Community Investment and Volunteering

  • In 2018, we invested USD $1.47 million and contributed 12,474 hours to support communities around the world, benefiting 302 organizations.

    We have three areas of focus for our global community investment and volunteering efforts: partnership with employees (working together as One Team to have powerful impacts in the community), Responsible Care (supporting health and safety, environmental initiatives, emergency response and preparedness, and community health and wellness), and education (including scholarships, co-op opportunities, summer employment, and funding for research).

    Total hours include time spent managing the volunteer activities as well as participation, in accordance with London Benchmark Guideline (LBG).

  • In Egypt, we helped to make significant advances to support women and youth, employment opportunities, and small-scale entrepreneurship.

    Brad and Om Hassan GET AHEAD event

    Brad Boyd, Senior Vice President, Corporate Resources, with the first female carpenter in Damietta; hear her story in the video, GET Ahead for Women in Enterprise

    In 2018, Methanex Egypt delivered three pilot projects to the Damietta community: The GET Ahead for Women in Enterprise, Job Search Clubs, and Start and Improve Your Business. Together with a new module, Know About Business, these training packages will constitute the core activities of a two-year project, running from April 2019 through March 2021, through a unique partnership with the UN’s International Labour Organization to extend to Damietta the full scale of their successful project, Decent Jobs for Egypt’s Young People.

    The project will be the focal point of our social responsibility programs in Egypt and addresses one of Egypt’s most pressing challenges: youth unemployment and underemployment. It also honours our Responsible Care ethic for social responsibility.

    GET Ahead

    Participants in the GET Ahead training program

    By the end of the three years, we expect to reach out to 20,000 members of our community, create over 500 jobs, and develop relationships with new stakeholders such as Egypt’s National Council for Women (which reports to the President’s office); the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Authority (reporting to the Prime Minister); and the ministries of manpower, youth and sports, and education, among others.

    The project will also focus on building capacities of local partners on the ground for improved service delivery to support unemployed youth, while also addressing key cross-cutting themes such as occupational safety and health, inclusion of people with disabilities, and gender mainstreaming.

  • Young

    Methanex supports Damietta’s young entrepreneurs

    With Methanex’s support, a new community initiative for Damietta was launched in 2018. Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) is one of the ILO’s largest global business management training programs and a core tool of the ILO’s Decent Jobs for Egypt’s Young People. As a strategy to create more and better employment for women and men, the program helps small-scale entrepreneurs start and grow their business. In 2018, six workshops were delivered to 118 beneficiaries in Damietta.

    The program focuses on potential and existing small-scale enterprise owners and entrepreneurs and encompasses a range of training, monitoring, and evaluation methodologies and instruments. These activities are designed to be cost effective and practical and to meet the management training needs of this target group. Under the new partnership with Methanex, more iterations of SIYB will be delivered to future and existing entrepreneurs in Damietta over the next two years.

    The Ministry of Trade and Industry’s development agency for micro, small, and medium enterprises offers both financial and non-financial support to graduates of SIYB. The government is actively encouraging entrepreneurship as a vehicle to generate employment and improve people’s livelihoods.

    Young Entrepreneurs

    Young entrepreneurs from one of the six SIYB workshops

  • Each of our global teams made investments that helped to meet needs and support valuable projects in their communities.

    • Shanghai visit family

      Fifteen members of our team in Shanghai returned to visit a family in a rural area, whose four children receive ongoing education support from Methanex. The team delivered gifts and small home supplies to help and encourage the family. They treated the children to a special trip and meal to continue fostering positive relationships that might help these children in the future.

    • Chile telethon

      Employees in Chile worked throughout the year to raise funds for the Telethon of Magallanes, as part of their ongoing efforts to support children with disabilities.

    • Dallas angel tree

      Our Dallas team contributed to the Chemical Education Fund, which funds science-based educational activities. We also supported children through Cherished Creations, an organization that helps children who are seriously ill, and provided Christmas gifts to two adopted families through the Angel Tree program (pictured).

    • Brussels Snijboontje BBQ

      Our Brussels team organized a fundraising barbecue at their head office for Snijboontje, a non-profit organization fighting against poverty and social exclusion. Companies in our neighbourhood were invited to attend and learn about this initiative.

    • Geismar 2018 St. Jude kickoff

      In Geismar, USA, we were the flagship sponsor for the 2018 St. Jude Run/Walk to End Childhood Cancer (pictured). This was also the fourth year of our commitment to support construction of a new facility for Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital in Baton Rouge.

    • Medicine Hat Praxis Society

      Our Medicine Hat, Canada team donated funds and time to the Praxis Society (pictured), which provides science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) opportunities for children and youth. They also supported Bowl for Kids’ Sake, the Santa Claus Fund, and United Way.

    • Taranaki, New Zealand, Foodbank drive

      Methanex’s Procurement team in Taranaki, New Zealand, helped sort donated items for a Foodbank drive, helping local families in need.

    • Trinidad Flood Relief

      After widespread flooding in October 2018, Methanex Trinidad employees contributed to relief efforts through fundraising, volunteering at a local relief organization (pictured), and helping with restoration efforts at a secondary school. Employee contributions were matched by Methanex.

    • Vancouver kidsafe food prep

      In Vancouver, Canada, for the 26th year in a row, employees made company-matched donations and contributed volunteer hours to the United Way. They also contributed to the KidSafe program (pictured), which provides nutrition and education to underprivileged kids.

  • barbecue

    Supporting children at La Châtaigneraie in Belgium

    In 2018, we donated funds toward the construction of four unique studio apartments in a new building for La Châtaigneraie, a charity organization in Belgium that provides homes for children who come from difficult backgrounds.

    Constructed on the current site of La Châtaigneraie, the studios will provide housing for 18-year-old students from the organization’s youth program who, though of legal age, are still too young to live independently. Two of the units will be occupied by these students, and the other two by university students who will provide peer mentorship and support. This project started at the end of 2018 and will be operational by early 2020.

    We’ve been supporting La Châtaigneraie for many years, contributing to house renovations, equipment, and a swing set in the past, and we are committed to helping this organization meet its worthy goals of helping a needy population of youth.

    barbecue for La Châtaigneraie in Belgium

    Methanex held a barbecue for the centre’s children.

  • encouraging

    Restoring native bird populations in East Taranaki


    In three separate events, Methanex volunteers assisted in a project coordinated by the Department of Conservation and the East Taranaki Environment Trust to support the monitoring and translocating of founder birds to their native habitat.

    More than a dozen Methanex employees were involved in each event, which involved helicopter transport and a 20-minute hike to carry the birds for the final leg of their journey from Huaturu (Little Barrier Island) to their new home, where they have not been seen in 30 years.

    “At first I thought nothing of this other than a nice thing to be part of, but once we were there and mixing and mingling with the community of Purangi, an overwhelming sense of pride overcame me,” said Methanex administrator Kelly Gates of the experience, which has left a lasting impression on her. “Not only are these birds now living amongst the beautiful bushlands in the Taranaki region; they will be a part of the future for generations to come.”

    Kokako Transport
    encouraging kokako out of box
  • In each region, our team members generously volunteered their time to projects benefitting their communities. Here are some examples.

    • Food Angel

      Our Hong Kong team again supported Hong Kong Food Angel, a food bank for needy elderly at the beneficiary centre in Hong Kong. Eleven colleagues participated in this long-term partnership with Food Angel as an expression of our commitment to the society.

    • Run to Walk in Brussels

      In Brussels, we participated in Run to Walk, an annual charity event that supports people with physical disabilities. Several employees formed a team that did a nonstop relay run of 300 km starting at 9 a.m. in the morning and continuing until the next day.

    • Camp Summit flower beds

      Once again, our Dallas team provided donations to Camp Summit, a camp for children and adults with disabilities.

    • Crawfish cook-off

      Our team in Geismar, USA had a Crawfish King Cook-off to support The Big Buddy Program, a local nonprofit youth-services agency that provides positive role models and quality learning experiences to over 2,000 disadvantaged children and youth.

    • Egypt medical caravan

      In the Damietta community in Egypt, with the help of Methanex employees, we delivered two medical caravans providing physician consultations and medication to villages surrounding the city.

    • Medicine Hat - restoration work for the South East Alberta Watershed Alliance

      Our team in Medicine Hat, Canada, did restoration work for the South East Alberta Watershed Alliance, a group dedicated to sustainable management of the South Saskatchewan River sub-basin and the Pakowki Lake watershed.

    • Chile Christmas

      For 12 years, Methanex Chile employees have been donating Christmas gifts to the Villa Austral nursery school; in 2018 they also prepared and distributed boxes of food at Christmas to families living in extreme poverty.

    • Taranaki goodies hut

      Methanex volunteers from Taranaki, New Zealand, excavated a path to Goodies Hut, East Taranaki, to aid conservation work. They also donated 25 buddy benches to schools in North Taranaki, as part of the Safe Days initiative.

    • preparing a kitchen garden in Trinidad

      Employees in Trinidad assisted their fence-line communities by repainting an orphanage, preparing a kitchen garden (shown) for another orphanage to help reduce their food costs, and cleaning up a local beach.

    • PALS Vancouver

      Vancouver staff volunteered on initiatives to support Soup Sisters (empowering and nourishing women, children, and youth in need), Kick for a Cure (supporting childhood cancer research), PALS Autism Society (pictured), Lynn Creek Estuary, and Great Canadian Shoreline.

  • Shanghai

    Overcoming disability through teamwork

    Shanghai Xuhui Local University

    Our teams in China partnered with Shanghai Xuhui Local University to sponsor a city-wide orienteering game that brought Methanex teams and their families together with hearing-impaired students to solve a series of puzzles around the city. The exercise engaged both groups in collaborative problem solving, both to communicate and to achieve a goal together. The event celebrated China’s 28th annual Help the Disabled Day, a day dedicated to improving the welfare of the disabled and preventing disability.

  • Anneleen

    Partnering to support health and safety in university programs

    In 2018, Methanex in Medicine Hat established a partnership with Minerva Canada, a non-profit organization dedicated to health and safety education, to assist in a project that Minerva describes as their “most ambitious initiative” to date. In this initiative, industry experts partnered with graduate students at Canadian universities to create teaching modules that address health and safety gaps in the curriculum of engineering students. The project was developed in response to industry feedback that students are leaving university with a limited understanding of this area.

    Anneleen Muller, Process and Occupational Safety Supervisor in Medicine Hat, worked closely with a professor and two graduate students at the University of Alberta’s Edmonton campus to develop a teaching module on risk communication. This module teaches students how to communicate risk to external stakeholders in, for example, situations of new developments or emergencies. Development of the module involved careful selection and thorough discussion by the team; the work resulted in a compilation of risk communication theories and case studies to be used by instructors in their classes.

    This module and many others are available on the Minerva website.

    Risk vs Crisis Communication

    Content from a presentation developed with the risk communications module.

    Risk communication presentation - Anneleen Muller (right) with University of Alberta student Vivian Giang

    Anneleen Muller (right) with University of Alberta student Vivian Giang, who traveled to the Medicine Hat plant to present to members of our Emergency Operations Centre.