Throughout our history, we have maintained a strong sense of community and have strived to be a good corporate citizen.
We understand the value of partnering with the communities in which we operate, and we recognize that thriving and resilient communities are essential for a sustainable future. Community engagement benefits our neighbors, resonates with employees on a personal level and allows us to operate with the trust and confidence of our neighbors. We are fortunate to have a workforce comprised of many individuals who are willing and able to contribute to this important effort by offering their time and skills to have a positive impact on our communities.
In 2018, we donated more than $1.4 million to worthy causes around the world. This included Foundation disbursements of $853,000 and individual facility donations totaling $596,000. These fiscal contributions were over and above the numerous ways our employees found to give back to their communities through volunteerism and personal giving.
Aligning Giving with our Sustainability Strategy
One key area we focused on for community engagement during 2018 was the alignment of the Foundation’s giving with our overall sustainability objectives. We undertook this effort with the recognition that the Foundation plays a unique role in providing financial support to our communities around the globe while fostering long-term partnerships with organizations that can support our shared sustainability goals. To this end, the Foundation's Board of Directors conducted a thorough review of the themes supported by its charitable grants to ensure they complement the material topics underpinning our sustainability strategy. Looking forward, we intend to draw inspiration from our overarching sustainability objectives to help direct our community engagement activities at our facilities in addition to the Foundation’s giving decisions.
Giving Back to the Community
Inspiring Young People to Tackle Climate Change
The Cabot Foundation has proudly served as the first corporate sponsor for the New England Aquarium’s ClimaTeens program, recognized with a 2016 Community Service Award from Youth Climate Action Network, and a 2015 Community Leadership Award from Greenovate Boston, which has been engaging teenagers on the topics of climate change and ocean conservation since 2013.
This year-long teen empowerment and education program attracts approximately 40 teenage students each year with a desire to learn more about these important topics. As part of the program, students design projects to inspire public audiences, particularly their peers, to take action in contributing to a more sustainable future. In 2017, a group of Boston and Billerica employees from different disciplines attended the students’ final presentations of their projects to show their support and offer advice on career choices in STEM fields to a highly motivated group of students eager to make a positive impact.
Volunteering to protect the environment
Our sites around the world are committed to making the world a better place by supporting local charities, improving our environment and reducing our environmental footprint.
Our site in Billerica, Massachusetts, USA, recently launched a sustainability committee, which identifies opportunities for on-site improvements in materials and energy efficiency and organizes environmental cleanup activities. Our colleagues in Altamira, Mexico, partnered with neighboring industrial facilities to coordinate an environmental benchmarking activity with the goal of reducing plastic pollution. Similarly, our site in Xingtai, China, participated in Act for Beautiful China, through which we shared our industryleading SH&E practices with other companies. By taking a localized approach to our environmental objectives, we empower our colleagues around the world to collaborate within their facilities and communities to make a meaningful difference.
Walking For a Cause in Dubai
In February 2017, representatives from each department of our Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), facility took part in the Walk for Hope, a walkathon dedicated to raising funds for cancer patients from Pakistan, Syria, Philippines, India, Morocco and Lebanon.
The event was supported by the UAE Red Crescent and Dubai municipality, and our colleagues were proud to be well-represented among several other companies operating in the area.
Providing Meals for Community Members in Need
Cabot employees in Haverhill volunteered on a weekly basis with the Merrimack Valley Hope Mission to provide meals for those in need.
Our inkjet site in Haverhill, Massachusetts, USA, became actively engaged with an outreach program that reaches impoverished and homeless members of the community. The Merrimack Valley Hope Mission is a nonprofit organization that helps feed hungry people in the area, and our colleagues graciously volunteered with the organization across 12 different Fridays in 2017 to support this cause. The facility purchased supplies which employees used to prepare and distribute bagged lunches to individuals in the downtown area or in shelters. Our colleagues were pleased to lend their helping hands to those in need in the surrounding Haverhill community.
Promoting STEM in the Classroom
Employees from Tuscola, Illinois, USA, joined forces with local schools and visited third through eighth grade classrooms to facilitate STEM demonstrations.
Some of the projects included building protective egg baskets, building rockets and creating a human energy circuit. In addition, employees participated in a collection drive for supplies that could be used for science experiments within the classrooms. With their help, every item on the wish lists of STEM supplies was collected and provided to local schools.
Giving Back to the Community in Cartagena
Many employees at our Cartagena, Colombia, facility participated in Mamonal Foundation projects in 2017.
This foundation funds a multitude of community projects with a focus on raising the quality of life, generating economic prosperity in the community and reducing the inequality gap in the population of Cartagena and surrounding areas. We were one of the founding companies of the Mamonal Foundation in Cartagena in 1975, and our Regional General Manager and Colombia Country Manager, Guillermo del Castillo, serves as the chairman. One way the Cartagena site contributed in a meaningful way was through the sponsorship of the Boomerang Scholarship project, through which bilingual technology scholarships were awarded to 12 low-income students with outstanding academic performance. In addition, 90% of the employees made voluntary donations that were matched by the facility to support the development of a children's daycare center for a nearby community in need.
Sponsoring Life Science Education in Glasglow
Employees at our Glasgow, Scotland, facility sponsored two elementary school classes to participate in Clyde in the Classroom, a hands-on project that uses a native Scottish species, the brown trout, to promote awareness of river ecology among youth from the Clyde River area.
The project encourages children to engage with nature and develop a sense of pride in their local environment. Students worked with the Clyde River Foundation scientists for several weeks to care for trout eggs in a specially designed classroom hatchery. The children then released the fish into the local river.
Inspiring Boston Public School Students
Employees in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, participated in a cleanup day and a 4K trail run to support the Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center.
The center provides adventurous and challenging experiential learning programs that inspire character development, compassion, community service, environmental responsibility and academic achievement for students in communities of greater metropolitan Boston. As a result of our efforts, Thompson Island was better prepared to host thousands of Boston Public School children over the summer.