Building on the successful launch of the Innovation Awards last year, the 2021 edition of the group-wide award contest was adapted to acknowledge the commitment, agility and resilience of URW teams facing the Covid-19 pandemic in the past year.
Back in 2020, the Innovation Awards, an group-wide contest, was created in order to promote innovation throughout the Group. You can learn more about the first edition and the 2020 winning projects in our article here.
This year being obviously a very challenging one due to the Covid-19 crisis, the concept was adapted in order to highlight the tremendous innovation drive of all URW teams to support people, business and communities. All URW teams were invited to take part in this edition by uploading their projects on an internal platform centralising all innovation-related initiatives.
The 2021 Innovation Awards were undoubtedly successful! It has aroused tremendous interest from all region: projects involving teams from 11 countries (the U.S., the U.K., France, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Nordics, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia) were submitted. And no less than 69 projects were eligible for this second edition: more than twice as many as last year!
An internal jury picked 4 winning projects, one in each of the 4 following categories:
- Reinvent working together remotely
- Restart our activity in the safest possible conditions
- Back our business in the face of the crisis
- Support our hardest-hit communities
And a 5th project was chosen by the votes of URW employees to receive the “Employee Favourite” Award!
And the winners are…
The jury was very impressed by the quality and diversity of the projects, which once again demonstrate the Group’s commitment to putting customers at the heart of our concerns and to working hand in hand with the territories in which URW operates.
Here are the 4 winning projects, selected after jury deliberation:
- In the “Reinvent working together remotely” category: the implementation of e-learning courses for new tenants by Centrum Černý Most teams in Slovakia. These online trainings were created to offer tenants a replacement to the traditional in-situ trainings canceled because of Covid-19.
- In the “Restart our activity in the safest possible conditions” category: the contactless mobile food ordering solution implemented in 3 U.S. airports (LAX, Miami and Chicago O’Hare). The idea was to protect the safety of travellers and airport employees by limiting physical interactions, while driving sales of tenants with an innovative solution that will still be relevant and useful in the future.
- In the “Back our business in the face of the crisis” category: the partnership set up with Zalando and its “Connected Retail” platform in Germany. With this platform, German teams went one step further in terms of omnicannel retail. Tenants were able to connect to Zalando’s solution “Connected Retail” in order to boost their sales through the online channel.
- In the “Support our hardest-hit communities” category: the series of community and philanthropic actions undertaken under the #WestfieldCares banner in the US. This campaign aims at addressing the challenges faced by vulnerable populations in the communities in which URW operates in the US.
With a total of almost 1100 votes, the “Employee Favourite” category has become a must! The employees largely praised the Westfield London Nature Reserve, a project from the U.K. promoting biodiversity and urban farming.
This second edition of the Innovation Awards exceeded our expectations in terms of project quality! We are convinced that these internal Awards will contribute to fostering a strong sense of community, engagement and innovation throughout the Group. We are proud to see that URW teams have carried out such customer-centric and ambitious projects in response to the Covid-19 crisis. And we hope these projects will inspire other teams to undertake innovative projects as well!Julie Villet
Congratulations to all the winners, this once again reflects the agility and ability of all our teams to challenge each other and adapt effectively to challenges. A huge thanks again to everyone who participated and voted! We look forward to another engaging edition next year.
We will take time to highlight here on URW Lab website other innovative initiatives submitted for the Innovation Awards in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!