In addition to encouraging employees in their volunteer efforts, International Paper aligns its grant making with focus areas that support our goals as a company. Around the globe, we provide monetary support in two primary areas: environmental education and literacy. In 2013, more than 300 grants and donations were made to literacy projects. Over 200 grants and donations were given by International Paper to environmental education causes.
University Sponsorship Pays Big Dividends for Chinese Students, International Paper
In September 2013, Qilu University of Technology leaders and International Paper representatives celebrated the inauguration of the “IP Class” at the university. The class is a joint effort between International Paper and the school's College of Light Chemical and Environmental Engineering. For 2013, 122 freshmen majoring in paper-making were enrolled.
In the same year, IP Scholarships went to 36 outstanding students at the university’s Business School and School of Light Chemical and Environmental Engineering who were selected as examples of The IP Way. The partnership also uses International Paper’s resources to help Qilu University students apply textbook knowledge in the workplace. In fact, 60 alumni of Qilu work at the International Paper joint venture in Yanghzou City, Shandong Province, China.
International Paper has been, and continues to be, one of the most environmentally responsible companies in the world. We support programs that help our society understand a sustainable approach that balances environmental, social and economic needs. Given the vastness of this subject area, the Foundation channels environmental education funding specifically to:
- National Geographic Explorer kids’ magazine subscriptions at schools in local communities;
- Earth's Birthday project kits for children;
- Outdoor classrooms at schools or in communities;
- Outdoor science programs tied to forestry, air or water; and
- Education-based programs that promote recycling, tree planting and composting.
Fish Gotta Swim
Among its many philanthropic activities, International Paper also supported “Fish Gotta Swim,” in Savannah, Georgia, a U.S. community where we have key facilities. This program gives urban, economically disadvantaged middle-school students in Savannah and Chatham counties 21 hours of environmental education.
Meshing local field investigations with classroom experiments and language arts tasks, Fish Gotta Swim builds students' capacity for discovery, curiosity and empathy with other living creatures and demonstrates the need to maintain water quality in our marshes and estuaries. With increased confidence and new means of expression, students are better prepared to make choices that support and protect the natural world.
International Paper has a strong belief in the value of education; improving literacy is one of our top philanthropic priorities. Our support of the National Geographic Explorer magazine, which helps develop literacy skills for children in grades 4 and 5, is an example of this commitment. Additionally, we fund programs that:
- Enhance availability of reading materials at school and community libraries;
- enhance reading skills of children and adults; and
- Teach English as a Second Language (ESL).
In 2012, International Paper Asia in Shanghai, China, entered a partnership with a rural schoolbook donation project. As of late 2013, more than 25,000 books had been given to more than 40 schools across China. The partnership illustrates a simple and effective way in which International Paper supports the communities where our employees live and work.