In 2011, more than 6,200 Baxter employees volunteered more than 131,000 hours in their communities, helping to address local concerns such as healthcare, the environment and education. Employee involvement takes many forms, including volunteering at a local school or blood drive, serving at a hospital or food pantry, participating in community park clean-up days, or joining a local non-profit organization board or committee. Employees at each Baxter site select volunteer activities to undertake and organizations to support, as they can best determine the most relevant and highest impact projects.
In 2011, Baxter sponsored its third annual "Baxter World Environment Week" to promote sustainable living in employees' communities and encourage employees to support the company's commitment to creating a more sustainable world. "Understanding Our Impact" was the theme of the 2011 event, which again this year was held the first week of June to correspond with the United Nation’s World Environment Day. More than 50 Baxter facilities worldwide sponsored events that promoted earth-friendly activities and sustainable living, while encouraging employees to learn more about ways to support Baxter’s commitment to sustainability. Highlights included:
- Vienna and Orth, Austria - Employees labeled food in Baxter’s cafeterias with its carbon dioxide footprint to educate employees about greenhouse gas emissions related to food production and transport.
- Manesar, Waluj and Alathur, India - More than 300 employees and their families planted about 260 trees at Baxter’s locations in the three cities and another 300 were distributed for them to plant in their local communities. Additionally, at Waluj, more than 35 employees had their vehicles checked to ensure compliance with anti-pollution standards.
- Tunis, Tunisia - Employees attended seminars on how to conserve water and on the importance of renewable energy.
Employees also participated in volunteer activities related to biodiversity activities and Baxter’s Science@Work: Expanding Minds with Real-World Science initiative.
Making a Meaningful Difference Month
Each October, Baxter employees in the Asia Pacific region volunteer time and contribute funds to "Making a Meaningful Difference" month activities to improve the lives of people in local communities and care for the environment. Highlights from 2011 included:
- Beijing, China – Employees spent two hours collecting garbage and debris on the world-renowned Great Wall.
- Auckland, New Zealand – Employees painted the walls and helped plant gardens at the new youth facility of the Youthline Manukau Centre.
Employees can track their efforts using Baxter's internal volunteerism website. Since 2008, the company has recognized employees who volunteer for 40 or more hours of community work during the year. Employees who donate 75 or more hours a year are eligible for a random drawing in which selected employees choose an approved charitable group to which Baxter will donate $1,000 in the employee's name. Thirty employees were selected in 2011, out of 454 who reached that level globally. More than 700 Baxter employees volunteered at least 40 hours during the year.
In the United States, The Baxter International Foundation Dollars for Doers program provides grants to qualified organizations in which Baxter employees have actively volunteered at least six months of the year. Past recipients include hospitals and hospices, humane societies, emergency shelters, historical societies, volunteer fire departments, substance-abuse prevention services and youth service organizations. In 2011, the program provided 60 grants to 48 organizations for a total of $24,000
Baxter employees also contribute financial resources to worthy causes. The Baxter International Foundation Matching Gift Program matches employee donations of $25 or more, up to $5,000, to non-profit, tax-exempt U.S. hospitals and healthcare agencies, schools and cultural organizations. In 2011, The Baxter International Foundation matched gifts to eligible organizations submitted by nearly 2,000 U.S.-based employees from 41 states. Gifts totaled $680,000, which doubled the dollar impact to 714 charitable organizations.