A most unfortunate one. On a cool autumn day in 2011, the heating system in the SOS Children’s Village in Battonya, Hungary, broke down. When the local colleagues from Vaillant found out about this, they acted quickly to help and replaced the system free of charge. This spontaneous action soon developed into a close, pan-European partnership that has even been contractually agreed upon since 2013.
About the time that the local children’s charity contacted Vaillant in Hungary, one of the teams at the Vaillant Group’s headquarters in Germany created a new, comprehensive sustainability strategy for the entire company. Part of this strategy included fields of action and instruments for social responsibility projects. As a family-owned business, the Vaillant Group consciously decided to focus on family, educational and social institutions. Furthermore, cooperative and funding projects were to be selected solely on the basis of binding eligibility criteria.
In addition, a further decision was reached: to concentrate only on what the company does best, namely eco-friendly heating technology. Since then, as their partner, the Vaillant Group has been providing “SOS Children’s Villages worldwide” with heating technology. Thus, in around 24 countries children have been given a warm and cosy home. This means that, on the one hand, something has been done for climate and environmental protection.
On the other hand, Vaillant’s numerous colleagues throughout the world have spent the past years developing new ideas and taking the initiative to delight the children and young people in the SOS Children’s Villages. The partnership has been growing continuously … and sustainably.
In the meantime, the successful collaboration has been renewed and extended indefinitely. The children’s charity and the Vaillant Group agree: This is an excellent opportunity for both sides.
The partnership between the Vaillant Group and “SOS Children’s Villages worldwide” has gone from strength to strength for many years. It is based on environmentally friendly heating technology, but also ideas, engagement and joy – on warmth in a number of different ways.
In 2018, the Vaillant Group and “SOS Children’s Villages worldwide” agreed to continue their existing partnership. Petra Horn, Managing Director of “SOS Children’s Villages worldwide”, and Dr Jens Wichtermann, Director Corporate Communications, Sustainability & Politics at the Vaillant Group, have jointly reflected on the past and attempt to forecast the future.
In 2018, two new SOS Children’s Villages were opened in quick succession in western France. They now offer around 70 children a warm and cosy home. Saunier Duval kitted out the houses – 15 in total – with modern heating technology.
It was the biggest SOS Children’s Villages project in the history of the Vaillant Group in France. Fifteen large family homes split between two villages were in need of a heating system that conserved as much energy as possible.