Creating an employee engagement program that maximizes community impact
The Anglo American Ambassadors for Good program was created in partnership with Pyxera Global in 2018 as an employee-driven pro bono model. In the years since the program’s start, it has expanded from two markets—the United Kingdom where Anglo American is headquartered, and South Africa, one of the company’s largest markets—to 12 in total.
COUNTRIES OF OPERATION: Ambassadors for Good Program
Australia, Brazil, Botswana, Canada, Chile, China, Ireland, Namibia, Peru, Singapore, South Africa, United Kingdom
Funded by the Anglo American Foundation, Ambassadors for Good was an Impact 2030 Innovation Award winner and has grown from 64 projects in the first year to approximately 160 projects. It has accomplished this with the company-donated volunteer hours of over 1,000 participating employees. Hitting its maximum scale, this global program continues to build its reputation in existing and newly established markets.
Ambassadors for Good projects broadly support Anglo American’s Sustainable Mining Plan and the De Beers Building Forever pillars. Anglo American works with local governments, leaders, and NGOs to contribute to community needs, largely in the regions where it operates. The company specifically works with organizations working to solve identified community challenges.
The goal of Ambassadors for Good is to enable employee engagement on the largest scale possible to collaborate with more partner organizations and support local communities. The more employees active in the program, the more communities can thrive.
We had not realized how many projects Anglo American supported. I also learned that Anglo American employees are very loyal to their company. The team was enthusiastic and keen to help us, and we were lucky to have them to ‘walk with’ during this project. We are going to continue to use what we learned here with our teachers.Flying Children, partner organization in South Africa
The Ambassadors for Good program model is truly employee driven. Rather than being directed from a centralized office, the program’s decentralized, self-directed nature results in impact that is scalable across geographies.
With three days of paid work time for the program, employees have the freedom to self-select partners from the communities. They may draw from the causes they are passionate about, such as tackling climate change, supporting biodiversity, or improving livelihoods in local communities.
From 2018 through 2022, Pyxera Global has engaged with Anglo American’s market-based teams to implement the program from start to finish, which includes:
- Hosting the program’s employee recruitment process
- Providing a virtual curriculum on how to select a partner and develop a social impact project
- Coordinating with local market leads to ensure a smooth rollout
- Leading monitoring and evaluation
Teams have been involved in over 425 projects as diverse as researching human rights in the shipping industry to supporting young engineers through STEM education. Employees consistently report gaining new skills in communication, patience, adaptability, teamwork, and collaboration.
BY THE NUMBERS: 2018-2022 Impact Brief
324 host organizations
425 social projects supported
12 countries across Anglo American and De Beers
The expansion of the program and the depth it has reached has allowed Anglo American and De Beers Group to support organizations that are already doing the work in communities of interest, namely by putting the weight of the company’s monetary and human capital behind the projects.
The program was formulated with Anglo American’s purpose in mind, to re-imagine mining to improve people’s lives—including that of host communities and employees. Because this worldwide program is open to everyone in the company—from mine sites and corporate headquarters to satellite offices and storefronts—it enables a broader reach and more extensive impact.
Partnership with Anglo American Ambassadors for Good and Hydromulch initiated a pilot project with Vetiver Grass