Find out about our long tradition of charitable giving and how our new community policy supports employees who are raising vital funds for charity...
Back in the 1830s, Mrs Elizabeth Lydia Johnson – wife of Percival Norton Johnson, the founder of Johnson Matthey – was instrumental in establishing a charity to educate vision-impaired children, the Royal London Society for Blind People, and at the same time setting a tradition of charitable giving in the company.
Today the tradition is still strongly evident and is a powerful force for good. Now, as then, Johnson Matthey's sites around the world often give support to local causes, though there is regular support for national and international causes as well.
New Community Investment Policy Encourages Fundraising
It is employees themselves who usually select the charities and coordinate activities, but the company is fully behind them. In 2012 it introduced a new Community Investment Policy, which encourages sites and employees around the world to engage with their local communities. Every employee is allowed two days' paid leave a year to undertake voluntary work in the local community or with a charitable organisation, and the company matches employees' fundraising in aid of registered charities.
Corporate policy and individual initiatives work together to help the needy and the disadvantaged in the community. In one example, employees at Johnson Matthey's Axeon facility in Gliwice, Poland supported the work of local charity Szlachetna Paczka, which arranges donations of food, clothing and essential household goods in the form of Christmas parcels to families in need. In 2011 Axeon's donation consisted of 18 large cartons, itself a sizeable contribution. Motivated by this success, in 2012, the site went on to provide 90 boxes of goods, with the help of an enthusiastic workforce and a contribution from Johnson Matthey in London. "It was very emotional delivering the gifts to the needy families," said Karolina Wojtowicz from the site. "For some it was the first time they were receiving a pair of warm shoes or a winter coat."
Charity Stars Take on Sponsored Walks and Bike Rides
Fundraising often takes the form of a sponsored walk or bike ride, and medical research and support charities are regularly picked by the fundraisers, sometimes for personal reasons. Christine Martin leads a team that takes part in the Eagle National Bank's annual 5km walk or run in the Drexel Hill area of Pennsylvania, USA. Proceeds from the race go to the Delaware County Regional Cancer Center, which is recognised nationally for its talent and expertise. In September 2012, Christine's 'Team Rosemary' – named in memory of her mother who sadly died of cancer in 2008 – took part in the event that every year raises valuable funds from Johnson Matthey people and other local donors.
Back in Europe, Jason Abbott, of Johnson Matthey's Emission Control Technologies business took part in a three day cycle ride from London to Paris for Action Medical Research in July 2012. By the time Jason cycled down the Champs-Elysées and on to the finishing point at the Eiffel Tower, he had raised £3,000 with the help of his sponsors and matched funding from the company. Another employee from Emission Control Technologies, Andrew Newman, did a 20 mile overnight hike through London as part of an annual fundraising event for a local charity, Maggie's Cancer Caring Centre at Charing Cross Hospital. The hike ended before dawn on a September morning in 2012 near St Paul's Cathedral, and Andrew raised over £2,000, plus a further £1,000 in matched donations from Johnson Matthey.
Employees like these are some of the 'charity stars' of Johnson Matthey, and their efforts are complemented by further activities, large and small, right across the company – continuing a long and rich history of charitable giving. The company is committed to being a responsible business that provides value beyond its products and, thanks to the enthusiasm of employees, engages with the local community.