2015 Sustainability Report



Focus Area

Community Impact

Philanthropy / Social Innovation

Through strategic investments and collaborations, we leverage our unique strengths to make contributions that support poverty alleviation. We collaborate across our value chain to develop programs that provide job training and increase workplace safety. Globally, our employees generously volunteer their time, skills and talents to achieve significant community impact where they work and live.


Supporting Global Sanitation Improvements

When we seek to meet basic human needs around the world, particularly those of women and girls, sanitation is a high-impact area where we can focus our efforts.

The Caterpillar Foundation

Founded in 1952, Caterpillar has supported the philanthropic work of the Caterpillar Foundation, which has contributed more than $650 million to help make sustainable progress possible around the world. The Caterpillar Foundation’s mission is to eliminate poverty by placing people on a path to prosperity. This builds strong economies and communities. We champion programs that support:

  • Environment: rebuilding natural infrastructure
  • Education: numeracy and literature, mentoring and leadership and workforce readiness (including Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)
  • Basic Human Needs: energy access, food, shelter, water, disaster relief

When we look at places our philanthropy can make an environmental impact, we do not need to look much farther than the backyard of our Peoria, Illinois, headquarters. In recent decades, the Upper Mississippi River region has lost more than 75 percent of its wetlands, which provide wildlife habitat, flood protection and water filtration – not to mention the associated economic and recreation activities to people throughout the Mississippi River basin.

In 2015, the Caterpillar Foundation continued our support of Ducks Unlimited with a grant to support wetlands conservation efforts in the Upper Mississippi River basin. With our support, Ducks Unlimited will be able to protect more than 17,000 acres of wetlands habitat, which will reduce flood damage costs to the region by $500,000, reduce sediments and agricultural runoff flowing into the river and protect the commercial fishing operations and recreational opportunities that generate more than $1 billion in economic activity in the region each year.

2015 Caterpillar Foundation
Investments in our Communities

2015 Areas of Investment

Global Employee Volunteerism & Engagement

The volunteer efforts of our employees distinguish our people and demonstrate they are leaders not only in the workplace, but also in the community. We continuously strive for innovative ways to empower and support our employee volunteers, which is why we are expanding our focus on employee volunteerism and engagement. We are developing and launching new strategies to enable employees across the globe to contribute to the well-being of their communities.

Our Goal: Place 50 million people on the path to prosperity by 2020.

Caterpillar employees and retirees volunteer countless hours every year, contributing selflessly to hundreds of nonprofit organizations across the globe.

In keeping with this focus on employee volunteerism and engagement, Caterpillar piloted its first “Global Month of Service” in China in 2015. Employees from 16 divisions located in eight cities across China participated in the pilot Global Month of Service. Whether it was collecting trash, maintaining trees, drawing pictures for charity, providing donations to support the migrant community, accompanying disabled children on a one-day outing or helping fulfill wishes of vulnerable families, Caterpillar employees and their families and friends generously gave back to their communities. The Global Month of Service model will continue to expand in 2016 and beyond, ultimately including all of Caterpillar’s global facilities.

In South Queensferry, Scotland, a small team of employees at our Progress Rail Services division translated their passion for wildlife into a project that transformed our South Queensferry Foundry (SQF) into a habitat for wildlife, and redefines what is possible by welcoming wildlife into an industrial site.

The foundry sits on the estuary of Scotland’s Forth River, and the region is home to a number of birds, mammals, reptiles and insects, including species that are found on the Scottish biodiversity priority species list, such as the tree sparrow and the common toad. The Progress Rail team led the project to build more than 40 nest boxes for birds, expand a wildflower meadow on site, restock the site’s pond with native fish and aquatic plants and install cameras to record the wildlife that are drawn to the reinvigorated open spaces. Through a multi-year partnership with the Scottish Wildlife Trust, of which SQF is a corporate member, our team is conducting an annual census of wildlife and plant species found on the site; the first year’s census identified dozens of new flora as well as nine new bird species on the site for the first time.

Caterpillar supports a culture of employee volunteerism and engagement.

While the SQF biodiversity project is unlike any others that made our Environmental Excellence list, it shows the impact that our dedicated and passionate employees can bring to Caterpillar’s work. The SQF project has already raised the company’s profile in Scotland and brought members of the community and regional dignitaries to the site to witness the impacts we have had by welcoming wildlife into the factory’s ecosystem.

U.S. Voluntary Contributions

Our employees not only volunteer their time to worthy causes, they also contribute their financial resources. Caterpillar has joined with our employees to support giving in two ways – through our Caterpillar Employee United Way Appeal and through a Matching Gifts Program managed and matched by the Caterpillar Foundation.

Since the 1950s, Caterpillar has had only one corporate solicitation to employees – the Caterpillar Employee United Way Appeal. All employee contributions raised through this solicitation are distributed back to the United Way agencies of their choice, along with a dollar-for-dollar match from the Caterpillar Foundation. Each local United Way then invests in programs in the community. This is a great way for Caterpillar employees to invest in local charities, with each local United Way helping assess community needs, identifying programs delivering measurable outcomes and working to eliminate future needs by creating long-term solutions. In 2015, a total of more than $13 million was donated to the United Way, a record amount composed of $6.5 million in employee contributions, and an equal amount matched by the Caterpillar Foundation.

The Caterpillar Foundation is proud to offer the Matching Gifts Program to support the monetary contributions that U.S. employees, retirees and directors make to worthy causes in the areas of arts and culture, two- and four-year colleges and universities, environment and public policy. The program provides a dollar-for-dollar match on contributions between $50 and $2,000 per organization with no limit to the number of organizations per person. Last year, the Foundation matched $3.2 million through this program. For more details on the Matching Gifts Program, visit www.caterpillar.com/matching-gifts.