The pandemic disrupted economic, social and labor sectors globally and people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD) currently face uncertainties in employment.

To help address this concern, we collaborated with Plena Inclusión Madrid in Spain to promote the inclusion of people with IDD in environmental sectors through the Sustainability Innovation Laboratory. Plena Inclusión Madrid is a network of organizations working to provide equal opportunities to people with IDD.

The laboratory was launched in October 2020 to help develop the skills of people with IDD and take advantage of Spain’s increasing demand for professionals working on the preservation of environmental resources. Through this initiative, we provide development and integration opportunities to people with disabilities, while helping organizations reduce their environmental impact.

Enabling professional growth while protecting the planet

The Sustainability Innovation Laboratory initiative is split into phases.

In the first phase, training is offered to public administration and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to equip them with tools and knowledge to design projects that will improve the employability of vulnerable groups in the environmental sector. Once pilot projects are designed and presented, those with the best socio-environmental impact are selected for implementation. To support rollout, participating organizations are mentored to ensure feasibility and success of their projects.

Currently, trainings have started on waste and environmental management, and sustainability across several Spanish organizations such as ALEPH-TEA, ASPIMI, ADEMO and APASCOVI that support vulnerable groups. Around 30 people with IDD from these groups will benefit from these projects.

Our collaboration with Plena Inclusión Madrid also includes corporate volunteering activities, integration of people with IDDs in our Spain operations, and the development of technological solutions for people with IDD.

Learn more about our diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives around the world in our CSR Report.