Culture at Braze

Forge 2023 Recap: Making an Impact and Going Green

Braze Social Impact Team By Braze Social Impact Team Oct 30, 2023

Our annual customer conference, Forge 2023, consisted of two days jam-packed with insights, inspiring content, hands-on workshops, educational opportunities featuring leading brands, and —for the first time ever—our very own Social Impact booth activation!

The Braze Social Impact booth was a hub of inspiration. Our mission is to amplify employee impact in order to create opportunities for underserved groups within our communities as well as advance science-based climate solutions. Having a booth allowed us a special opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions with conference attendees about our programs and progress since our department began in December 2021. Highlighted topics included year-to-date grantmaking via our Braze for Social Impact Fund, our employee donation and volunteering program (“Braze Cares”), our Tech for Black Founders product grant program, employee resource groups, our annual ESG report, and more.

In addition to highlighting our work, we felt strongly that the conference—with 850+ in-person attendees and 500+ virtual—was a unique opportunity to work alongside our broader ecosystem of employees, agencies, partners, sponsors, customers, and prospect attendees to drive collective action together.

We can’t help but feel proud of the impact created through Forge 2023 and are excited to share the specific actions we took to make this year’s conference truly special:

1. Braze pledged to donate a total of $50,000 to three nonprofit organizations and gave attendees the power to to distribute the funds.

One of the things we focused on at Forge was giving back to the community. Braze pledged to donate a total of $50,000 to three nonprofit organizations, giving conference attendees the power to decide how those funds would be distributed. Upon entering the venue (or tuning in virtually to Forge Digital), all attendees received a donation token from the Braze for Social Impact Fund. Attendees were then directed to the Social Impact booth (also available virtually) where they could learn about the following three nonprofits and direct their donation to the organization of their choice. As a result of the program, each of the below organizations will receive more than $15,000 in donations!

  • The Bowery Mission: The Bowery Mission exists to promote the flourishing of New Yorkers experiencing homelessness, food insecurity, and marginalization by providing compassionate services and a transformative community. They serve their neighbors with care and compassion, accompanying them to overcome challenges, escape the cycle of poverty and progress towards a full and meaningful life.

  • TheOpenCode Foundation: The OpenCode Foundation is an award-winning 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that aims to bring computer science to everyone. Through its programs, the OpenCode Foundation aims to raise awareness to the digital divide and empower young people to go out there and make a change in their own communities.

  • To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA): To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) is a nonprofit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and invest directly into treatment and recovery.

2. From catering to swag, sustainability was a top priority.

We took several steps to make this event our greenest yet:

  • Fully Compostable or Recyclable Serveware: All of our serveware was either fully compostable or recyclable and we encouraged attendees to dispose of serveware correctly.

  • Reusable Beverage Cups: Our cold beverage cups that were made of reusable thermoplastics were washed and given a second life after the conference, allowing us to minimize waste further.

  • Thoughtful Giveaways: Attendees were treated to YETI cups as a reusable option throughout the event and beyond, as well as Bombas socks, a customer brand that donates a pair of socks to someone in need for each pair purchased.

  • Local and Sustainable Catering: Our Green Restaurant Association-certified caterer sourced ingredients from 15 local farms, ensuring that our meals were not only delicious but also made with the environment in mind.

3. Unused or unwanted items were donated.

According to an article from Forbes earlier this year, “just 21% of branded and promotional items are kept for any length of time. More than half are given away, and 23% are thrown away. This means much of the swag that's often shared at events ends up in landfills and further contributes to this already-grim situation.” We wanted to address this.

On the attendee side, any unwanted accumulated swag items could be given back. After the conference wrapped, we worked with our production agency to identify local nonprofits in the NYC area who needed those specific items. On the production and catering side, nothing usable was thrown away. Uneaten food and donatable goods were given to our partners at Housing Works, Bessie Green Community Inc, Covenant House, and Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen.

Forge 2023 by Braze was an embodiment of our commitment to social impact and sustainability. It showcased the power of tech to make a difference in the world and served as a testament to what we can achieve when we come together with purpose. Thank you to everyone who participated and helped us create lasting change. Together, we can amplify our impact and build a more sustainable future.

Braze Social Impact Team

Braze Social Impact Team

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