Social Commitment

We are part of society and are committed to helping ensure its stability and ability to meet future challenges.

As an internet provider, we operate in a dynamic and highly competitive market. However, our economic activities aren’t the whole story: We are also part of society and can only be successful if this functions properly, too. This explains why we are committed to helping ensure a stable society that can meet future challenges.

We aim not to lose sight of how our various business activities impact people and the environment, and to help ensure a stable and forward-looking society. Our goal is to contribute to people’s prosperity both within and outside our corporate environment. We do this by creating jobs and traineeships, through our products, and through our social commitment.

Our activities in this last area comprise the following initiatives:

  • United Internet for UNICEF
    Back in 2006, foundation donor and United Internet AG CEO Ralph Dommermuth laid the groundwork for a consistently successful initiative designed to help children throughout the world. The United Internet for UNICEF foundation supports projects run by UNICEF (the United Nations Children's Fund) worldwide. By doing so, it aims to help improve equal opportunities for, and the well-being of, children around the world.
  • Supporting Inclusion
    As described in the “Environmental Responsibility” chapter, we support the inclusion of, and employment opportunities for, people with physical or mental disabilities. Among other things, we do this by passing on waste equipment to AfB gGmbH, a recycling specialist. According to AfB, 49% of its workforce are people with disabilities. Another way in which we promote working together with people with physical or mental disabilities is our partnership with disabled people’s cooperative GDW (Genossenschaft der Werkstätten für behinderte Menschen Mitte eG), which has shredded and recycled our old files and records for many years now.

United Internet for UNICEF: A Sustained Focus on Helping Children in Need

Our close cooperation with the United Internet for UNICEF foundation has been a core element of our social commitment since 2006. In UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, the foundation has chosen a globally recognized and qualified partner. Our aim in partnering with this organization is to leverage its professionalism to help children in need more effectively.

Among other things, UNICEF supports projects promoting education, health, and child protection with the goal of improving children’s living conditions. In addition, it provides humanitarian aid to mitigate natural disasters and their consequences.

The foundation helps raise donations and acquire sustaining sponsors by running appeals for donations on our online platforms and in the form mailshots. The high level of traffic on our GMX, WEB.DE, and 1&1 portals increases the reach and awareness of these appeals. This broad coverage makes us one of UNICEF’s largest German corporate partners.

United Internet employs a permanent staff member to coordinate the foundation’s activities with the assistance of volunteer colleagues. The Management Board is informed of these activities at least once a month. The colleagues work closely together with the foundation’s chair, Tessa Page, with the other members of the foundation board, and with UNICEF.

The foundation’s performance is monitored in the regular reports from the foundation board. One-time and repeat donations raised are passed on in full to UNICEF because all foundation staff are either volunteers or are not paid from donations.

United Internet also pledges additional financial support for selected donation appeals designed to attract sustaining sponsors: The “Double It” campaigns match donations by private individuals up to a set limit. Thanks to this incentive, among other things, the foundation was able to recruit roughly 546 new sustaining sponsors for UNICEF as a result of its 2022 Christmas mailshot alone (2021: 578; 2020: 1,600) .

The foundation’s appeals in fiscal year 2022 led to further donations to UNICEF of more than €5.4 million (2021: €6.4 million; 2020: €4.9 million) . This brings the total volume of donations raised since the foundation was set up in 2006 to over €64 million.

2021 had already been dominated by challenging crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the catastrophic floods in Germany’s Ahrtal region, but February 24, 2022, saw another drastic turning point in the foundation’s work. Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has led to unspeakable suffering, but has also created a new sense of solidarity.

One major focus of work in the past year was therefore on projects supporting the Ukrainian people both inside and outside Ukraine. For example, more than €1 million was donated to facilities such as Blue Dots hubs – important safe spaces and shelters for children and families fleeing the conflict.

The impact of the war can be felt far beyond Ukraine’s borders. The consequences in the Horn of Africa are especially drastic, due to the region’s dependence on deliveries of wheat from Ukraine and Russia. The combination of four failed rainy seasons, the war in Ukraine, regional conflicts, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and recurring plagues of locusts have led to a food crisis affecting more than 1.8 million children. Foundation and United Internet staff saw first-hand the massive impact the crisis is having during a project trip to Ethiopia in October. They were also able to visit individual local projects that are being funded and satisfy themselves that donations are being used as planned.

Another focus is on children in Afghanistan. Support was provided for UNICEF’s winter assistance projects and for the emergency aid program following the severe earthquake in June, which has further exacerbated the catastrophic situation in the country. Another key aspect of the foundation’s work in Afghanistan is to safeguard girls’ rights.