Linde is involved in a variety of projects in proximity to the Group’s sites around the world, providing assistance locally in the form of donations, sponsorship and volunteering of Linde employees. Our strategy includes a focus on sustainable initiatives related to our business activities. In particular, Linde supports projects in the fields of education and science. Other priorities include such issues as safety, environmental protection and social affairs. Cross-regional activities are coordinated by the Group’s Corporate Centre, while local initiatives are organised on a decentralised basis by the individual regions. As a company, Linde does not make donations to political parties or individuals. In the US, employees of Linde North America have formed a political action committee - an independent, registered committee, under which employees collect donations for politicians, political parties and associations.
In 2012, the total spent on donations, sponsorship and voluntary memberships worldwide was approximately EUR 10.4 million. Organisations Linde supports by way of membership include charitable organisations and NGOs, such as Business Against Crime in South Africa, as well as cultural institutions such as the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (SPK) in Berlin. Linde maintains more than 400 voluntary memberships all over the world.
Projects around the globe
In the field of education, Linde focuses in particular on supporting training for the next generation of engineers and natural scientists. One example of this commitment is the Carl von Linde Academy at Technische Universität München, which is funded by the Group. This establishment provides future engineers, IT experts and natural scientists with knowledge that extends beyond the limits of pure technical knowledge, touching on areas such as business ethics. By the end of 2012, more than 11,000 students had made use of the Academy’s programmes. For several years, Linde has been supporting the Schloss Hansenberg boarding school in Hesse, Germany, a public-private partnership. The aim of this partnership is to foster the talent of pupils with especially strong academic and social skills. In 2012, around 190 pupils benefited from this support in the form of trainee placements, study trips and cooperative natural science projects with universities.
11,000 students have enrolled in the Carl von Linde Academy’s courses
Linde also sponsors scientific exhibitions, experiments and competitions in various countries. In Munich, home to the Corporate Centre, Linde is one of the founding members of the Deutsches Museum Future Initiative, the aim of which is to modernise the largest technology museum in the world. Linde is supporting this initiative with a donation which will total EUR 5 million by 2018. Education also plays an important role in other regions. Linde’s South African subsidiary Afrox, for example, supported some 40 projects – and thus almost 3,800 children – through its Community Involvement Programme during the year under review. Over the course of 2012, Afrox invested around EUR 540,000 in social projects.
250,000 school pupils participated in road safety initiative since it was started
The importance of safety for Linde extends far beyond the company’s own business processes to include the wider community. As one of the founding members of a road safety initiative, Linde offers young people in Australia and New Zealand safety training shortly before they sit their driving test. More than 250,000 school pupils had taken up this offer by the end of 2012. Truck drivers at Linde's Gist logistics division are also supporting road safety – by taking their vehicles to schools in their local communities. During the year under review, over 2,300 primary-school pupils participated in these events. Worldwide, Linde reached more than 65,000 children, pupils and students through its corporate citizenship initiatives in the course of 2012.
65,000 children, pupils and students reached through corporate citizenship initiatives
Culture is a particular focus of Linde's sponsorship activities. The Group has been Season Partner of Germany's Bavarian State Opera since 2007, and additionally began supporting live streaming of selected performances in 2012. People who do not have the opportunity to go to the opera can thus experience first-class cultural events free of charge. Each performance is watched online by up to 230,000 viewers in around 50 countries.
The Group helps its employees to get involved in volunteering by giving them time off work, offering financial assistance or matching their donations. In the UK, employees have the option of donating a specific amount to a charitable organisation of their choice via their monthly payslip. Linde then matches this contribution. Through these and other employee activities, the matched giving programme generated over EUR 300,000 there in 2012. After Hurricane Sandy in the United States, Linde’s regional business unit and staff in the stricken region together donated in excess of USD 75,000 in 2012. Across North America, Linde and its employees donated a total of more than USD 550,000 to a variety of charitable organisations during the year under review.