WASHINGTON – The Organization for International Investment (OFII) announced Philips North America as its Corporate Social Responsibility Award winner.
“Not only do international companies like Philips provide high-quality jobs for America’s workforce, they reinvest their profits and mobilize their expertise into strengthening communities across the country,” said Nancy McLernon, president and CEO of OFII. “From hosting educational baby showers for expectant mothers of military veterans in 37 states, to helping spouses, parents and siblings cope with the challenges of caring for their wounded loved ones in 123 cities, Philips demonstrates a profound commitment to those who sacrifice so much to protect our way of life.”
Having partnered with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense for more than four decades, Philips looked for an opportunity to leverage its research, technology, products, philanthropic contributions, marketing capabilities and volunteer base toward serving a population that is generally underserved and often unacknowledged: military families and veterans’ caregivers. Philips took a leading role in the Elizabeth Dole Foundation’s “Hidden Heroes” campaign, a growing network of cities and counties committed to better serving military veterans’ caregivers. Already, Philips has helped grow the program’s reach by 45 percent.
“Since our first introduction to Philips over two years ago, they have proven time and time again their commitment to serving military and veteran caregivers,” said Senator Elizabeth Dole, Founder of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. “Through their investment in the Hidden Heroes Campaign and their support of the Military and Veteran Caregiver Experience Map, Philips is a model corporate citizen that truly cares about making a positive impact for America’s service members, veterans, and their families.”
Philips has also helped expand the reach of the VA’s “Educational Baby Showers” program for military families to find support at a time when they are stationed away from home and family, often serving in high-stress environments. Through this collaboration, Philips and the VA expanded the baby showers program from 10 locations to more than 60 in the past year, touching more than 3,500 military veterans’ families at VA medical centers across the country.
“Caring for veterans and military families is one of the most complex jobs in healthcare, but when we bring together deep insights, technology and resources through public-private partnership, we can make a meaningful impact on these most deserving members of our community,” said Vitor Rocha, CEO, Philips North America. “On behalf of the more than 20,000 Philips employees in North America, we are honored to help serve those who have selflessly served their country.”
The CSR Award, which was presented last night at OFII’s annual dinner in Washington, showcases the significant contributions that international companies make to local U.S. communities. Many international companies offer their employees the opportunity to volunteer and help direct the company’s corporate social responsibility efforts. Finalists for this year’s award included several noteworthy initiatives:
- Ahold Delhaize’s Stop & Shop Supermarket Company built a facility that converts inedible food waste from their stores into clean energy that powers the heating, lighting and air conditioning systems for their adjacent product distribution center.
- Michelin launched the Beyond the Driving Test initiative in response to the number one cause of teen deaths in the United States: car accidents. Last year, Michelin reached its goal by securing commitments from all 50 states and implementing a program to train hundreds of driver's education instructors in the process. Utilizing social media, Michelin then helped raise awareness by offering teens a chance to win a pair of limited-edition Michelin-inspired Vans by sharing a photo showing that they know how to check a tire's tread depth using a penny and/or know how to check tire pressure.
- Sodexo's local sourcing of produce in the Chicago area leverages partners across the supply chain to positively impact the community. Specifically, Sodexo has partnered with Midwest Foods, a woman-owned and operated regional produce distributor; and the Chicago Botanic Garden with its Windy City Harvest program to support local Chicago businesses and farmers by leveraging Sodexo's purchasing power to create demand for local products. Through its partnership with the Chicago Botanic Garden, Sodexo has supported 34 percent year-over-year growth in produce volume with Windy City Harvest. This partnership also enabled Windy City Harvest to expand its operations and community programing, training over 1,000 urban farmers including low-income teens, apprentices and ex-offenders and launching 30 farm businesses in the area.
- T-Mobile’s Changemaker Challenge is a social innovation contest, open to young people ages 13-23 with big ideas around how to create positive long-lasting change in their communities. After months of collecting and reviewing more than 330 unique and creative entries, T-Mobile sent the top 30 teams received an all-expenses paid trip to T-Mobile HQ where they participated in a changemaking workshop and received seed funding, devices and more. In addition, six teams were personally selected by CEO John Legere for one-on-one time and another trip to campus for behind the scenes access to the revolutionary work happening at T-Mobile. With T-Mobile’s support, many of those teams are expanding their reach and helping even more people each day.
OFII applauds the ongoing efforts by these and other OFII member companies to engage with their communities through innovative programming that meets local needs. Economist Dan Ikenson, director of the Herbert Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, has researched the relationship between international companies and community connection. In a study that looks at more than a decade’s worth of data, he found that international companies in the United States increased their charitable contributions by 122 percent, or more than six times the growth rate of all corporate giving in the United States.