Giving Globally: The Avery Dennison Foundation’s Next Five Years

Thursday, February 11, 2016 8:06 am PST


Alicia Procello Maddox, VP, CSR & Foundation, Avery Dennison Foundation

At the end of 2015, the Avery Dennison Foundation completed its first five years of international grantmaking—giving that reached beyond our decades of philanthropy in North America to support communities in many of the other countries where we do business.

During those first five years, we granted more than $4.6 million to over 130 non-governmental organizations that support a range of programs in Asia, Latin America and Europe, as well as in North America. We helped promote education, sustainability, women’s empowerment and much more. In addition, Avery Dennison employees volunteered their time to help meet local needs through more than 100 of our Community Investment Teams around the world.
As we move into 2016, we’ve sharpened our vision for what our next five years of giving will look like. Our mission remains the same: to advance the causes of education and sustainability in the communities where Avery Dennison employees live and work, and to encourage employee engagement with a spirit of invention and innovation.
Where we’ve clarified our focus is in our new five-year goals, targets that will enable us to broaden our grantmaking. Between 2010 and 2015, the majority of our giving—more than 60 percent—supported education. Sustainability was our next-largest giving area. And while those areas will still account for a large part of our giving, we know there’s more to be done, particularly when it comes to empowering girls and women. So, going forward, we’ll diversify our grantmaking, allocating a bit less in some areas so that we can offer more support in others. Specifically:

  • We’ll continue to advance educational opportunities by providing at least 20 percent of our grants to primary-through-postsecondary institutions in the communities in which our employees live, learn and work. This will include our InvEnt “Spirit of Invention” Scholarship program, which seeks to spark the spirit of innovation in undergraduates in China and India who are studying science, technology, engineering and math. We’ve awarded nearly 150 InvEnt Scholarships since launching the program in 2008.
  • We’ll continue to advance environmental sustainability by providing at least 20 percent of our grants to programs that address environmental resources and contributions to the social, environmental and economic well-being of communities. We will particularly support programs whose objectives align with Avery Dennison’s sustainability goals. One example: Since 2014, we’ve supported a Rainforest Alliance project that’s promoting sustainable, community-based forestry in three regions in Honduras. By the end of 2016, the program is projected to result in more than 100,000 hectares of environmentally essential forests maintaining or achieving certification by the Forest Stewardship Council, the gold standard in sustainable forestry. The project will also generate several million dollars in sales of sustainably produced forest products and create hundreds of local jobs.
  • Guided in part by the Avery Dennison Diversity Council platform, we’ll continue to advance women’s empowerment by providing at least 20 percent of our grants to programs that address gender equality and equity in communities where we do business. One recent example is a two-year grant we made to Business for Social Responsibility’s HERHealth to help improve health knowledge and behavior, along with access to health-related products and services, at one of our suppliers’ factories in Hyderabad, India.
  • We’ll be a driving force that propels employee engagement and volunteerism across Avery Dennison. We know the good we do in communities expands exponentially when we complement our grants with the time and talents of Avery Dennison employees, so we’ll include an employee engagement component in more than half of all Avery Dennison Foundation grant programs over the next five years. We’ll achieve that goal partly by continuing our Granting Wishes program, which enables employees in Europe, Latin America and the U.S. to recommend smaller, one-time grants to local nonprofit organizations and collaborate with the organization on an employee-led volunteer project. Past Granting Wishes projects have supported housing and social service organizations, food banks, animal welfare groups and organizations serving seriously ill children.
  • And, finally, we’ve set a goal to exemplify Avery Dennison’s highest leadership principles by modeling integrity and social responsibility through annual partnerships with the Avery Dennison Corporation and its businesses. One important way we do this is by sponsoring the Model Integrity and Social Responsibility Award, which recognizes and encourages outstanding volunteer community service by Avery Dennison employees who improve the quality of life in their communities.

As ever, guidance from Avery Dennison employees “on the ground” will be instrumental in directing our funding. We know our giving is most effective when we work with communities to determine how to best support them.

As you can see, our new five-year vision for the Avery Dennison Foundation isn’t a major makeover. Rather, it’s a rebalancing of our resources and our focus so that we can do more good in more places than ever. Because whether it’s in our business or in the communities where we live and work, being a “force for good” is what Avery Dennison is all about.

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