Community Engagement

With a presence in 75 countries, and due to the nature of our business, we believe that we have a unique opportunity and responsibility to support local communities in the locations we operate. Avolta's community engagement strategy is built around a wide, complex, and evolving number of initiatives. During 2022, at global, country or location level, Avolta has supported – either financially, by raising awareness, or through the volunteer work of our team members  – a broad number of nonprofit organizations and social or humanitarian initiatives. We have also continued supporting cultural events and groups.

The support of charitable institutions and causes, as a way of giving back to society, has been inherent in the growth and evolution of Avolta since its early years. The support of disadvantaged children, young people and their families, together with enabling them to have access to education, has remained the main line of action in our corporate community initiatives, both as a group or at country level. In some cases, our team members have actively participated in the process of selecting the projects to be considered, reinforcing the engagement and motivation to collaborate with these initiatives.

Avolta's help to these causes consists of direct monetary contributions, complemented by the valued and important role fulfilled by our customers, who allow us to raise additional funds by buying charitable products in our stores for the benefit of different NGOs, as well as by making donations in the boxes available in some of our airport locations.

Throughout 2022, we have continued evolving our first global initiative, already launched at the end of 2020: Through the sale of Captain Dufry, a soft toy dog in an aviator costume, Avolta supports SOS Children’s Villages by donating the proceeds from the sale of this product.

Special support during 2022 has been given to those impacted by the war in Ukraine. Avolta, who holds operations in Odessa, quickly activated a plan to give support to our Ukrainian colleagues, both to those who stayed on site and to those who decided to leave the country. All were offered the possibility of being moved, together with their families, to different Avolta locations, where they have received support for housing, schooling, etc. and have continued working for the company. Avolta colleagues from all operations made individual contributions to the different funds that were locally installed and that help to support our Ukrainian team members, families and relatives in such challenging times. At the same time, Avolta contributed through donations to a global fund set up by the Travel Retail industry to support existing NGOs supporting Ukrainians.

We are also very proud of the activities carried out by our team members to aid disadvantaged communities and charitable initiatives, often during their own free time. Where and when possible, we have supported and funded them and made the individuals and their great work visible to the rest of their colleagues, by using our internal communication channels. This serves a two-fold purpose, helping them to obtain vital, additional support, as well as providing a way of recognizing and thanking them for their philanthropic efforts.

The initiatives and projects described below represent some of the most prominent projects we support. The progress made and the encouraging results of our ongoing support to these initiatives – the earliest Avolta supported project started in 1995 – make us feel very proud and is an incentive to strengthen our ties with them.

Redefining our Community Outreach strategy

During 2022, we conducted over 50 interviews with stakeholders, including members of the Global Executive Committee and other managers across all Avolta regions, as well as external peers. The different inputs have served to help us assess which of our activities leaves the biggest impact, to learn from best practices and to define the main guidelines of our new Community Engagement Strategy, which will be implemented during 2023.

SOS Children’s Villages supported programs in Brazil, Mexico and Kenya

Our global collaboration with SOS Children’s Villages started several years ago in 2009, with the sponsorship of a project focused on preventive care in Igarassu, a town located in the northeast of Brazil and one of the poorest areas in the country. This project, which is still supported by Avolta, evolved into a long-standing relationship with SOS Children’s Villages and as a result, we have played our part in helping to increase the reach of this institution. Testament to this longstanding relationship is the choice of SOS Children’s Villages as the selected partner for our Captain Dufry initiative.

SOS Children Villages work towards keeping families together, provide alternative care when needed, supporting young people on their path to independence, and advocating for the rights of children. With the support of Avolta, SOS Children’s Villages improves the lives of at-risk children and families, enabling a future in the communities where SOS Children’s Villages work.

The way SOS Children´s Villages works enables families to evolve and reinforce family ties, whilst giving the necessary attention to children. Mothers are given the opportunity to leave their children in the child-care centers during the day so that they can go to work and earn a living for themselves and opt for better work opportunities. At the same time, children in these daycare centers are included in childhood development programs.

Fathers, on the other hand, receive awareness raising support in connection with educational matters and are helped and encouraged to become more constructively involved in family responsibility, thus improving the overall quality of life for these families.

During 2022, Avolta continued supporting the Igarassu village in Brazil. Our donations benefited nearly 500 infants, young children and teenagers with their mothers and enabled them to join family strengthening programs focused on building self-esteem, improving gender relations and preventing domestic violence. Since the start of the collaboration, Avolta has also lent similar support to other villages in Mexico, Russia, Morocco and Cambodia.

SOS Children’s Villages also promotes family strengthening programs, such as the Avolta sponsored program in Nairobi, Kenya. This program seeks sustainable and innovative ways to prevent family separation and addresses the situation of those children who are at risk of losing care from their biological family.

The pillars of this program are family and community empowerment, to achieve the ultimate development of children through provision of quality care and protection. Community-based partners are strategically identified, assessed and engaged to help create a strong safety-net around the vulnerable children and youth in the community.

Beyond Avolta´s global contribution to SOS Children’s Villages, our Captain Dufry initiative supported the SOS Children’s Villages projects worldwide, by generating donations via the sale of Captain Dufry soft toys in Avolta stores in Finland, France, Greece, Morocco, Spain, Sweden and the UK. All contributions, big and small, help this organization in their objective of keeping families together, providing alternative care when needed, supporting young people on their path to independence, and advocating for the rights of children.

Captain Dufry – Avolta´s global charity initiative

Avolta continued extending the reach of its global charity initiative, Captain Dufry. Launched in 2020, Avolta sells Captain Dufry, a soft toy dog wearing a Dufry scarf and aviator hat with goggles, across Avolta stores in 23 countries. Benefits from this initiative are donated to a global charity, which for the 2021 – 2023 period is SOS Children´s Villages.

Captain Dufry is available at an accessible price and designed to be an irresistible “feel-good” purchase. This item gives our customers the perfect opportunity to buy a gift that truly makes children feel special – both their loved ones and those in need of support around the world.

Beyond the financial objective pursued with Captain Dufry, this initiative also serves to increase awareness amongst Avolta's customers of SOS Children’s Villages and their activities. To this extent, the availability of Captain Dufry in stores is complemented with in-store communication and signage to build awareness. Avolta reserves high visibility spaces across the stores where Captain Dufry is available, including dedicated sales displays and gondolas. On top of this, Avolta customers are offered additional options to donate by using the Red By Dufry app, hence, increasing the possibilities of helping this charity initiative even more.

The Ocean Cleanup

Understanding that plastic pollution in our oceans is a global challenge, and nobody can solve it alone, Avolta has contributed to The Ocean Cleanup. As an Independent Supporter, we help them in their work towards recycling the plastic collected from our oceans and ensuring it never re-enters the natural environment again.

The Ocean Cleanup is a non-profit organization that develops advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. Founded in 2013 by Boyan Slat, The Ocean Cleanup conducts global research, builds scalable cleaning systems for oceans and rivers, and now employs close to 100 engineers and researchers. The foundation is headquartered in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Complementary to its approach to solve the legacy problem of plastic in the ocean by means of its passive floating waste collection systems, the organization also developed the Interceptor technology, to help prevent plastic garbage reaching the oceans via rivers. Interceptor technologies are now deployed in Indonesia, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Vietnam, and preparations are ongoing for further deployments around the world.

One Water – selling water bottles to provide sustainable clean water

Since 2016, World Duty Free has collaborated with The One Foundation as a commercial supporter for the sale of the charity’s bottled water brand “One Water” in all of its UK airport stores. Over the past 6 years, World Duty Free has been raising money through the sale of One Water to bring clean water, sanitation and hygiene solutions to some of the world’s poorest communities.

Through the sale of One Water across World Duty Free shops in 2022 alone, over £137,000 has been raised for charitable projects – and an amazing £2.4 million in total to date, changing the lives of over 428,000 people. Together with One Water and The One Foundation, we are helping to strengthen water and sanitation services across Kenya, Rwanda, Ghana and Malawi through the delivery of piped water and sanitation services and by capacity building with local utilities for better service provision. Together, we are repairing broken water points and providing the tools and community training required to ensure the future sustainability of these pumps.

Funds from One Water this year have also contributed to the delivery of emergency hygiene kits to communities impacted by the crisis in Ukraine. This supportive action has also proven to be very critical, as the conflict unfortunately hasn’t stopped.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Helping to build the future of young teenagers

Since 1995, Avolta has been sponsoring a social promotion program in Rio de Janeiro aimed at improving the skills of young people and, hence, increasing their employability. The 20 participants of the 2022 class benefited from this program, which features free professional education to young people from communities around Galeão Airport, including various classes and education modules covering numerous topics and skills such as English, technology, retail operations, professional orientation, teamwork, leadership, rules of etiquette, ethics and citizenship.

The daily classes which run over a 7-months period cover three modules and are attended by 18 to 20 year old students of different genders, sexual orientation, nationality and ethnicity. They all receive free meals, uniforms, school and educational materials and transportation assistance. Avolta then supports participants in their first steps into professional life. Some join the Avolta team or are employed by other supportive companies, and those who do not immediately find employment are given ongoing support in finding an educational or career path.

This program is also an institution amongst Avolta team members and one of the initiatives Avolta Brazil team members and colleagues feel very proud of. Our colleagues in Brazil act as mentors to the program’s students and every year more than 60 volunteers from both Avolta and its Brazilian partners get involved.

Over the 27 years that this program has run, it has proven to be a great success. Employability rates usually reach high levels and since Avolta started its collaboration, over 770 young people have benefited.

Hudson Round-up program

In 2022, Hudson switched its previous donation collection platform to a round-up program at the point of sale, which allows travelers to round up their purchases and donate the remaining change to charity. Hudson used this new platform to support two causes throughout the year – Communities In Schools® (CIS®) and the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC).

Hudson was proud to continue its long-standing partnership with CIS, the largest U.S. organization dedicated to empowering students in need. This past year, Hudson expanded its level of support for CIS, with donations benefitting both the CIS National Office and now 29 local CIS affiliates. By further investing in the affiliate network, Hudson deepened its local community involvement, while helping CIS to strengthen its academic impact on even more students and schools.

In recognition of Hudson’s ongoing commitment to CIS and being “All In” to help students in school and in life, Hudson received the 2022 “All In For Students” Philanthropic Partner Award. Hudson has now raised nearly $5 million for CIS over its partnership of more than a decade.

During the year, Hudson also worked closely with Avolta on the global fundraising efforts for the DEC, which assisted with Ukraine humanitarian relief. As a result, Hudson collected more than $1 million in donations for the relief efforts.

In addition to its in-store fundraising, Hudson also supported several other causes throughout the year in its local communities. In the U.S., Hudson participated in a 5 km charity run, hosted a coat and shoe drive at its New Jersey corporate office, and helped with a back to school event, amongst other local initiatives. Moreover, throughout North America, team members participated in “Movember,” a global initiative where individuals grow moustaches and beards to raise awareness and collect donations for men’s health issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health challenges.

One Tree Planted

In Canada, our team members organized an Earth Day marketing campaign, working closely with their local airport partners. For any in-store purchases totaling over $125, a tree was planted. In total, more than 5,000 trees were planted during the initiative in partnership with One Tree Planted.

Charity Water Project in Zurich and Basel Airports

Avolta continued the partnership initiated in 2014 with Flughafen Zurich, which, under the name of “Charity Water”, raise funds for charitable causes through the sale of bottled water in the airport. For every bottle of mineral water sold at the price of CHF 2.50, which is obtained from the Adello spring in Adelboden, in the Swiss Alps, 50 centimes are donated to a charitable organization.

Kinderhilfe Sternschnuppe has been the beneficiary of this project, for which CHF 375,400 were raised in the June 2021 to November 2022 period. Kinderhilfe SternSternschnuppe is a Swiss non-profit organization that brings joy and excitement into the lives of children and young people living with an illness or disability. It fulfils the dearest wishes of children and gives the whole family the opportunity for exciting excursions and worry-free family activities.

Starting January 2023, Sozialwerk Pfarrer Sieber (Social Work Priest Sieber) will be the new beneficiary of this project. Sozialwerk Pfarrer Sieber strives for the greatest possible social reintegration of marginalized people. Where this is not possible due to lack of individual resources on the part of those affected, they should be able to live with the greatest possible autonomy with the support of Sozialwerk Pfarrer Sieber and be embedded in a sustainable network of relationships.

RgZ Foundation – Fostering unhindered development

In Switzerland, Avolta also donated to Foundation RgZ, which is supporting the development, way of life and social integration of children, teenagers and adults with movement disorders, development problems and mental and / or multiple disabilities. Over 3,100 children, young people and adults were fostered, taught and supported by the 290 RgZ employees in the greater Zurich area in 2022. 

Support to Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group

Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG), a leading children’s cancer charity and the UK and Ireland’s professional association for those involved in the treatment and care of children with cancer, is the charity supported by our UK colleagues. A nominated charity is chosen every three years based on the votes of our UK employees and CCLG was the chosen charity partner.

Throughout the first year of the partnership, Avolta's team members and colleagues in the UK have managed to raise £60,000, which is twice as much money as expected and are in good shape to reach (and exceed) the £100,000 estimated for the three-year partnership. Funds have been raised through several engaging seasonal campaigns, including Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (CCAM) in September, where team members were involved in selling CCLG’s gold ribbon pin badges, taking part in ‘Bake it Gold’ and ‘Wear it Gold’ days, participating in the ‘C through September’ challenge, wearing CCAM T-shirts in store to promote awareness and displaying CCLG’s CCAM graphics and videos on screens in store.

The funds raised through the partnership will support CCLG to grow and develop their work – which includes the development of expert information resources, which help lessen the anxiety, stress and loneliness commonly felt by families, giving them support throughout the whole challenging cancer illness periods. Furthermore, the support received will also allow CCLG to expand and fund even more innovative worldclass research, driving forward improvements in childhood cancer treatments.

The partnership is also providing the opportunity to raise further awareness of childhood cancer. Awareness is vitally important, as it can lead to earlier diagnosis, improving outcomes for children who are able to start treatment sooner, and may mean fewer lifelong, life-altering side effects experienced by many survivors of childhood cancer.

Nougat and Perfumes to support SOS Children’s Villages

Avolta, through its World Duty Free stores in Spain, conducted a special campaign in the December 2022 and January 2023 period. Thanks to the collaboration between World Duty Free, Turrones Carremi and Perfumes y Diseño (PyD), with one of its Tous fragrances, for every pack of Carremi Mini Turrones purchased during the period, EUR 1 was donated to the campaign and for every Tous EDP fragrance purchased, EUR 3 were donated. The initiative helped to raise over EUR 13,000, which were entirely donated to SOS Children’s Villages to fund their various projects in Spain.


In the UK, World Duty Free supports HOME, a Manchester- based organisation that presents and produces a range of art forms including theatre, film and visual art, alongside a dynamic community engagement programme. Through our engagement HOME will develop and launch HOME Young Creatives, an inspiring 12-week arts course in Wythenshawe for young people aged between 12 and 18 led by experienced and knowledgeable artists. The course will develop and broaden young people’s skillsets and aspirations, culminating in the creation of their own work. Over 100 young people will be involved in various stages of the project, which will be developed and delivered between February and August 2023.

HOME and World Duty Free have worked in partnership since 2004 to improve the lives of Wythenshawe communities, running innovative arts projects for a range of beneficiaries across the district.

Fundación Aladina – supporting children with Cancer

Fundación Aladina is a Spanish NGO that provides comprehensive support to many cancer-diagnosed children and teenagers and their families. The support given includes psychological and emotional support, as well as material and financial assistance. With its donations in 2022, Avolta again supported Aladina´s Extraordinary Special Fund, which finances the purchase of prosthesis, wigs, wheelchairs, hearing aids, physical therapy sessions, funerals, and any other expenses incurred as a result of the child’s illness.

Support to multiple projects in Greece

Hellenic Duty Free Shops continued with the ongoing support to Make-A-Wish Hellas, an organization granting wishes of children with critical illnesses to transform their lives. For Make-A-Wish, a wish is an inherent part of the healing journey, as these help with the regaining of the physical and emotional strength the children need to go through very serious illnesses.

Hellenic Duty Free Shops also supports the Galilee Palliative Care Center – which provides palliative medical and nursing care along with psychological, social and spiritual support to patients and their families – as well as the Skytali Hellenic Heart-Lung Transplant Association.

Moreover, several non-for-profit organizations, including FOOD BANK, Institution against Hunger and SOS Children’s Villages Hellas, were supported through product donations.

And a long list of other local contributions

Support for the underprivileged is deeply rooted in our company. In addition to the main initiatives mentioned above there is a long list of causes and projects of all sizes that Avolta subsidiaries and team  members support year after year. Amongst others, these include direct donations to the Prime Minister’s National Relief fund (PMNRF) in India to support disaster victims, and the support of our Armenian operation to the social programme Children of Armenia Fund (COAF).

The main protagonists of many of these actions are our team members, who champion the causes and promote their support through micro-donations, charity runs, bike rides, bake sales and other initiatives to support the many deserving projects.

Internally we give voice to these initiatives through our own communication platforms to recognize the effort, generate awareness and motivate other team members to develop initiatives of their own.

Support to communities in Türkiye and Syria

To support the people and communities impacted by the devastating earthquake in Türkiye and Syria, Avolta Group has significant combined initiatives of the company and our customers in early 2023.

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