Covestro and its employees have a long, rich heritage of corporate citizenship, volunteerism and giving back. That tradition continues with i³ (ignite, imagine, innovate), the company’s new corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative across the United States.
i³ aims to spark curiosity, to envision what could be and to help create it. The initiative’s three focus areas — i³ STEM, i³ Engage and i³ Give — leverage the company’s current and future workforce, the communities in which it operates, and its partners and collaborators—all to create sustainable and lasting impacts.
i³ STEM ignites young minds to become the innovators of tomorrow through support of hands-on, inquiry-based STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education, workforce experience and employee volunteerism.
Why the strong commitment to STEM education and workforce development? Covestro drives innovation and sustainability in polymer materials science through the scientific and technological advances made by our world-class STEM workforce. The advances Covestro is making in the construction, automotive and electronics industries impact our everyday lives at home and play, work and school, and on the road — and demand that each one of us be STEM-literate. In fostering a STEM-literate society from the earliest, elementary school levels, we also are helping to ensure a diverse STEM talent pipeline that will feed our — and the country’s — growing need for world-class STEM professionals, from entry level technical workers to Ph.D. research scientists.
At Covestro, we know collaboration, curiosity, critical thinking and problem-solving are among the STEM skills most highly prized in today’s world.
And the best way to empower students with these skills is through hands-on, experiential science learning, as well as to exposure to working STEM professionals and real-world experience in the STEM workplace. That’s what i³ STEM is all about.
Currently, there are four local i³ STEM programs at Covestro sites around the country, including Pittsburgh, Pa.; Baytown, Texas; New Martinsville, W. Va.; and Newark, Ohio.
In addition, we’ve created the i³ STEM @ Home Experiment Cards series, featuring simple, hands-on activities that demonstrate basic scientific principles using everyday objects you find in your home.
i³ Engage. Apart from our products, our employees have the potential to make a big difference in the world. Many are deeply committed to local organizations, the work they do and the causes they champion. With i³ Engage, we are re-imagining the way our employees engage with these organizations for more effective outcomes.
Covestro Employee Engagement Institute (CEEI)
The Covestro Employee Engagement Institute at Robert Morris University is giving our employees — and those of other for-profit companies — the tools they need to work more effectively with nonprofit organizations, while also providing them with new, non-traditional volunteer opportunities.
Skills-based Volunteerism (SBV) is one of the novel approaches in which CEEI offers training. SBV is a new concept of volunteerism that involves teams of employees making substantive contributions by applying their expertise and competencies to solve specific challenges facing nonprofits, whether in IT, management, finance or marketing.
In addition to SBV training, CEEI’s other centerpiece programs — BoardsWork!, Executive Service Corps and Community Forums — provide a range of engagement opportunities for employees of all ages. With CEEI and its programs, we are providing new ways to connect our employees to meaningful and rewarding community service organizations and projects, while also helping the nonprofit organizations solve their organizational challenges and build their capacity.
Covestro also is building strong community bonds through its support of United Way’s “Adopt-a-School” partnership, a program that connects the business community to schools in need through meaningful volunteer engagement and resource sharing.
With Adopt-a-School, our employees take a holistic approach, providing our partner schools with a range of financial, material/equipment and in-kind resources for students, teachers and parents.
Our employees engage with students in the classroom where they lead hands-on science lessons and career discussions, on field trips where science often is the main attraction, and on a one-on-one basis with tutoring sessions in reading and writing.
They support teachers by sponsoring school supply drives that translate into donations of material and equipment, such as microscopes.
And they engage with parents by conducting workshops that help the adults burnish their workplace professionalism and hone their resume writing, interviewing skills and job search techniques.
i³ Give is Covestro’s corporate giving program. With it, we’re innovating corporate philanthropy strategies that combine both human and financial resources, leading the way with human capital and monetary grants to build stronger communities.
Philanthropic support has long been a part of our corporate culture in North America. Our employees are actively engaged in the community, putting their time, passion and dollars to work at numerous charitable and nonprofit organizations, including United Way, the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross, among others.
The donations we make primarily support organizations working in both the i³ STEM and i³ Engage arenas.
Covestro does not accept unsolicited grant proposals. Rather, we select non-profit organizations to submit proposals on an invitation-only basis.