'Thinking Globally, Acting Locally'
One key to building a successful worldwide enterprise is extending the organization's culture into its global operations - and that encompasses more than personnel policies and business practices.
For PPG, being a truly global organization also means promoting its values through corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs that support worthy causes in the regions and communities where the corporation does business.
is year, PPG has taken its CSR report to a higher level by establishing a formal "Global Charitable Contributions Program" and contributing $500,000 to be divided equally between the Asia/Pacific and Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) regions.
PPG has many employees and sites around the world that are active in their communities, and now we're able to support those efforts much more effectively. Through the Global Charitable Contribution Program, we're showing the world that PPG stands for excellence in corporate citizenship, as well as quality products and innovation.
How it Works
The global program is separate from the PPG Industries Foundation, which provides grants to organizations in the United States, but it ascribes to the same mission to demonstrate PPG values by enhancing the quality of life in PPG communities. The program targets resources based on local priorities and in areas where they can have the greatest impact, according to Sue Sloan, PPG's executive director of corporate global social responsibility, and executive director of the PPG Foundation.
More specifically, the program seeks to fund causes that advance education in science, mathematics, and technology; human services; culture and arts; and civic and community affairs. At the same time, funding is aligned with PPG's business interests and corporate sustainability goals and initiatives.
The funding is managed at the corporate level by the global distribution committee comprising Chuck Bunch, chairman and chief executive officer; Craig Jordan, vice president, human resources; David Navikas, senior vice president, finance, and chief financial officer; and Glenn Bost, senior vice president and general counsel. But evaluation and selection of the grant applications is the responsibility of regional committees.
"PPG people in the regions have much better knowledge of local needs and priorities than we do back in Pittsburgh," Sloan said. "Basically, we're thinking globally and acting locally." Grants can be
provided directly to non-profit organizations or non-governmental organizations at the regional level, or they might be awarded to community-level programs of those organizations. Grant requests can also be initiated by employees, and volunteer programs are considered as well.
"The program has been extremely well received in its first year," said Ken Armistead, communications manager for Europe and a member of the EMEA contributions committee. "Our EMEA employees and sites are very much engaged in their communities, and now they're able to raise their level of involvement."
In the Asia/Pacific region, the additional grant money will help expand the region's CSR activities, according to Cathy Yan, general manager of government affairs and business development for the region, and a member of that region's contributions committee.
"PPG is rapidly developing a reputation in the region as a company that cares about the communities where it does business," Yan said. "That's going to be vital to our continued success as we grow our business in the region."
Indeed, PPG's international business growth in recent years was the driving force behind the Global Charitable Contributions Program, which is expected to expand into South America in 2012
"We're growing globally in sales, production and employees," Sloan said. "Sustaining that growth requires us to demonstrate the same principles abroad as we always have in the United States. It reflects well on us as an employer, as a corporate citizen, and as a brand."