve work life balance programmes.
- to facilitate and run stakeholder dialogues.
- to measure the impact of community and CSR programmes.