In this SDG Awards 2017 entry:
Voting Category: Large Organization
Scotiabank is committed to help achieve the following SDGs:
- SDG 1: No Poverty
- SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being
- SDG 4: Quality Education
- SDG 5: Gender Equality
- SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
- SDG 13: Climate Action
While we are working towards the six SDGs highlighted, we are particularly focused on SDG 3 Good Health and Well-being and SDG 4 Quality Education, and more specifically, we’ve focused our efforts on the health and education of Young People in the Community.
Investing in our communities has been a focus at Scotiabank for over 185 years. Our goal has always been to help create a better life for people that we serve around the world, and we believe investing in young people is a crucial component on the path to community prosperity. According to the United Nations Population Fund, there are over 1.8 billion young people in the world today. These young people will grow up to become the leaders, employees and community members of tomorrow, so it’s essential for us to equip them for success now. In 2016 a new approach to our community investment strategy lead us to narrow our efforts in the areas of health and well-being, and education for young people. We believe this is an investment in the long-term security, stability and growth of both our communities and our business. We recognize the important connection between health, education and the success of young people – you need good health and nutrition in order to go to school and learn successfully, and you need education to gain employment and contribute to your community and the broader economy.
Within Health and well-being, the guardrails for our support are Live Healthy and Stay Healthy, which means that we support organizations that provide nutrition and safety, sports and active living, healthcare, and access to medical care programs for young people. Our Education focus is framed by Access to Education and Knowledge & Skills Development; we support organizations that provide financial, physical and digital access to education, educational support (like scholarships), financial empowerment and technology and skills development.
In FY2016, Scotiabank contributed CAD$70 million in donations, sponsorships and other forms of assistance to communities around the world. Our goal is to channel 70% of that support to young people.
In order to maximize our support for young people, we wanted to have a deeper understanding of the challenges currently facing young people in the various geographic areas where we operate.
To help assess the state of health and education of young people in our communities, we engaged with the strategy consultancy GlobeScan and an Advisory Council of leading external experts on youth issues, drawn from countries across Latin America, the Caribbean and North America. Together, we reviewed, collated and standardized relevant, publically available indicators to create Scotiabank’s Young People in the Community (YPC) Index. The Index will help us better understand the current state of young people in North, Central and South America.
“We see the YPC Index as a guide to help us identify where needs may be greatest,” says Jean-François Perrault, Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist at Scotiabank. “The YPC Index is also a tool to help bring youth practitioners together to improve or create policies that relate to young people, identify gaps in available data or simply pin-point problem areas and benchmark progress going forward.”
The YPC Index provides a platform for engaging with various partners in the youth development space — including governments, businesses and non-profit organizations — as they work to address these issues. As we track the Index over time, we will be able to measure society’s progress on tackling important youth challenges.
Scotiabank hopes to play a key role in addressing these challenges going forward. However, we also recognize that long term success in these areas depends on actions that are larger than any single organization. We must look at how we, as a collective society, can help move some of the YPC Index’s indicators over the long term. If we all are dedicated to helping young people in our communities, we may be able to make a difference in the future of our next generation.
We are also in the process of developing an impact measurement scorecard that will allow us to measure the impact of the programs on young people, beyond the dollars invested.
And finally, our Scotiabank YPC Advisory Council continues to be highly engaged in the Index and in collaborating together to make a bigger impact on the health, well-being and education of young people.
What are your plans to continue working towards this SDG in the future if any? Are you seeking any partnerships to help increase your impact. If so, what are you looking for in a partner?
We hope that organizations, practitioners, governments, businesses, etc will use the YPC Index so that we can collectively address the issues facing young people today and in the future. We have to start thinking about the issues holistically, and we have to start collarborating together if we want to make an impact.
In addition, we hope that there will be better statistics available on a global level, so we can look at additional indicators of the health, well-being and education of young people.
Currently we have partnerships in the young people space that include: GlobeScan, Scotiabank Young People in the Community Advisory Council, and hundreds of charity partners around the world. We are also looking for partnerships that will advance the state of health & well-being, and education of young people.