Corporate social responsibility

Corporate social responsibility

We are committed to improving the lives of our employees, customers, patients, stakeholders, and the communities in which we live and work. Conducting our business ethically, responsibly, and transparently is the right thing to do, allows us and others to hold us accountable, and, in the long run, generates pride and commitment from our employees and creates value for all our stakeholders.

 

Philanthropy

We believe in changing the world in which our employees, customers, suppliers and friends live, play, and work for the better, starting with transforming smiles. Giving back has always played an important role in Align’s culture. As a company and as individual employees, we have dedicated our time, talents, and resources to organizations and programs that make positive differences in the lives of others. Our philanthropic philosophy is to support organizations whose visions tie closely to our own - improving smiles, supporting and educating teens, and empowering our customers through partnerships with learning institutions and foundations. Globally, we provide opportunities for and actively encourage employees to support local charities through volunteerism, team building, and donation programs and are extremely proud of our corporate commitment to philanthropic work and are equally proud of the generosity and dedication of our employees.

Our efforts to better the world include:

The Align Foundation

Launched in 2020, the Align Foundation provides a structured way to direct significant donations from a charitable investment fund, the flexibility to provide smaller monetary donations, processes to donate our products (the Invisalign System treatment and iTero scanners), and organized ways to involve our employees in giving activities.

Operation Smile

Since 2013 Align has been a proud supporter of Operation Smile, a global medical nonprofit that has provided hundreds of thousands of free surgeries for people born with cleft lip and cleft palate in low- and middle-income countries. Together, we envision a future where health and dignity are improved by safe surgery – consistent with our mission to transform smiles and change lives. To date, we have donated more than $1.4 million, enabling the organization to deliver the highest quality surgical care to tens of thousands of the world’s most vulnerable patients, and grow its reach to more than 60 countries. We sponsored Operation Smile’s 2018 International Student Leadership Conference and have committed to sponsor the event again in 2020. In recognition of our support, in November 2018 Align received Operation Smile's Corporate Humanitarian Award.

Learn more

 

Month of Smiles

In 2018 we established the Month of Smiles, a dedicated month of giving when all employees are encouraged to donate their time and talent to make a difference in the lives of others. In 2019, many of our offices around the world organized community service activities so that employees could work together as teams to help others. In addition, employees took time to give back to causes that are meaningful to them through volunteer activities, personal donations, and intentional acts of kindness. Approximately 3,000 employees globally volunteered their time and invested 5,000 hours in their communities during our 2019 Month of Smiles.

 

Cristo Rey San Jose
High School

Align has partnered with Cristo Rey San Jose High School since 2017 through their corporate work study program and mentoring programs. This provides a diverse workforce of students who receive valuable work skills, confidence and professional role models.

Employees

Fostering diversity and encouraging inclusion in the workplace makes Align a more welcoming and enjoyable place to work. It creates innumerable benefits for our employees, customers, consumers and organization, including inspiring the development and delivery of more desirable products, improving customer satisfaction, and lowering employee turnover. We believe we are at our best, and our success has been driven by, different backgrounds, beliefs, perspectives and capabilities in our workforce.

We have incorporated diversity, inclusion and belonging into our policies and practices, education and events, and executive and community programs, including:

Women in Leadership

Our global women@align chapters offer and encourage networking, professional development, leadership mentoring, and educational projects. The intent is to attract, develop, and retain talented women while engaging all employees. As part of our commitment, we have initiated programs and dedicated resources aimed at recruiting, monitoring, and enhancing programs designed to achieve our goals. We have launched training programs that allow all employees to identify unconscious biases in an effort to increase empathy and cultural awareness. Additionally, we plan to sponsor a Global Women Leadership Summit for emerging women leaders and those early in their careers.

Month of Wellness

Launched in 2019, the Month of Wellness is a worldwide movement fostering employee health. We recognize that a strong and growing company needs healthy employees, and we are committed to promoting wellness as part of our culture. The Month of Wellness provides employees with a variety of wellness activities and initiatives worldwide to support their overall wellbeing in areas such as nutrition, fitness, financial planning, and stress management.

Volunteer and Service Leadership

Our goal is to inspire and develop employees through serving others in the communities where they work and live. We encourage our employees to volunteer through organized company activities or on their own with volunteer time off programs for applicable employees.

Throughout 2019, Align has been honored with numerous awards for our positive work environment and culture:

Best Places to Work in IT by Computerworld who surveyed organizations across the U.S. to identify those that provide the best benefits and amenities for IT professionals. Among the attributes contributing to the award were our training, health insurance, retirement funding, flexible time off policies, and collaborative work environments.

Canadian Great Place to Work (GPTW) in Healthcare. To be eligible as a GPTW company, we had to be GPTW certified in the past year (certification requirements included a Culture Brief, 85% minimum survey participation, and a 7 out of 10 minimum average survey score) and work primarily in the Healthcare Sector. Companies were ranked based on employee responses to the GPTW Trust Index survey.

For the second year in a row, the Triangle Business Journal (TBJ) named Align's Raleigh, North Carolina office among the Top 50 Best Places to Work in the Triangle area based on employee feedback to a TBJ survey.

Sustainability

We continue to innovate for a more sustainable future for our planet. In 2019 we remained focused on reducing our impact on the environment and our climate with efforts to reduce product packaging, recycling plastics, decreasing waste and emissions, and increasing renewable energy usage.

  • We opened new facilities and manufacturing sites that are closer to our customers which helps us decrease carbon emitting activities from shipping our products globally.
  • We have reduced the amount of plastic used in our aligners by almost 50% in just over four years. In addition, we collect and ship the majority of all scrap/waste plastics generated by our manufacturing processes to an incinerator. The resulting energy powers its operations while substantially reducing plastics sent to landfills.
  • In 2019, our Juarez, Mexico manufacturing sites received two awards from the State of Chihuahua in recognition of our environmental efforts; one for environmental best practices and the other for environmental compliance.
  • We encourage usage of iTero scanners to reduce the need for traditional impressions and the mining of the materials used to make those impressions.

Reducing our environmental impact

Globally, we work to reduce the environmental impact of our processes and transportation by using energy efficient building designs and controls (e.g. solar panels, motion activated lights, LED lighting, etc.) and reduce emission from employee transportation by providing car charging stations to promote zero or low emission cars, incentives for carpooling, and organizing company sponsored employee transportation. We are also in the process of eliminating single use plastics in our cafeterias.

Our partnership with TerraCycle

Our pilot recycling program encourages our doctor customers and their patients to return used aligners to us for incineration. In 2020, we expect to expand this program in the US and Brazil in partnership with TerraCycle, an innovative recycling company that has become a global leader in recycling hard-to-recycle materials.

Suppliers

We believe in transparent and responsible business practices, including in our relationship with those who work in our supply chain. We expect our supply partners to follow the highest standards in the industry, such as ISO 14001 and we require our suppliers to adhere to responsible sourcing. For instance, we prohibit our suppliers from profiting from the sale of tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold (“conflict minerals”) that funds conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and adjoining countries by requiring them to source such minerals from socially responsible suppliers. Additionally, we participate in organizations focused on conducting operations in a socially and environmentally responsible manner, including organizations that support social, environmental, and ethical responsibility globally.

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