GIM Corporate Social Responsibility
GIM stands by its social responsibility which it wants to take on as an economically successful and future-oriented company. This responsibility to our employees and clients and to the environment and society is the basis of our business.
Our understanding of Corporate Social Responsibility is thus based on five pillars:
1. Climate Protection
We want to contribute to preserve the nature for future generations. This is why we try to affect the environment and nature as little as possible when conducting research. We aim at obtaining our study results with as little resources as possible and at minimising our CO2 footprint. For this purpose, we regularly monitor and evaluate the environmental impact of our work and take these evaluations into account when taking business decisions. This includes for example the following measures:
- Video conferences instead of travelling in the scope of internal GIM meetings with our branches
- Use of transmission tools for our clients in the scope of study supervisions
- Using train for business trips within Germany and to bordering states
- Deutsche Bahn job ticket for our employees who commute
- Switching the vehicles in our fleet to fuel-efficient 3 cylinder models
- Reconstruction and energy-saving insulation of the roof of our building in line with the newest guidelines
- Replacing a large number of our employee’s desktop computers with more energy-efficient laptops
- Installing new heat pumps for more efficient use of the district heat energy
- Consequent waste separation
Here you can have a look at our environmental guidelines (in German).
2. Employee Orientation
“Our employees are our most important asset.” We want to implement this famous management motto every day, so we constantly bring to our mind: we owe our success to our employees. They are our know-how, they represent us to our clients and business partners. This is why we care for them – in the past but particularly now that keywords like “war for talents” or “employer branding” are prevailing on the markets. We interpret and implement employee orientation as second CSR pillar on different levels:
Apart from the fact that our headquarter is located in a quiet area in Heidelberg Weststadt, we have created a work environment that widely protects the health of our employees. In addition, we provide our employees with licenses for an office fitness and regeneration program at the desk.
The possibility of working part-time gives our employees the chance to better balance their family lives and jobs. The cross-departmental function of the GIM family delegate who was implemented some time ago additionally underlines the fact that we take our employees’ family planning and family matters seriously.
Training and further education
For many years, our Center for Learning and Development has been offering our employees the possibility to acquire new knowledge and skills by participating in many different training formats for further education. Inherent parts of this coaching- and learning process are the GIM Academy and a special trainee program which we have tailored to our young market researchers’ needs. As a company that is certified by the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce, we take on trainees every year to open them the door to the professional world. For us, staff development means both, commitment and motivation.
Still an independent and owner-managed business, GIM has always been known for the friendly and fair work environment. The atmosphere is characterised by flat hierarchies and an “open door policy” which enables the employees to talk to their superiors or to the management at any time. In addition, the representative, old villa, GIM has moved into a couple of years ago, creates the ideal environment for creative and at the same time concentrated working as well as communicative exchange.
3. Social Commitment
One characteristic of the social market economy is that companies can and should show commitment in various areas of society (e.g. culture, social affairs, ecology) beyond their actual business activities and legal requirements. GIM's social commitment has a long tradition. In this understanding, the guiding principle of the "company as a citizen" is specific to our economic system.
Ad hoc support for people in need
By providing regular financial support to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and donating funds in the event of disasters (e.g. the typhoon in the Philippines in November 2013), GIM is also trying to improve the situation of people in need.
Médecins sans Frontières–Docotors without frontiers
For about ten years we have been donating an annual five-digit amount to Medecins sans Frontières. MSF provides medical assistance in countries where people's survival is threatened by conflicts, epidemics or natural disasters.
Learning and Development
For many years, our in-house Center for Learning and Development has offered our employees the opportunity to improve their skills in a wide range of event formats. The GIM Academy is an integral part of this coaching and learning process, as is a special trainee programme that we have specially tailored to our young market researchers. As an IHK-certified company, we also open the door to the world of work for trainees every year. In this sense, sustainable personnel development is both our mission and our motivation.
As an independent and owner-managed institute, GIM has always been known for its friendly and fair cooperation. Flat hierarchies and an "open door policy", which enables employees to enter into dialogue with superiors and management at any time, characterise the atmosphere in our company just as much as the representative old building villa that we moved into a few years ago in the western part of Heidelberg–and our old building office in Berlin's Schumannstraße, which stylishly combine old and modern. In this way, we create an ideal environment for both creative and concentrated work–as well as communicative exchange.
4. Cultural Promotion
GIM has a long tradition of promoting culture. The commitment to art and culture is based on partnerships and sponsorships with selected cultural institutions and initiatives. In addition to the GIM Art Collection, innovative festival and exhibition formats are sponsored.
GIM Art Collection
GIM has always been committed to art. The works exhibited in the company buildings inspire visitors and employees alike. A special place in the GIM Art Collection is occupied by the long-standing personal relationship with the important contemporary painter Peter Robert Keil: The GIM owns an extensive collection of paintings, sculptures and majolica by the artist. Behind the Keil Collection, which is presented in the Heidelberg company building, stands more than "just" sponsoring–it is the passion for the idea of sharing the artist's work with others.
For a long time now we have been supporting one of the most important music festivals in Germany, the Heidelberger Frühling. The special idea: individual cooperation with outstanding artists who have shaped unique programmes for years, not as travelling stars, as part of the festival family.
The international event takes place annually in Heidelberg in March and April, with the musical focus on classical concerts by world stars and young artists. In addition, an extensive supporting programme includes film screenings, jazz evenings and discussion forums.
As part of the cooperation, we have published a study on the indirect profitability of the Heidelberg Spring. You can request he study "Kulturförderung lohnt sich!" ("Cultural sponsorship pays off!"; only available in German) free of charge.
Since 2019, GIM has been an official partner of the Enjoy Jazz jazz festival. Enjoy Jazz is a "Festival for Jazz and Other" with the aim of exploring the boundaries between jazz and other musical genres such as classical, pop, avant-garde, rock, hip-hop and electro. The festival takes place annually on stages in Heidelberg, Mannheim and Ludwigshafen. For Enjoy Jazz, the GIM conducts an accompanying study on the festival, thus providing the festival management with relevant results on the visitor structure.
„Mut zur Wut“
By promoting the international poster competition Mut zur Wut ("Courage to Rage") for many years, we want to take a stand on relevant topics outside our day-to-day business. The posters always represent a critical, social or political content. Courage to be angry thus wants to enable "creative criticism of current circumstances and events". What's special: MzW's winning posters are displayed in public space.
The Center for Art and Media (ZKM) in Karlsruhe has been a cooperation partner of GIM since November 2018. As the first project, GIM carried out an acceptance study on the new exhibition concept "Open Codes" for the renowned cultural institution. The ZKM operates at the interface between art and science, focusing on the consequences of increasing digitalisation, globalisation and medialisation for people.
5. Internal and External Compliance
As a company, GIM bases its actions towards all business partners on a comprehensive and binding set of values.
This necessarily results in compliance with laws, rules of conduct for market research and integrity towards all stakeholders. The way in which we act and present ourselves to our customers, study participants and service providers, as well as to our employees, is shaped by these values, as is the quality of our research work. We regard this set of values, which we have developed together with our employees, as the foundation of our corporate governance and corporate behavior - and as the guidelines of our "research ethos".
In addition, GIM takes it for granted that all our business activities are strictly aligned with the ten principles of the UN Global Compact (human rights, labor standards, environmental protection and anti-corruption).