The Astellas Way Blog

Action Speaks Louder Than Words: The True Impact We Can Have on Our Communities

By Jim Robinson, President, Astellas Americas

Oct 10, 2017

When it comes to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), the dedication of our employees to help patients and people in need is truly amazing to me. Since 2015, our 3,000 employees in the Americas have volunteered an amazing 98,000 hours.

Astellas full-time employees in the Americas receive five paid days per year to volunteer in their communities. This commitment serves as a reminder of the importance of going beyond the medicines we create to impact the communities where we live and work. As Jan Lee of the publication Triple Pundit noted in a recent article: “In today’s business world, companies are judged not just by the quality of products and services they offer, but how willing they are to invest in the communities they call home, and how engaged their workforce is in demonstrating those values.” She’s right. Here are some ways in which Astellas and our dedicated employees give back:

Patient Focus
It’s not uncommon to hear members of our team telling family, friends and colleagues that patients are at the center of everything we do. Without question, they are. However, the same determination to improve people’s lives is reflected in Astellas’ volunteer initiatives like Changing Tomorrow Day where almost 50 percent of the volunteer activities directly or indirectly supported health care and patients.

Disaster Relief Volunteering
When Hurricane Harvey hit, several employees took immediate action. From performing boat rescues to helping demolish homes covered in mold and flooded with contaminated water, employees used either paid volunteer time off or their personal vacation days to help. Astellas employees in these disaster areas were able to provide support and a sense of hope to families working to rebuild their lives.

Additionally, we had dozens of employees raise their hands to participate in the two corporate teams Astellas is sending to Florida and Texas to help with hurricane recovery.

Changing Tomorrow Day
On September 28, Astellas Americas employees came together for our eighth annual Changing Tomorrow Day (CT Day). More than 500 of us got out from behind our desks, rolled up our sleeves and took a day together to build brighter communities. Activities took place in Chicago, Washington, DC and Colombia that supported 14 nonprofits. Later this year, activities are planned for Toronto and Boston.

During CT Day this year, I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House and Gilda’s Club Chicago. My colleagues and I spent a day cleaning, organizing and painting. Other employee volunteers packaged meals for cancer and HIV patients, renovated a school and used a computer program to map out routes to health-care facilities in Malawi.  

Our employees’ volunteer spirit supports Living SMARTTM, the social responsibility platform that brings together the strength of Astellas USA Foundation and our CSR work, to change tomorrow for communities. Astellas employees volunteer with Astellas USA Foundation-supported organizations to help with disaster relief. Astellas USA Foundation provided grants to American Red Cross® and Americares to assist those affected by hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma; the Midwest floods and tornadoes; and the earthquake in Mexico.

Having the opportunity to support the patients we serve and the communities where we work and live motivates us. It inspires us to continue to put our best foot forward. I am proud of our employees’ efforts to extend our culture of collaboration to communities around the world -- it’s The Astellas Way.

See more: President's letter in CSR Report Card