Our Commitment to Being Good Corporate Citizens

At Charles River, we are committed to creating value for our clients, our employees, our communities, and our planet, executed through our Corporate Citizenship efforts and programs. We are also dedicated to continuing to raise the standard for ourselves, making strategic investments in time and resources to meet our goals, drive improvements, and achieve greater impact.

At the core of our approach to corporate citizenship is a commitment to transparency. We have developed and published our Corporate Citizenship Report (view PDF | print PDF) to enhance the reporting of our environmental, social, and governance (ESG) efforts; performance; and goals in our key areas of focus, including:

  • Our Leadership — Earning trust through transparency
  • Our People — Building a culture of purpose, learning and quality outcomes
  • Our Communities — Supporting the geographies where we live and work
  • Our Environment — Working safely and sustainably


“We believe that the way in which we do business influences the results we work to achieve.”
— James C. Foster, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

leadership icon  Our Leadership

We are committed to operating our business with integrity and accountability.  



scientist looking at tissue culture

•   Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our business operations have uniformly been deemed ‘essential’ according to guidance provided by governments, health, and other regulatory agencies. In response to the pandemic, Charles River established a global crisis management team of internal and external experts, who have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on employee safety and our business operations. We also established a dedicated page on our corporate website, as well as an internal resource for our employees, to provide timely and important information to stakeholders and the general public.

•   Through our Humane Care Imperative (HCI), we establish industry best practices and provide education and training globally to increase awareness of the importance of humane care to foster good animal welfare. The principles of the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement) are central to our HCI and demonstrated across our organization, which includes more than 170 veterinarians and more than 1,200 animal care professionals at our facilities worldwide.


•   Over the past year, we have further strengthened our Board of Directors (Board) by adding greater diversity in background and experience, including industry skills and expertise, gender, and race/ethnicity, subsequently increasing female representation to 25% and minority representation to 8%.

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people icon  Our People

We are committed to creating a work environment built on trust, inclusion, accountability, respect, and well-being, to give every person the ability to deliver on business commitments, while having purpose, being energized and continuously learning.


Microscope used to perform mycoplasma testing

•   Our CEO is a signatory to the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion, affirming our commitment to equality, as well as the belief that it is the obligation of each of us to live these values and behaviors, not only in our daily work interactions with our colleagues, but in our everyday lives.

•   We actively recruit top talent and invest in our people to enable them to build a career with us. In 2020, Charles River developed a two-year strategy to strengthen our talent acquisition by prioritizing in-house recruiting and training our hiring managers on behavioral-based interviewing.

•   We have created a global learning strategy that includes technical training, mentoring and coaching programs, tuition reimbursement, rotational programs, leadership development programs, and on-the-job training.


•   We conduct regular employee engagement surveys, as well as encourage frequent touchpoints between people leaders and employees throughout the year. In 2019, 85% of employees globally participated in our employee engagement survey, with employee comments revealing a deep personal connection to our work and purpose. 

•   Nearly 17,000 users completed over 275,000 courses in 2019, which included operational trainings, as well as leadership and personal development courses. Separately, through our e-learning initiative, employees completed over 2,800 additional on-demand courses and 69,000 training videos.

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communities icon  Our Communities

We are committed to investing in the communities where we live and work.


Knitting club for One Day

•   Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, nonprofit organizations within our local communities faced a funding shortage in the spring of 2020. We responded by donating $2 million to more than 300 community organizations in support of local food banks, first responders, youth and family organizations, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, and scientific causes.

•   In April 2019, we hosted our third annual Global Day of Service, during which nearly 5,000 employees across more than 60 Charles River sites participated. Their efforts, including packaging approximately 1.2 million meals, assembling thousands of care kits, and providing hundreds of birthday gifts to children in foster care, prosthetic hands to amputees, and school backpacks to local families in need, directly impacted approximately 15,000 individuals.

•   We host annual Purpose Days for our employees to support both the research and awareness of rare disease and oncology, including hosting an Oncology Awareness Day to highlight our work cancer research.


•   Through our Global Giving initiatives, Charles River donated more than $1 million in 2019 to charities and community organizations around the world.

•   In 2019, nearly 6,000 employees contributed more than 24,000 hours of service through our Volunteer Time Off (VTO) programs.


2019 Global Day of Service

environment icon  Our Environment

We are committed to conducting our business in an environmentally sustainable manner, embedding working safely and sustainably into everything we do and every decision we make.


scientist looking at test tubee

•   Effective January 1, 2020, Charles River established a $5 million Annual Sustainability Capital Fund to fund projects like new construction, facility retrofits, and the procurement of more sustainable equipment. This fund is intended to support sustainability capital projects annually from now through year-end 2030.

•   Charles River has entered a 15-year virtual Power Purchase Agreement (vPPA) agreement for approximately 100MW of solar energy, which is expected to come online in 2022, and will supply all our North American facilities with 100% renewable electricity certificates, offsetting our local utility consumption.  

•   In 2019, we established a Total Supplier Management Program to maximize value and promote collaboration with our strategic partners and key suppliers, that in addition to our Supplier Code of Conduct, promotes responsible business practices among our supply chain.


•   Since 2018, we have made a concerted effort to procure clean, renewable energy for our facilities. As of year-end 2019, 38% of our electricity utilized globally is from renewable sources.

•   We have achieved a 13.1% reduction in GHG emissions intensity (GHGs normalized to dollars of revenue) from 2016 to 2018. Due primarily to a significant increase in renewable electricity procurement in 2019, our GHG emissions decreased on an absolute basis by 23% from 2018 to 2019.

•   Through our efforts to promote employee health and safety, we achieved a 23% reduction in Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) and a decrease of 16% in our Lost Time Incident Rate (LTIR) from 2015 through 2019.


•   In December 2019, Charles River announced the goal to reduce our Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 50% (from a 2018 baseline through 2030), in line with current climate science, the Paris Climate Accord, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). In November 2020, we further committed to reducing our Scope 3 GHGs by 15% during the period 2019 to 2030.

•   Through our efforts to procure renewable electricity, we are committed to achieving 100% renewable electricity globally by 2030, as part of our GHG reduction strategy.

•   We recently set a 2030 goal of reducing our total recordable incident rate (TRIR) by 50% from a 2018 baseline.  

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