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PPG embraces social, education causes

Post Time:Jul 20,2009Classify:Industry NewsView:289

Even in the midst of the current economic downturn, a growing number of companies are embracing the idea of corporate social responsibility as a long-term strategy.

PPG Industries Inc, which operates in China and more than 60 other countries, is a US-based maker of paints, coatings, optical products, specialty materials, chemicals, glass and fiber glass.

Like other companies supplying the ailing automotive sector, PPG has been hit hard, too, this year.

Yet PPG continues its support of educational and environmental initiatives designed to benefit communities where the company operates in the United States, China and other countries.

"We have been acting consistently and persistently to fulfill our social responsibilities, regardless of a good or bad economic environment," Cathy Yan, general manager of government affairs and business development for PPG Industries Asia-Pacific, told China Business Weekly.

PPG recently welcomed a trip by a dozen US high school students to China to broaden their knowledge about how communities and global businesses operate outside the United States.

The trip was part of a US work force development program for high school students called Urban Youth Action.

In addition to ongoing support from PPG Industries Foundation, the program receives funding from the Alcoa Foundation, K&L Gates, The Pittsburgh Project, University of Pittsburgh and Westinghouse Electric Co.

Benjamin L.Walker, program manager of Urban Youth Action, told China Business Weekly that the trip provided US students with the opportunity to experience and understand China, as well as see the impact of PPG products used in other countries.

Yan of PPG was asked whether Chinese students would benefit from a similar travel-abroad program in the future.

"We hope that we can offer Chinese students the opportunity to experience PPG's operations overseas in the future," Yan said.

"It has been our consistent policy to achieve more in the area of corporate social responsibility," Yan added.

Educational outreach

PPG has contributed to other educational initiatives directly benefiting Chinese students and universities.

PPG donated one-year subscriptions to China Daily to 100 under-privileged students at Nankai University and Tianjin University in Tianjin.

PPG also established scholarship programs at the two universities, as well as seven other universities located throughout China.

"PPG knows that wealth created by the company comes from society. It's PPG's responsibility to give part of its profits back to society," Yan said.

In early 2008, PPG China initiated the "Warm Children's Winter" clothing donation project in response to severe snowstorms that affected most of South China.

PPG contributed manpower and support to reconstruction projects following the Wenchuan earthquake in May 2008.

PPG also recently participated in the "Energy Savings & Emission Reduction: Do It Now" project on CCTV.com.

Going green

PPG also is "going green" with its continuing infrastructure investments in China to more easily supply key OEM customers.

"We are continuing to invest in the future, investing in new green technologies and new processes to reduce costs for PPG and for our customers," Yan said. "We understand that products which are focused on cutting time and costs will be well received, so we have developed new technologies and will continue to work on them," Yan said.

In China, PPG has installed waste minimization, noise abatement and emissions reduction equipment at its plants.

"We'll design, build and operate our facilities in ways that prevent harm to public health and the environment, conserve energy, water and raw materials, integrate pollution prevention and make a positive contribution to the surrounding community and to society as a whole," Yan said.

The company's focus also is on environmentally friendly products such as Zircobond pretreatment, which is an alternative to zinc-phosphate pretreatment processes.

For the aviation market, PPG has created a basecoat/clear coat aircraft coatings system designed to save airlines millions of dollars with its reduced weight, added durability and shorter process time.

PPG came to China in the 1980s, and today has 14 manufacturing plants in the country.

PPG also has training centers in Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

Source: http://www.chinadaily.com.cnAuthor: shangyi

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