Corporate Citizenship Pillars
At Charles River, we are passionate about our role in improving the quality of people’s lives. Our Corporate Citizenship program is guided by our strong sense of purpose – together, we create healthier lives – and is built on four pillars:
Through both our Global Day of Service and One Day volunteer program, our employees have the opportunity to address humanitarian needs on a local and global scale.
Global Day of Service
Charles River hosted its first annual Global Day of Service in 2017. The scope of our collective volunteer efforts has impacted tens of thousands of individuals in need around the world. We have packaged more than 3.3 million meals, assembled thousands of care kits to support patients and homeless individuals, and built hundreds of prosthetic hands for below-the-elbow amputees.
Since 2015, our employees have volunteered more than 70,000 hours of their time through the One Day program. We have partnered with schools in China, knitted blankets for children’s hospitals in Ohio, assembled bikes for under-resourced youth in Nevada, and repaired homes in Europe. This is a small snapshot of the many ways we are committed to serving the communities where we live and work, one day at a time. To see more One Day events, visit us on Facebook or LinkedIn.
A key area of focus is in inclusive and quality education for our future generation of scientists. We partner with local schools in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and host “Take Your Kids to Work” events across many of our sites. These initiatives are designed to inspire a love of science in today’s youth and connect them to the world of possibilities in a career in STEM.
Health and Wellness
We are committed to ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all ages. It’s in our DNA.
Global Partnership: Relay for Life
Charles River is a proud multi-site Relay for Life sponsor in support of the American Cancer Society. Since the partnership first formed in 2016, hundreds of employees and their loved ones have attended Relay for Life events in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia.
Each year, employees participate in site-wide events and local fundraisers to support two therapeutic areas where we are hard at work to help find a cure: rare disease and oncology. From awareness walks to honoring those in our lives affected by these diseases, we are partnering with each other and with our communities for healthier lives.
Safety and Sustainability
At Charles River, we work safely and sustainably. Our dedication to protecting the environment and promoting a safe and healthy workplace is fundamental to our business. Over the past few years, our efforts have driven meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and workplace injury rates. Highlights of our recent safety and sustainability progress include:
Since the launch of our company-wide conservation program in 2016, we have implemented numerous energy-efficiency projects across our facilities globally including LED lighting retrofits, HVAC upgrades and the procurement of more energy efficient laboratory equipment and freezers. Effective in 2020 we have supported these efforts with a $5 Million Sustainability Capital Fund. Our energy conservation work supports our efforts to significantly reduce our Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.
Reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions
In December 2019, Charles River set a new GHG reduction goal to reduce our Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG footprint by 50.4% by 2030 vs. a 2018 baseline. This goal aligns with current climate-change science – including the Paris Climate Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals – and worldwide efforts to limit global warming levels to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius. While we plan to submit our commitment letter to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in 2020, we have already begun to reduce our carbon footprint and doing our part to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius or less. Our 2018 renewable energy procurement strategy has been a key factor in our reduction of our GHG Emissions. For calendar year 2019, 38% of our electricity globally came from renewable sources. Combined with our energy conservation efforts, we have already been able to reduce our Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions 23% from 2018 to 2019.
We have made significant improvements in our safety performance. From 2015 to 2019, our Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) decreased 23% (from 6.95 to 5.33) and our Lost Time Incident Rate (LTIR) decreased 16% (from 3.32 to 2.78). Unfortunately, both rates had slight upticks in 2019, and we are working hard to reverse this trend in 2020.
Our progress to date, which can be seen year over year in this table, is due to our management systems approach to implementing Environment, Health, Safety, and Sustainability (EHS&S) programs across our organization. We are more holistically integrating environmental metrics and safety performance into our day-to-day operations, implementing programs that drive performance improvements and strategically progressing our journey to be a safer and more sustainable organization. At a high level, our recently-issued Safety and Sustainability Policy outlines our guiding principles for advancing this journey.