We believe that our mission to save and sustain lives is our ultimate statement of corporate responsibility. The global impact of our products, presence and activities will always be assessed through this lens, as we touch the lives of patients, clinicians, communities, employees and other constituencies worldwide.
For more than 85 years, Baxter has been making a meaningful difference for patients and creating lasting social, environmental and economic value in the communities we serve. Our employees are passionate about our mission to save and sustain lives, which is reflected in our portfolio of medically necessary products, our commitment to innovation and our uncompromising dedication to responsible business practices.
As a health care leader, one of our fundamental purposes is broadening access to care. Every year we pursue a wide range of initiatives to advance public health and expand the availability of Baxter treatments. Among these efforts, we work closely with humanitarian aid partners AmeriCares, Direct Relief and Partners in Health to help ensure our products are first on the scene in times of crisis and natural disaster, such as last year’s flooding in Louisiana and the cholera outbreak in Haiti. The Baxter International Foundation, our philanthropic arm, shares similar goals, providing millions of dollars annually in grants focused on addressing urgent health care needs.
More broadly, Baxter’s emphasis on environmental stewardship includes driving sustainability throughout our global manufacturing operations and supply chain. Key achievements from our most recent goal cycle include the elimination of more than 6,000 metric tons of packaging material from products sent to customers, a 19 percent absolute decrease in greenhouse gas emissions and a 10 percent absolute decrease in water usage. In 2016, Baxter partnered with the community in San Juan Tlacotenco, Mexico, home to many employees working in a nearby Baxter facility, to address the lack of clean water affecting the residents. Through the partnership, innovative solutions including rainwater harvesting, water filtration and education programs were developed, and the community now has access to a sustainable supply of clean water.
We are also helping nurture the next generation of scientific innovators, who will lead the way in defining tomorrow’s health care technologies. In 2008, Baxter launched Science@Work with Chicago Public Schools to promote health sciences through teacher training, hands-on projects, lab tours and more. To date, the program has engaged more than 152,000 students as well as 1,700 teachers from more than 150 schools.
Baxter believes that an inclusive culture and diverse workforce contribute to the company’s success and sustainability. We are committed to attracting, motivating and retaining a diverse employee base and treating all employees with dignity and respect. The company’s eight Business Resource Groups are employee-run affinity groups that drive multicultural awareness and engagement through employee forums, career development and community engagement.
As a result of our efforts, Baxter is frequently cited as a leader in corporate social responsibility. We have been recognized in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for 17 consecutive years, placing us among the few companies included each year since the index was launched in 1999.