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Improving The World

The Best Night In A Long Time 

Being selected to serve on the Celanese Foundation Committee, and then joining families with  the Emergency Shelter of Northern Kentucky (ESNKY) and having the chance to Improve the World, has been an incredible experience that I will be proud of for the rest of my life. It’s caused me to reflect on the meaning of “family.”

It has also provoked me to think about what “families” mean. It’s not just doing a one-time volunteering event, but building an ongoing relationship with those in the community who we can help. This includes those who manage this wonderful life-saving facility at ESNYK and their overnight guests. In 2016 we have extended our relationships with ESNKY by doing a bowling night, which has become more than just a fun night out, but a real opportunity to build relationships of trust.

All of the hard work and dedication that comes with being a Celanese Foundation member is so rewarding, especially when I hear volunteers share their reflections about time spent with our “Shelter Family.”

Celanese International Impact Program, Improving The World

Dear Celanese: A Reminder Of What Really Matters In Life 

Dharamsala is a small town in India at the foot of the Himalaya mountains. Luckily I was picked together with nine other Celanese colleagues from all around the world to volunteer in a CSR project with kids between the age of one and five.

Emotional was this journey to a country and culture that is so different to my own life in Europe. The kids made me laugh and cry. The feelings that I had each day are very difficult to describe.

Adventurous were our taxi rides.

Rose and thorns were our daily evening rituals in which we described our daily highs and lows and learned so much more about each other, about our feelings, emotions and personalities.

Improving The World

Challenge Completed: UK Style 

Hello, my name is Tina, and I have just turned 50 years old. Where did all those years go? I have worked at the Celanese Spondon, United Kingdom facility for what seems like forever.  I am an organizer.  Fortunately, this trait comes in quite handy when you are the Global Citizen Network  (GCN) representative for the Spondon facility and in charge of coordinating all local volunteer efforts.

At this point I should also state that when it comes to charity work or volunteering, we British live up to our reputations and are quite reserved. This is a new concept for us, and even now my friends can’t believe that Celanese allows us to take time from work to volunteer.

Celanese International Impact Program, Improving The World

The Universal Language Of Smiles 

Thank you so much for the privilege of going to India for the Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) in June. The things I got to see and experience have left me a different person.

I had never been to India before, and I found the country to be everything I had imagined and more. The sights and sounds and smells (both good and bad) were overwhelming at first. During the course of the two weeks there we learned not to be frustrated because the hot water wasn’t working, among other cultural differences.

While in India I found the people to be warm and friendly and loving. The children that we worked with in the early childhood education center were precious, and while the language barrier was difficult, we found other ways to communicate the necessities. It turns out that smiles are a universal language! By the time we left, it was so neat to hear them counting in English while playing hopscotch, reciting the ABCs and singing the songs that we taught them. I think I’ve sung “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” enough to last me a lifetime! They even taught us a little Hindi, even if it might have had a little bit of my southern accent!

Improving The World

How Volunteering Can Open Your Horizon 

These days there is at a lot of emphasis on our leadership behaviors at Celanese, our competencies as leaders and on how to drive value. This made me realize I have a very internal, Celanese-specific view on that. However, recently I had the opportunity to widen my horizon just a little.

My daughter, Annika, with a PhD in Sustainability Entrepreneurship, has founded together with her friend Amy what she terms a “social business.” Their approach is to solve a social issue through entrepreneurial means and therefore make a tangible impact on society while still being able to finance themselves. As I got involved in lots of discussions around business plans, financing models, crowdfunding, and legal and tax considerations with Annika and Amy on their start-up, I also became very interested in the environment they are working in and visited the Social Impact Lab Frankfurt. The Social Impact Lab is a community for social entrepreneurs, social start-ups, coworkers and young people with a German and non-German background. It’s a co-working space where young professionals find the creative environment to further develop their ideas, network and seek professional support on their way of becoming self-employed. The lab’s purpose is to incubate the start-up during the first steps.

As my interest in those ideas and start-ups grew, I asked myself how to connect the Celanese Foundation’s volunteering program with the Social Impact Lab and soon started advertising the idea to do a social day where Celanese colleagues could consult young entrepreneurs at the Social Impact Lab.

Creating Customer Value

K 2016: Anyone Could Be The Next Big Customer For Celanese 

Every three years the whole plastics industry meets in Düsseldorf, Germany for the world’s largest plastics tradeshow: the K. In 2016 more than 218,000 trade visitors from 108 countries came to the city on the Rhine. But what’s so fascinating about this fair?

Let me try to explain it from my viewpoint. For me, it was the second K attending for Celanese after 2013. But my very first experience with the K started in 2007, while I was a young man studying plastics engineering, and honestly, I didn’t know too much about the size and the power of the industry. Our professors just told us we definitely can’t miss that show, and so I took three of my fellow students and we went to Düsseldorf without knowing what to expect…

Celanese International Impact Program, Improving The World

Stepping Outside Of Myself And Spending Time Serving 

Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the 2016 Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) trip to Dharamsala, India. During our orientation with Cross Cultural Solutions (CCS) when we arrived, the country coordinator told us that India was a land of contradictions. One of the fun things we did as a Celanese team at the end of every day was get together and discuss our highs and lows. I want to tell you a little more about some of the highs and lows to give you a sense of my experience in India and to help you see the contradictions we came across.

Celanese International Impact Program, Improving The World

Why We Should All Have A Sense of Responsibility Toward The Community 

In the last three years, Celanese has established corporate social responsibility goals to make a difference in the community. This year has been unique and more important with the 100K volunteer hour challenge setting a clear objective and direction. The selection of Global Citizen Network (GCN) members and the Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) were both part of this challenge. It was huge for me to be selected for both. I would be able to understand a different region and contribute to a community I didn’t know much about.

Celanese International Impact Program, Improving The World

The Best Lesson Ever 

For weeks, I’ve been trying to figure out how to express my feelings about the two weeks I spent in Dharamsala, India as part of the Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP). It was so impressive that it’s hard for me to describe. It was already amazing to get the email that I was selected and I was excited by the thought of volunteering. Knowing that I would have the opportunity to try to make a difference in India seemed so unbelievable…

Improving The World

Building A Culture Of Giving And Caring 

When I became the first Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) coordinator in 2010, my first assignment was to develop an annual event that would allow employees around the company to come together to volunteer in their local communities. We knew that there were plenty of volunteer efforts happening around the company, but because we didn’t have a formal CSR program, we didn’t really know about all of the great things our employees were involved in.

Being Sustainable

Energy At Work And At Home 

Why do we focus on energy reduction at work?  Our manufacturing processes require significant amounts of energy to make our products — equivalent to the annual electricity use of about 1.3 MM US homes — which is why we are committed to maximizing energy efficiency and the reduction of associated greenhouse gas emissions.

Collaboration

Something Is Wrong If You Don’t Belong 

Have you heard this phrase? It’s true in many places and, in my view, it’s especially true at work.

Let’s face it, we spend a lot of time working. The average person will devote one-third of their life to the workplace. With that kind of commitment, it’s important to feel at home in the workplace. We should feel appreciated and at ease. Many factors are involved to be able to achieve that, including the quality of your job, feeling successful at what you do and having good people around you who know you and respect you for who you are.