Everything we do is driven by our pursuit of “shared value.” This means nurturing our relationships to yield the most beneficial outcomes for everyone involved. We strive to continuously set a great example and move forward in the direction that is best for all parties.
We demonstrate our values not just by how we treat our diverse body of employees — with a focus on exceptional benefits, diversity and awareness — but also in our global citizenship efforts. Through our 9,000 employees, we are reaching out to the communities where our company is based, foundations and organizations whose members we affect, and the global community that we hope to touch by using science and technology for their most important purpose: improving lives
After local Team Sigma-Aldrich leadership has identified a service opportunity, they gather volunteers and work in tandem with local organizations, to help those in need and be better neighbors.
Since its founding in 2004, Team Sigma-Aldrich has rallied nearly 2,000 colleagues in 14 countries. These employees donate their time and dollars to a host of causes and projects, with a focus in three main areas: education in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and math), research, and economic development through science. Participating countries now include the U.S., England, China, Japan, India, Ireland, Brazil and Switzerland, among others. Efforts have ranged from bringing the resources to study life science to students in Ethiopia; to tutoring students within the struggling St. Louis School District; to donating to the Red Cross in the wake of the 2009 Black Friday Bushfire in Victoria, Australia; to promoting the study of science in second- and third-level education programs in Ireland through volunteer efforts within the schools.
|Total $ Donated||$77,240||$61,277||$60,179||$70,930|
|Total $ Donated +/ -||+26%||+2%||-15%||+101%|
|Volunteer Hours +/-||+3%||+5%||+3%||+201%|
All of these locally impactful initiatives are collectively building a network of projects that drive education, research and economies around the world. As Team Sigma-Aldrich continues to grow, we will take action to ensure the success and efficiency of our efforts, and to empower and reward our volunteers with great opportunities and experiences. To do this, we will begin implementing a volunteer management system, developing long-term partnerships and re-prioritizing funding strategies in early 2013.
Through our Team Sigma-Aldrich program, we have forged ongoing partnerships with an array of not-for-profit organizations leading important missions, including fighting diseases like cancer and diabetes, helping students learn science and helping children with AIDS lead happier lives. Whether by participating in fundraising walks or donating our time, at Sigma-Aldrich we are eager to honor the interconnectedness between our company and the world by striving to be good global citizens.
Since 1970, the March for Babies has raised more than $1.5 billion for research programs dedicated to helping babies start and stay healthy. To show our support, the Woodlands Team SA members campaigned and fundraised twice a month. Their efforts culminated with the participation in the nationwide March for Babies.
Read more at www.marchofdimes.com
Our employees and Team Sigma-Aldrich members donate both time and funds to help spread science education by participating in the Annual Run for the Stars. The 11th Annual Run for the Stars is a 5K run/walk and 10K run through Forest Park aimed at benefiting various educational programs at the Saint Louis Science Center.
Read more at www.runforthestars.com
Sigma-Aldrich is proud to sponsor the 2011 Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure. Up to 75 percent of the net proceeds raised from the St. Louis race stay in St. Louis to fund breast health education, treatment and screener for medically under-served neighbors and friends.
Read more at www.komenstlouis.org
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) has been striving for over 40 years to find a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications. Team Sigma-Aldrich dedicates both funds and time to help the JDRF St. Louis chapter find the cure through scientific research.
Read more at www.jdrfstl.org
The Briggs & Al's Run & Walk occurs annually to raise funds for Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee's premier center for pediatric care. Team Sigma-Aldrich in our Milwaukee offices happily contributes fundraising efforts to help the organization aid the children.
Read more at www.alsrun.com
Once a year, during Labor Day weekend, the Muscular Dystrophy Associate holds an annual MDA Telethon. As the Big Dipper Sponsor for the St. Louis Area MDA, Sigma-Aldrich employees joins MDA staff to answer phones and taking pledges for a great cause.
Read more at www.mda.org
The Bike MS Tour, sponsored by National Multiple Sclerosis Society, is the largest organized cycling event in American, with 100 tours in 48 states. As a partner, Sigma-Aldrich employees train and participate to raise both money and awareness for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Read more at www.bikemos.nationalmssociety.org
Sigma-Aldrich partners with the St. Louis Children's Hospital for a day of competitive kickball fun while serving an inspirational cause. Tournament proceeds benefit Camp Hope, a retreat and support network for families dealing with the difficulties of childhood diagnosed HIV/AIDS patients.
Read more at www.stlouischildrens.org
Sigma-Aldrich frequently partners with local organizations like the St. Louis Public Schools, the St. Louis Science Center and Academy of Science-St. Louis to ensure science reaches the new generation. We are proud to conduct events that will inspire the next generation of great scientists.
Autism Speaks is the nation's largest autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism. As a partner, Sigma-Aldrich is glad to help advocate and spread the word for these important causes.
Read more at www.walknowforautismspeaks.org
We continue our relationship with the American Cancer Society through the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event in Natick, MA. Team Sigma-Aldrich and their families walk along the Charles River to help raise money and emphasize the importance for Breast Cancer research.
Read more at www.makingstrides.acsevents.org
Sigma-Aldrich Australia employees are proud participants in Sydney's favorite sporting event. Last year, the contributions for the event raised over $2.8 million for charity. This year, we're aiming to break records and raise even more.
Read more at www.city2surf.com.au
Sigma-Aldrich employees, family, friends and even pets work together to raise funds and awareness for the Anti-Cruelty Society, Chicago's oldest and largest animal welfare organization.
Read more at www.hsmo.org
Based out of Buenos Aires, Argentina, the CASA M.A.N.U. Project focuses on the needs of children diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. Sigma-Aldrich volunteers work together with their coordinator in planning activities for the children that provide them with a loving, caring environment.
Read more at www.casamanu.org.ar
Sigma-Aldrich has been a proud partner with KETC Channel 9 for over 8 years in the sponsorship of the Cyberchase; a program dedicated to teaching children 7 to 12 math and science skills. The success of this program has lead to the expansion of the program into two partners schools in the St. Louis School System.
Read more at www.ketc.org
Sigma-Aldrich has been a bronze sponsor and participant of the Kansas City Corporate Challenge for several years. An Olympic-type event beginning in 1980, the KCCC is dedicated to promoting health, wellness and camaraderie by presenting participants with endeavors designed to challenge participants and raise money for the Special Olympics in Kansas City.
Read more at www.kccorporatechallenge.com
VGKK is known for their work in Tribal & Rural Development, with primary focus on Primary Healthcare & Education. Their main Centre is at BR Hills, which is a predominantly tribal area. Karuna Trust (their sister organization), runs Primary Healthcare centers across Karnataka, AP, Orissa & Arunachal Pradesh. VGKK also runs schools and vocational training centres
VGKK was founded by Dr. H. Sudarshan, who is a recipient of Padma Shri, Rajyotsava & Right Livelihood Awards.
In 2010 Sigma-Aldrich supported the purchase and installation of a semi-automated blood analyzer. This is installed currently at their main centre in BR Hills. This facilitates quicker and more accurate analysis of the blood samples. Currently, around 100 samples are analyzed per month.
In 2011 Sigma-Aldrich helped address an increasing issue with Sickle Cell Anemia that is prevalent among the tribal population in this area. The diagnosis of this disease is done by electrophoresis. Sigma-Aldrich is supporting the purchase and installation of an electrophoresis unit for this purpose.
Read more at www.vgkk.org
Sigma-Aldrich employees have been supporting the Special Olympics as volunteers, donors and families in Bellefonte, PA for a number of years. We are proud to serve as officials, athlete escorts, award presenters and even spectators for this great event.
Read more at www.SpecialOlympicspa.org
The St. Louis-based Sigma-Aldrich Read Partners program has been a rewarding community activity for both employees and partner schools. The program follows proven curriculums to enhance the reading skills of students who have fallen behind their grade level. We are proud to be starting seventh campaign with the 2010-2011 school year.
Sigma-Aldrich and our employees are proud to help forward the Habitat for Humanity's mission to eliminate homelessness around the world. Volunteering with the Kaw Valley Habitat for Humanity, a local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, we are glad to help provide more homes in our community.
Read more at www.heartlandhabitat.org
At 60 miles, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3-Day is the longest walk of its kind. Two of our dedicated employees will be walking the 60-mile treks to support the efforts of those affected with breast cancer, the healthcare professionals who treat them and the researchers working to find a cure.
Read more at www.the3day.org
Sigma-Aldrich Japan has finalized an agreement to be an official supplier for Miraikan, the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. It has provided materials for this year's Science WorkShops at Miraikan. Not limited to support with materials, Sigma-Aldrich Japan's staff lends their hands in developing a program.
Sigma-Aldrich employees participate in the Relay for Life fundraiser to support our families and friends researching and fighting cancer on a daily basis. Partnering with the American Cancer Society, this 24-hour relay promotes awareness of early detection, advocate for better healthcare coverage, asks participants to take on a healthier lifestyle and forwards ACS' mission of eradicating cancer.
Read more at www.Cancer.org
Bangalore City Connect Foundation is a registered non-profit trust. It was founded by Confederation of Indian Industry (Southern Region and Bangalore chapters) and Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy.
Beginning with Traffic and Transportation, BCCF aims to assist Governmental agencies by providing the required knowledge assistance and support for better planning and implementation of urban infrastructure in Bangalore. Sigma-Aldrich makes financial contributions to BCCF to help with development projects in Bangalore.
Read more at www.cityconnect.in
Corporate Capers is a partnership of companies that meet nearly year-round to plan, implement, and compete in a series of event to benefit the Special Olympics. Sigma-Aldrich is a proud partner in both driving awareness and fundraising for the Special Olympics through the Corporate Capers program.
Read more at www.specialolympicswisconsin.org/capers/
For their first-ever Team Sigma-Aldrich event, employees from our offices in Buchs and St. Gallen, Switzerland, held a raffle that raised CHF 937 (Swiss francs) — the equivalent of $1,124 — to donate to a local charity that supports families caring for relatives with disabilities. To show their support and represent our company-wide dedication to global citizenship, “celebrities” from the Buchs and St. Gallen management teams volunteered to wash the cars of the three raffle winners. The celebrity team consisted of Peter Schuele, Vice President, Supply Chain – EMEA; Dieter Hofner, Vice President, Regional Optimization; Trevor Jones, Site Director; Reto Salzgeber, HR Manager; Urs Wild, Director, Finance; Kurt Vorburger, Marketing Manager; Peter Wenzl, Quality Systems Manager; and Bertus Markies, Packaging Manager.
Raffle tickets were sold for 2 CHF each for three weeks. On June 30, the winners were announced: Bruno Schwendener, Lovisa Fridstrom and Michael Hug each won a car wash from the “celebrities.” On July 1, despite a rainy start, the sun came out and energized the team. Thirty minutes of scrubbing, rinsing and drying resulted in three spotless, shiny cars. But neither the event’s celebrity glow nor the raffle winners’ gleaming cars could outshine the true benefit of the event — a charitable donation that would help families and their relatives get the support they needed.
Casa Limiar, a non-profit and non-governmental agency in Brazil, has organized the international adoption of more than 1,700 Brazilian children. Casa Limiar also operates an orphanage for children with physical handicaps and other special needs.
To raise money for Casa Limiar and raise awareness of charitable opportunities among local employees, Team Sigma-Aldrich Brazil organized a charity soccer match with a local customer. More than 60 employees participated in the event by playing soccer, fundraising or volunteering in another way.
“Our main objective was to promote charitable activities that would be supported by our employees, officers and directors as well as our customers and members of the community,” said Leonel Bistafa, Business Development Manager. “Working with a local customer really helped increase awareness. Our first event was a great success.”
The money raised was used to buy a variety of supplies, including powdered milk, diapers and other necessities for the specialized care Casa Limiar provides.
Bistafa and the rest of Team Sigma-Aldrich Brazil are already looking forward to the next event. In the future, the group hopes to foster a standing relationship with a non-profit, non-governmental agency that supports children.
On March 11, 2011, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck off the east coast of Japan. This earthquake, which was the strongest ever to hit Japan, led to a tsunami that devastated the northeastern coast of Japan and ultimately claimed the lives of more than 20,000 people.
This disaster sparked a worldwide outpouring of sympathy and resources. Sigma-Aldrich, which has several office locations in Japan, including Toyko, Ishikari and Ichikawa, was fortunate and thankful that our employees were all safe. We immediately responded with a $50,000 commitment to the Red Cross to help with the recovery efforts and extended a matching program to our employees around the world. Our employees responded with astounding support and more than $26,500 in contributions. As promised, Sigma-Aldrich matched that amount, bringing our total Japanese tsunami relief total to more than $102,000.
In 2011, the Japanese tsunami wasn’t the only natural disaster to make international headlines. Joplin, Missouri, just a few hundred miles away from our corporate headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, suddenly became a community in dire need. An EF5 tornado struck the southwestern Missouri town on May 22, 2011, taking the lives of 158 people, injuring another 1,000 and resulting in an estimated $2.2 billion in damages. Just a few months after donating more than $26,500 in individual contributions to the Japanese tsunami relief efforts (and more than $75,000 in corporate donations), Sigma-Aldrich and our employees rallied together and collectively raised $34,000 to support the Red Cross in the recovery and relief efforts for Joplin.
Dr. Gary Wessel, our customer and a professor of synthetic biology at Brown University, visited Ethiopia to adopt a child. While there, he visited Addis Ababa University, one of Africa’s leading higher education institutions, and was intrigued by the school’s new biotechnology program. It had potential, but lacked the curriculum and supplies to adequately facilitate learning.
Dr. Wessel decided to help, and reached out to Sigma-Aldrich to request contributions. He planned to return to Addis Ababa to give a three-day workshop to faculty and students, supplying them with the curriculum and resources needed to create the exact learning environment in which many researchers are working in the United States. Founded on strong curriculum from a leading American university, the now-sustainable program continued throughout the year, with Dr. Wessel returning every six months, and aimed to start two new courses in 2012.
This perfectly aligns with Sigma-Aldrich’s goal of increasing STEM education, especially where access to science education is limited. While the request from Dr. Wessel was small, it illustrates the exciting and achievable possibility of making science available around the world.
We continue to give to causes that speak to us, including advancing the field of science, improving the quality and accessibility of education, and promoting science in education. At the same time, we are seeking to give in ways that can be tracked and measured, and that showcase a return on our investments.
Sigma-Aldrich is continuing to work with the STEM Collaborative in St. Louis. STEM is an education approach aimed at eliminating the obstacles that hold back science, technology, engineering and math disciplines in classrooms, with the end goal of better preparing students for the workforce and post-secondary education.
After forming in 2010, the group spent 2011 developing plans to initiate conversations with local leaders, policy makers, stakeholders, school district administrators, teachers, community service providers and higher education institutions who could possibly impact STEM education in the greater St. Louis region. In addition to several surveys and in-depth interviews, the group researched and compared benchmarks to determine which practices in other areas around the U.S. delivered the best results.
Teacher professional development was identified as the first area to address in our efforts to strengthen STEM education in the St. Louis region. With that in mind, the group piloted a program in the summer of 2012 with four school districts from both Illinois and Missouri. The program was a two-week, hands-on learning intensive for middle school teachers. They learned new integrated teaching methods that highlight real-life applicability, one of the key challenges for students trying to connect STEM concepts with a desire to pursue these careers.
Our unique animal-model resources give us the opportunity to extend our expertise to greater purposes, beyond what we can do within the walls of Sigma-Aldrich. We’re partnering with two not-for-profit organizations for whom new brands of genetic research could represent the greatest progress: the Michael J. Fox Foundation and Autism Speaks. It is our hope that one day these partnerships will provide immeasurable benefit to families whose lives are affected by Parkinson’s Disease or autism.
Our Foundation provides funds for not-for-profit organizations that meet the criteria set out in our charter. Click on the button to submit a brief expression of interest, so that the Foundation may determine whether your organization should complete a formal application.Express interest
We hold our workforce to the highest code of conduct regarding the reporting of any corporate governance, human rights or safety violations among peers. All of our U.S. employees are required to complete harassment and discrimination training. Awareness and universal respect are imperative for our company and our people to flourish.
In 2010, Sigma-Aldrich introduced the Women in Leadership (WIL) program in St. Louis as an outgrowth of our PDSA model (Plan, Do, Study, Act). The program’s goals are to further develop corporate diversity, enhance individual excellence and increase the number of women in leadership roles at Sigma-Aldrich. After a successful pilot that included more than 120 women, the WIL network expanded in 2011 and now engages more than 350 women across our U.S. sites. WIL is now looking to increase participation and extend the network to our sites around the world.
By providing another forum for participants to connect with peers and leaders, cultivate leadership skills, share experiences and celebrate successes, the WIL network fosters professional and personal growth. Throughout the year, female leaders are invited to attend formal and informal events including workshops, speaker engagements and networking activities. Local site groups also get together for more casual gatherings. Participants are also encouraged to interact on LinkedIn, a business-oriented social media platform, by sharing articles and opinions on current events and relevant topics.
In addition to focusing on women currently in leadership roles, we are equally interested in accelerating the development of our next generation of leaders. Senior leaders can nominate employees who would benefit from the network and possess natural leadership characteristics, like people skills, intellect, aspiration, ambition and commitment.
Lisa Clarke and Adrienne Dawson discuss the WIL initiative
In a rapidly growing global marketplace, complacency toward our valuable talent pool is not an option. Workshops, seminars and hands-on learning opportunities keep our employees engaged, while helping us identify future leaders. An online performance management system ensures our employees receive timely feedback that is most useful for growth. We also offer competitive benefit plans in all of our international locations. Our U.S. plan includes, at no added cost, professional consultations on everything from legal matters to parenting issues to substance abuse.
Our efforts to develop the talent base at Sigma-Aldrich continue to accelerate. In 2011, more than 900 of our employees participated in an advanced, thorough leadership training session. This type of training not only provides leaders with concise and practical tools they can use to enhance all employees’ day-to-day experiences, it also improves employee retention and productivity, creating a more positive and stable working environment.
Through this and other programs, we make it a priority to develop our talent pool, identify potential new leaders, build the capabilities of current leaders and ensure smooth transitions for continued success.
In 2011, Sigma-Aldrich began a broader wellness initiative in all of our U.S. locations to address growing concerns about the health and well-being of our employees. The effort began with a personal health assessment to understand our employees’ thoughts on their current personal health, the challenges they face and what aspects of their health they felt were most important to improve. This effort was championed by Gerrit Van den Dool, Vice President, Managing Director U.S. and Canada, who himself has embraced the wellness initiative by losing weight and making significant changes to his own personal health routine.
To further support our employees’ journeys to a healthier lifestyle, we give them and their families access to a new Web-based system with tools like meal and nutrition planning, health and fitness trackers, and a wellness library. We also instituted “wellness champions” at each site to help support our local employees and to provide on-site program support. As a result of the personal health assessment, main topics of focus were weight management, stress management, smoking cessation and encouragement of healthy behaviors. In 2012, we plan to build upon the existing program to engage even more people, and track and measure progress on meeting our goals.
As our product portfolio continues to grow — more than 17,000 products were added last year — the responsibilities of our support teams grow as well. Our global Technical Service team of approximately 150 scientists addresses customers' problems via phone, email or live chat. We also strive to bring more information to our customers in formats that are easy to access globally at any time, such as through FAQs and enhanced Web help tools. Together with our Quality Assurance team, the Technical Service team has streamlined the processing of customer complaints, such that about 75% are closed within the same month. Furthermore, internal communication enhancements and other proactive improvements are helping reduce the number of quality and service issues across the board.
Susan Haertling talks compliance
Sigma-Aldrich is committed to full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations in the countries where we conduct our business. However, mistakes do happen in an operation this big. Customer complaints are reported on a high-level corporate dashboard that’s visible to all employees, to raise awareness and avoid error repetition. With the business world’s growing regulatory complexity, we have begun providing environmental health and safety services, sharing with our customers the vast and invaluable knowledge we’ve acquired about workplace safety and the transport of hazardous materials.
On-site operational safety is essential to success at Sigma-Aldrich. Whether we are simply avoiding slips and falls or learning to safely operate machinery, active training and awareness make for a work environment that engenders safety.
We constantly seek ways to reduce the use of hazardous substances in the manufacturing of our products through greener chemistry initiatives. More than 33% of our products are made on site, and for each and every one, we conduct risk assessments prior to preparation, create Material Safety Data Sheets that accompany each one through the supply chain, and continue to update this information throughout the product’s lifecycle. More than 1,100 customers are subscribed to notifications about changes to these products. Cooperation among our teams ensures that products are stored and shipped safely, and instructions on proper disposal (included with every item sold) help ensure the right precautions are taken through the very end.
The International Standards Organization (ISO) provides a quality systems framework and certification process that is recognized worldwide. More than 75 of our manufacturing facilities held one or more ISO certifications in 2011. This year, we had no incidents of non-compliance with regulations or codes concerning health and safety of our products.
We extend this focus on safety to our customers and to society at large. Sigma-Aldrich screens customer orders in an effort to ensure the suitable application of our materials by knowledgeable customers. This allows us to identify sales orders for regulated products. A sale may be blocked until our team has reviewed customer-licensing requirements and provided relevant hazardous material documentation.
This commitment to selling only to legitimate end users for legitimate scientific purposes is another way Sigma-Aldrich is ensuring a safer and more secure global supply chain. Our voluntary certification in the Department of Homeland Security’s program involves creating stronger cooperative relationships with all parties in our supply chain to help strengthen overseas and U.S. border security.
Cheryl Stipsits on the importance of safety