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The Business of Giving Back

As a follow-up to the recently released UPS Sustainability Report, I sat down with Eduardo Martinez of the UPS Foundation to discuss the company’s strategy for philanthropy and volunteerism.

Q. What does philanthropy mean to UPS and its employees?

A.  The UPS philosophy is really tied to our company legacy. UPS founder, Jim Casey recognized the tie between strong communities and strong business. His perspective still impacts what we do today. But the areas where we focus funding have changed over time, as our employee base has changed and community needs have changed. Our funding focus areas are designed to support the organizations where our employees live and work engaged in their communities around the world.

Q. How does UPS connect philanthropy and volunteerism with the business?

A. We believe that one of the best ways for our volunteers to give back in their communities is by contributing their on-the-job expertise – we call this skilled volunteerism. A great example is our work with humanitarian relief organizations, where UPS employees use their professional expertise in logistics to help get relief to those who need it most. Another example is UPS Road Code, where some of UPS’s safest drivers pass along their expertise to some of the newest drivers on the road – teenagers. But, we also have many employee volunteers who provide more traditional pro bono work, such as lawyers and tax accountants as well as logistics assistance for human service non-profits around the world. All of these connect community needs to the hearts, minds and know-how of UPS employees.

Q. You mentioned humanitarian relief. In light of the floods in Pakistan and the current hurricane season, can you talk more about UPS’s commitment to support relief organizations responding to global emergencies?

A. Global Humanitarian Relief is an area where we believe UPS can have a transformative impact.  We break it down in three key phases – preparedness, disaster relief and post crisis recovery. The UPS Foundation created a global Humanitarian Relief Program. This strategy, which we call the “HRP,” was created with the guidance and support of our Board of Trustees and a global team of UPSers from all facets of the company. As a result, UPS is in the second year of the program, which already has committed up to $9 million in support of relief agencies such as CARE, the American Red Cross, Unicef and the World Food Programme. In addition, we have trained volunteers at the ready around the world to be first responders when a crisis happens. UPS is in a unique position to offer our logistics expertise, in-kind support and funding to help our communities in a meaningful way when they need it most – and we believe the combination has a multiplying effect.

Category: Caring for Communities
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