Each year, we track several indicators that show progress toward achieving our community-service and philanthropy goals.
The company-paid community service metric tracks "on-the-clock" hours our employees spent in community service activities, including hours for local volunteerism through our Volunteer Days benefit and half of the hours they spend participating in the ACE Mentor Program (see below). While the long-term trend is increasing participation, the COVID-19 pandemic limited in-person service opportunities and delayed the construction of a Bridges to Prosperity project in Rwanda until 2023.
Our Volunteer Days benefit allows employees to receive up to two paid working days a year for service in their local communities. This metric tracks time posted to the "volunteer day" code on time sheets. It does not include volunteerism by employees on their personal time. Recent years show atypically low hours because of the COVID-19 pandemic – yet a rise in number of hours in 2021 may herald a return to normalcy.
We track company-paid ACE Mentor Program participation, which is the amount of time U.S. employees spend as mentors or board members with the ACE Mentor Program of America. ACE volunteers are paid for 50 percent of their participation hours – an average of 15 per year – with the remainder a contribution of their personal time. With a change to remote programs during the pandemic, our employees were able to continue to serve as mentors virtually.
Charitable contributions include all payments in each year coded as “donations” in our accounting system. This includes annual contributions – such as those to the Thornton Tomasetti Foundation – and donations by our offices to local charities, which vary from year to year. The overall trend has been toward increasing philanthropy, but during the pandemic spending was reduced.