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The Americas CSR Committee: Inspiring kindness, sustainability, and community involvement

May 21, 2024

Americas Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS) Committee

This internal, employee-led Axis committee is a great example of how teamwork, innovative ideas, and passion can result in waves of positive change. It’s a true testament to the Axis culture. We met up with eight committee members to discover more about their experiences.

Founded in 2016 by US-based employees, the Americas Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Committee aimed to encourage colleagues to volunteer and give back to the community. Since then, the committee has grown into a larger and more diverse group with representation from across the Americas. While giving back is still a key focus area of the committee, they also pursue initiatives relating to sustainability and kindness. Everything they do strives to make an impact to communities, the planet, and employees.

Natalie England, Technical Services Representative II shares why she finds it is rewarding to be a committee member, “As a member of the Americas CSR Committee, I am able to work with others, combining our passions of helping those in need and spreading kindness. It is so rewarding to see the impact we have made.” .

Making a difference

The committee’s initiatives are rooted in supporting important social and environmental issues, such as food insecurity, poverty, and waste.

Throughout the year, multiple collection drives are hosted in Axis Experience Centers to collect items such as food, school supplies, and holiday toys. To help amplify the impact, the drives are promoted to partners and end customers, encouraging them to participate.

In addition, the committee runs a variety of internal competitions to raise awareness for causes and charities. Their most popular activities surround Random Acts of Kindness Week, Earth Day, and Movember. While contributing to worthy causes, the competitions also help to bring employees together. 

Sharing his experience leading the committee’s Movember initiative, Jesse Nicoli, Product Marketing Manager, comments, “Two years ago, we were without a captain for our Movember cause, and I was asked to step in and fill what seemed like a big role. The second year I jumped at the chance of being the Movember captain again and at this point I can’t imagine not running this initiative every year. The organization supports issues I am passionate about on a personal level and is something I think about all year round.”

The committee also supports backpack builds for school supplies and other activities through Mission 500, a nonprofit organization that works closely with the security industry to serve the needs of children and communities.

“I have been a part of the CSR Committee for roughly nine years, almost all my time at Axis. It started when I got involved with Mission 500 and the great partnership there,” adds Meghan Lanni, Manager, Demand & Supply Planning. “That grew into some great business and personal relations, and I’ve been able to stay close to Axis CSR efforts ever since. It is wonderful to see Axis be able to give back to causes personal to me, and even my own community at home. Activities such as school donation drives, holiday giving trees, and of course community clean-up efforts are an amazing reminder of how great a company Axis is.”

The Americas CSR Committee

The origin of Axis Community Day

In 2022, the Americas region successfully organized its inaugural Axis Community Day, culminating in over 3,300 collective hours of volunteering. “The first Axis Community Day we had was the most memorable initiative I’ve participated in. I have never been part of something like that before and it was so rewarding to work together with my team to help other people,” Emily Mueller, Senior Area Marketing Coordinator, Midwest.

The origins of Axis Community Day are rooted in a core mission of the CSR Committee to foster volunteerism. For years, the committee coordinated volunteer opportunities to encourage employees to support local non-profits. In 2020, reacting to a decline in volunteerism from the pandemic, the committee proposed an innovative solution to management – organizing a volunteering competition throughout 2021 to reignite the spirit of giving back and spark connections. The initiative was a huge success, prompting management to introduce Axis Community Day as an annual tradition in 2022.

“The competition sparked a renewed sense of purpose and connection among colleagues,” says Cindy Boynton, Customer Advocacy Specialist. “The momentum from that effort paved the way for today’s Axis Community Day where all employees across the Americas unite to serve their communities. It has been heartwarming to help make this experience happen every year knowing the impact that it makes both for the communities we serve and for the employees who have come to embrace volunteerism.”

More than a passion project

Not only is the CSR committee a chance to give back to meaningful causes, it’s also an excellent source of professional development and leadership opportunities. Members can grow skills and gain experience in areas they may not receive in their full-time role, such as leadership, collaboration, decision making, and communication. They can also build their personal and professional brands by leading initiatives.

“When I first learned there was a CSR Committee, I immediately asked how to join! Soon after my first meeting, I started leading initiatives and eventually became the co-leader,” says Caroline Curtis, Campaign Manager. “The committee gave me a way to accelerate the growth of many soft skills, increasing my overall confidence and leadership in my Axis role. I’m grateful that my colleagues support this committee and my involvement in it.”

Along with skill development, the committee is a great way for members to develop their networks. The committee is comprised of around 20 employees, from across the Americas and different departments – and of course with a similar passion of giving back. Commenting on this, Kevin Sarsfield, Instructional Designer, says, “I have been on the committee for about a year and a half. I joined because I enjoy volunteering for various initiatives that effect our community in a positive manner, and the committee is a great opportunity to meet and collaborate with other Axians I would normally not have a chance to work with.”

Contributing to the Axis sustainability strategy

The Americas CSR Committee

The committee’s work isn’t an isolated act; everything they do is aligned with the Axis sustainability strategy, specifically two out of the four cornerstones: ‘Respect people’ and ‘Protect our planet’.

In 2007, Axis signed the UN Global Compact, and since then, corporate social responsibility has been deeply engrained in Axis strategies and initiatives. The Americas CSR Committee helps to bring community involvement and employee engagement to life, making it a key piece to Axis’ commitment to sustainability.

“Being a part of the Axis CSR Committee as both a member and a leader has been an incredibly rewarding experience for me,” adds Brittney Caswell, Team Lead for Design & Event Operations. “It has provided me with the opportunity to follow my passions of sustainability and helping those in need, while also encouraging and motivating others to do the same. As a group, we aim to spread positivity through every initiative we undertake, and I am always thrilled to see what impact we will make next on our communities.”

Membership is always open for the CSR Committee. With each new participant comes new energy and new ideas on how to make a difference both as an Axis employee and as a citizen of the world. This commitment to inclusivity and innovation sets Axis apart as a leader in corporate social responsibility.

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