Being a responsible partner, neighbor and citizen means looking beyond the confines of our facilities and supporting our employees’ families, friends and neighbors. With this in mind, we set out to make meaningful contributions in all of the locations in which we operate and the many individuals who call those places home.
While the 2019 Chairman’s Sustainability Awards program includes recognition for social sustainability efforts, here are some additional examples of how we are trying to do our part in our local communities:
In the aftermath of the devastating 2017 earthquake in Mexico City, which registered an 8.2 on the Richter scale, our Toluca, Mexico beverage can plant partnered with Heineken and Coca-Cola to donate 2.3 million cans of water to victims. Our employees also helped provide food and construct temporary houses for the countless individuals who lost their homes or needed shelter.
Recognizing the detrimental effects that copper runoff can have on fish and wildlife, our Olympia, Washington beverage can plant fabricated and installed pre-filters into its stormwater catch basins. These filters help prevent oysters floating in and out of the basins from absorbing toxic runoff, protecting the local oyster population and, ultimately, the creatures that form the state’s local aquatic ecosystem.
Our aerosols plant in Spilamberto, Italy took active steps to reduce external noise levels. By installing new air filters, doors and windows that could provide more active soundproofing during production, the facility succeeded in decreasing noise and maintaining positive relationships with nearby residents.
To contribute to the educational development of local public school students and provide a safe, healthy extracurricular activity, our Teresina, Brazil beverage can plant created a Judo program. It selected the sport for its core principles of discipline, dedication and respect. By providing a constructive outlet to children and teenagers of nearby communities in need, our employees hope to encourage students to focus on academic performance and reduce neighborhood violence. After experiencing success in Teresina, the initiative will expand to Manaus by 2020.
With similar goals in mind, the Estância and Cabreúva plants in Brazil developed a music program after observing that there were no extracurricular activities available to local students. The plants arranged for children from ages 8 to 14 to take flute classes, supplying them with instruments, books, uniforms and meals. The program was well received by the community, with many parents of participants reporting that the program helped their children improve concentration, work well with others and, ultimately, achieve higher grades in school.
As an organization dedicated to building our customers’ brands, we value the innovative minds that help us drive the technology advancements of the future. We look to students and recent graduates for these creative ideas and aim to support their personal and professional development. As a result, we have designed multiple programs that can help propel tomorrow’s workforce to success:
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are an important part of education in a competitive global marketplace. By partnering with academic institutions at various levels both regionally and internationally, we aim to dispel myths about industrial fields and highlight the valuable career paths available in manufacturing. The modern, state-of-the-art capabilities of Crown’s facilities help strengthen this conversation and provide validation that the packaging industry not only keeps up with technological advancements, but often leads them.
Stateside, our local Human Resources team in Batesville, MS, is helping educate elementary to high school students about manufacturing and, hopefully, inspiring them to pursue careers in the field. The program consists of classroom visits, where a Crown representative sheds light on our operations, and visits to our Batesville beverage can plant, where students can observe the entire manufacturing process up close. In addition to debunking myths about the industry, the program works to equip students with real-world applications of subjects they are studying in school and foster the development of practical and “soft manufacturing” skills. Moving forward, this local mission may be used as a framework for larger-scale, more formal student outreach initiatives around the U.S.
We also partner with Penn College of Technology and have hired graduates from its two-year electrician program in our Nichols, NY beverage can plant and our Hanover, PA food can facility.
Support for this worthy issue extends to our European operations. For example, our food can plant in Wisbech, U.K. hosted a group of thirteen-year-old students and their teachers that are part of a STEM Club in a local school. The students got an up-close look at Crown’s manufacturing operations and learned about the different jobs available in canmaking facilities. In addition, Crown Bevcan France participates in an annual “Company Discovery Day” for middle and high school students. The program is executed in conjunction with local municipalities and the national education system.
As a corporation, we are honored to be able to give back to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces by connecting them with rewarding careers in manufacturing. From roles including electrician and mechanic, which require advanced technical skills, to plant manager, quality manager or regional operations manager, which lean on effective leadership abilities, we find that veterans embody the qualities and experience needed to succeed on our teams. At this time, the Company employs 320 former military personnel. To recruit veterans seeking to make the transition from military service to the private sector, we partner with organizations that are dedicated to creating job opportunities for U.S. citizens, including Hire Heroes USA, Hero 2 Hired, Military.com, RecruitMilitary, Veteran Jobs Mission, Military Times and Lucas Group. We also regularly participate in military-sponsored events and job fairs throughout the United States.
We often champion the myriad benefits of canned foods, with one key advantage being the vitamins and nutrients they deliver. Whether the package contains fruit, vegetables or fish, canned foods are nutritionally on par with fresh and frozen products, and in many cases, they are actually more nutritious. Food is canned within hours of being picked, at the time when it is at its freshest. The food is then cooked in the can to destroy bacteria, leaving a low oxygen environment that maintains the same amount of vitamins and nutrients from the day the food was canned – without any need for preservatives – for its entire shelf life.
To communicate these benefits to consumers, we have supported educational campaigns in partnership with industry associations and other groups. For example, our work with UPPIA, an association representing the French canning industry, targeted millennials with a 14-episode educational series on Facebook. Dubbed “La conserve, Ça déboîte!” (Cantastic Foods), the video series featured prominent French actors and explored topics such as nutritional value, the sustainable nature of metal packaging and the circular economy.
With Princes Group, one of the U.K.’s leading food and beverage brands, we kickstarted the Love Canned Food campaign, aiming to resolve misconceptions young female consumers had about the quality and taste of canned foods. The project continues to expand today, utilizing social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube and involving high-profile influencers such as TV personalities and widely respected dieticians to reach an audience of more than 50 million and counting.