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Member Spotlight: Avery Dennison Foundation

Friday, December 7, 2018

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Tell us about Avery Dennison CSR/philanthropy goals: 

Context:  Avery Dennison is a global materials science company specializing in the design and manufacture of a wide variety of labeling and functional materials. The company’s products, which are used in nearly every major industry, include pressure-sensitive materials for labels and graphic applications; tapes and other bonding solutions for industrial, medical, and retail applications; tags, labels, and embellishments for apparel; and radio frequency identification (RFID) solutions serving retail apparel and other markets.

Headquartered in California, Avery Dennison employs approximately 30,000 employees in more than 50 countries. Our Corporate Social Responsibility guiding principle, Avery Dennison is a force for good everywhere we live and work, leads the Foundation’s work  and employee volunteerism around the world.  Our philanthropic pillars advance the causes of education, sustainability, and women’s empowerment, in the communities where our employees live and work. And as a reflection of the corporation’s work in materials science, we encourage infusing community engagement with a spirit of invention and innovation.

We recently launched a campaign that refers to CSR and employee volunteerism as “commUnity”  - firmly placing our employees at the center of our community relationships. We encourage employees to share their individual “giving stories” with their colleagues through an online global photo wall.  As a metric driven company, we know the value of working together to achieve our goals and targets.  We also know that a strong social commitment, providing opportunities for employees to get involved in their communities, is central to having an engaged, committed workforce.
 

What are some of your recent success stories? 

In the spirit of “commUnity,” we engage our employees in the Foundation’s grantmaking process from the beginning to the end. Employees in their local countries know best the issues faced by communities in need.  From Amsterdam to Indonesia to Wisconsin, they know which nonprofits and NGOs serve with competence and dignity. Believe me, it requires a lot more effort to engage my colleagues in 50 countries, but it’s also more authentic.

One of my favorite employee engagement programs is Granting Wishes.  This initiative  encourages employees to form relationships with nonprofits/NGOs in their local area by submitting a grant application on behalf and organizing a volunteer event with the organization. Globally, selected non profit/NGOs receive a $3,000 (USD) grant, and more importantly, establish long term relationships.  This provides opportunities for in-kind support and ongoing volunteerism. Since 2011, Granting Wishes has assisted over 313 organizations in 35 countries. This program lets us see clearly, the kind of transformative, meaningful work our employees are committed to in their communities.

What inspires you: What does being a community leader mean personally to you?

Grantmaking can be a personal connection; to understand the needs of others and to meet them at their level of need. In a corporate setting, I also have the opportunity to inspire employees to bring their full selves to work, to not only think about their job and the company's goals, but also about our opportunities within the communities in which we live and work.

To that end, our employees inspire me every single day. Their depth of commitment to their communities and their willingness to take action to support those in need is constantly inspiring. Not a day goes by where we don’t hear a story about an individual, team, or entire line of business engaged in CSR or volunteerism somewhere in the world. Of course, I’m inspired by those willing to do good at any time, but I’m especially proud to work for a company that demonstrates its CSR commitment with such authenticity and consistency.

Thoughts on best practice: What is something your organization/you learned during your time in this role that you think others might find helpful?

If the CSR staff and Foundation Trustees are the only ones finding value and feeling good about our grantmaking, then I missed the mark. Our approach encourages hands-on employee participation across the board. We never make a grant without local employee support, we never go on a site visit without a team of employees, and we never tell a story without highlighting the efforts that local employees contributed. It is my job to ensure that this work is authentic for the Foundation, grantees and employees - a triple win.
 

Partnership: How has the SCG community helped you advance your work?

I enjoy being part of the SCG community and learning from my peers. Opportunities for CSR and philanthropic contributions in the world are limitless.  Therefore, I particularly enjoy learning about what others are doing and how their efforts our expanding our mutual commitment to making the world a better place.

 

Learn more about the Avery Dennison Foundation.

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