Our commitment to the communities we serve forms the lifeblood of our organisation. We deliver reliable, high-speed connectivity and pioneer new technologies that are not only changing the face of digitisation but also boosting economies, creating opportunities and even saving lives—particularly in remote or underserved regions.
Every day, our global team of changemakers are encouraged to bring charitable ideas and activities to the table, that in turn engage and inspire each other to give back to the people; the stories we touch.
Let’s dive into a few…
Fueling humanitarian missions
With the ability to beam reliable and flexible bandwidth anywhere on Earth, our satellites bring unprecedented access to information and learning—and with it a new era of digital inclusion. In this same way, our work has shown to be capable of transitioning geographical barriers, lifting fragile economies and supporting humanitarian recovery efforts in the aftermath of conflict or natural disaster.
In recent years, SES has engaged in a number of missions to improve humanitarian outcomes. One key innovation that has helped us do that is emergency.lu - a mobile, satellite-based telecommunications platform. Recognising the complexities of modern-day aid, the platform was created to re-establish vital communication lines such as internet and phone as well as support the coordination efforts of humanitarian organisations on the ground. To date, the program has made a tangible difference to, among others, UNICEF operations in Syria, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) response in Chad and the handling of the Nigerian hunger crisis by the World Food Programme (WFP).
SATMED—an innovative, satellite-enabled telemedicine platform on a mission to improve access to quality healthcare—also delivers life-saving services to isolated communities.
Driving digital equality
We believe that everyone has the right to seek, receive and impart information. Together with our partners, we provide secure, quality connectivity services to all four corners of the globe. In 2020, the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, our universal access programmes developed new meaning. With communities all over the world suddenly plunged into strict lockdown, SES moved quickly to support everything from remote working in Alaska to the safe and continued operation of Wi-Fi hotspots in rural Colombia.
In Mexico, our input was particularly important. With the rapid spread of COVID-19 putting pressure on the country’s already depleted healthcare system, the Government of Mexico called on us to support the deployment of its telemedicine network. In a matter of weeks, SES and a handful of local teams had pulled it off, enabling vital communication lines between the government and 35 public hospitals and thus the continued delivery of critical healthcare services—all via a high-powered satellite-based system.
Education for all
In recent years, we’ve identified a proven link between connectivity and the ability to tackle major economic and societal challenges. From chronic poverty to joblessness to the global energy crisis, satellite technology is critical to the creation of new applications and e-learning activities that address these unique and shifting challenges. Going where the need is greatest, the last few years have seen us focus our attention on the African continent, where satellite technology is best-placed to reach remote rural areas. Joining forces with partners in Ghana and Ethiopia, we have used our secreted satellite powers to bring educational TV channels to thousands of homes.
And our education efforts don’t end there—we collaborate with top-ranking universities and academic institutions to foster technological innovation, develop young engineering talent, advance satellite-based business solutions, support PhD research and more. Our academic partners include the University of Oxford in the UK, the International Space University in France, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US and The African School of Economics (ASE) in the Republic of Benin.
We are proud to serve the communities in which we work—and we want to say thanks for all that they have given us. A melting pot of cultures, talents and ideas, our employees need no encouragement. Some volunteer for charity, while others take a leading role at company-led events.
One group of particularly passionate SES’ers took it upon themselves to start their own employee-based charity, aptly named SHARITY. Started in 2018, the in-house initiative supports small and tailored development projects around the world. In 2019, SHARITY raised an impressive EUR 13,000 using the money to get girls back to school and community-based sustainability projects up and running, among others. Read more about our employee-led charitable causes in our 2020 ESG Report.
To increase the impact of our contributions, SES matches employee donations to not-for-profits including the Red Cross, Oxfam, Médecins Sans Frontières and Telecoms Sans Frontières.The unique circumstances of 2020 saw us extend our Matching Donations programme to include organisations specifically responding to COVID-19. Giving Back—an SES initiative that encourages all employees to step up for society—also expanded, seeing a wave of our own lend their services to local response efforts such as mask making, the delivery of food and emergency supplies, help hotlines and blood donations.
More than ever, SES must do our bit to support our local communities. Our CEO Steve Collar, shares his thoughts in a short video message.
For all the latest facts and figures, browse our ESG Report.