Plasma Technology
Monday | 26 September, 2011 | 8:13 am

Working responsibly

By Julie Sammarco

Hypertherm publishes its first report on the social responsibility of its company

September 2011 - Hypertherm, Hanover, N.H., released its first public corporate social responsibility report in July for the previous year. The report tracks the company's philanthropic and environmental initiatives.

The 2010 report, scheduled to be published on a yearly basis, highlights community engagement and environmental stewardship, two areas of importance to Hypertherm. The company is supporting these goals by giving employees paid time off to do community service work in their communities, among other things. The report also includes an environmental scorecard, which represents Hypertherm's 2020 sustainability goals such as zero waste and a 50 percent reduction in carbon.

"We believe in supporting the needs of our society today while respecting the ability of future generations to meet their needs," Barbara Couch, vice president of corporate social responsibility at Hypertherm, stated in the report.  

A few highlights from the report include:

  • Two-thirds of Hypertherm associates volunteered in the community last year, donating more than 7,000 volunteer hours to dozens of nonprofit organizations, a 22 percent increase from 2009.
  • More than 60 nonprofit organizations received funding and other support from the Hypertherm Owners' Philanthropic Endeavors (HOPE) foundation in 2010.


"This inaugural report is a comprehensive overview of Hypertherm's CSR initiatives and the progress we have made toward our goals," said Couch in a press release. "Our journey is far from complete, but we are serious about becoming the best community partner, environmental steward and responsible employer that we can be. This report is one way we can share our progress."

Hypertherm has been tracking corporate social responsibility measures for years with programs like the HOPE foundation, a program that partners Hypertherm's Philanthropy Team with nonprofit organizations to create sustainable, positive change in communities and the environment. Yet this year was the first time the company made an official report. 

David's House, one community engagement project, provides a home away from home and support for families with children receiving treatment through Children's Hospital at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. Over the years, the HOPE foundation and Hypertherm associates have supported David's House by volunteering to help maintain the grounds, the computer system, act as house assistants and support events with grant funding. Hypertherm's workers also have donated countless volunteer hours to The Haven, a shelter that offers education to homeless families, and the HOPE foundation has funded both capital and operating grants. Hypertherm also pledged a donation to the pediatric emergency services unit, which will be fulfilled over the next four years. HOPE also donated $15,000 to help fund the maternal and child health program under the Visiting Nurses and Hospice organization. With this money, the organization was able to make more than 4,000 visits to pediatric patients and their families. In addition to these visits, the VNAH was able to purchase specialized pediatric equipment like fetal Doppler heartbeat monitors, infant stethoscopes, digital scales and folding measuring boards. 

"When we can provide a benefit to society while addressing our needs and challenges, the reality is that we're enhancing our profitability while enhancing society. It's just the right way of doing business today," says Couch. "It is a win-win."

To view the full report, visit

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