2019 Sustainability Report

Community Overview

Our aim is to bring color and brightness to communities around the world.

Community Overview

Our aim is to bring color and brightness to communities around the world. PPG and the PPG Foundation collaborate with our colleagues, community partners and other stakeholders to advance this vision.

We focus on how we can do the most good – combining the unique talents of employees, the power of our products and financial contributions from PPG and the PPG Foundation to reach our global communities. We funnel the combined strength of these resources into three priority areas that deliver on our vision:

  • Education;
  • Employee engagement; and
  • Community sustainability.

Our global community engagement strategy is overseen by the executive director of the PPG Foundation and global social responsibility. The executive director also leads grantmaking efforts in the U.S. through the PPG Foundation, with support from internal foundation agents who are based in local communities.

Global giving is directed by regional communications leaders in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Latin America and Asia Pacific. They are supported by local, in-country staff, who execute the activities.

The foundation is governed by a board of directors, and global giving is governed by a global giving committee comprising PPG’s CEO and leaders from the legal, human resources and finance functions.

2019 Community Investments



PPG Foundation


Colorful Communities Program


Business Unit Contributions


Global Giving Grants (non-U.S.)


Product Donations


Community Engagement-related Marketing


Employee volunteer hours1


1 Includes volunteer hours for the global Colorful Communities program and Charity Partner program in EMEA

Global Priority Areas


Knowing the important role that occupations in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) play in driving economies and innovation, we support programming that helps young people develop these essential skills to pursue brighter futures.

Our approach is to fund hands-on immersive learning opportunities that engage young people in STEM concepts linked to real-life solutions and drive interest in potential career pathways. The focus of our programming varies according to the local context. We strive to target underrepresented groups, engage our employee volunteers as mentors, and fund STEM areas that align with our business expertise. These areas include chemistry, robotics, color science, mobility and many more.

In several of our key markets across the U.S. and EMEA, we support innovation programming in science centers. These hubs of learning enable not only youth but also the broader public to become more deeply engaged in how science and technology impact our daily lives.

PPG and the PPG Foundation have partnered with the Carnegie Science Center in our global headquarters city of Pittsburgh for more than 30 years. A recent collaboration was building the PPG SCIENCE PAVILION™. Read the impact report.

We are also providing support to the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, Ohio, to create PPG Chemistry Labs, a dedicated space for hands-on chemistry exploration. In addition, we fund the Greensboro Science Center in Greensboro, North Carolina, and COSI in Columbus, Ohio.

In EMEA, we have a long-term partnership with NEMO Science Museum in Amsterdam. We have supported special exhibits as well as sponsored the development of a curriculum focused on engineering and chemistry for primary schools across the Netherlands.

We also have partnered for several years with the National Space Academy to support chemistry masterclasses for students across the United Kingdom and Ireland. The classes provide unique learning opportunities that feature color science and engineering in the context of space and technology.

In addition to our collaboration with science centers, we help ensure that students already pursuing higher learning in STEM-related fields have the support they need to reach their career dreams. In Asia Pacific, we have partnered with leading Chinese universities for more than 17 years and Korean universities for nine years to provide scholarships and career skills training to students, as well as mentorships with PPG employees.

Lead Educator

Steve Althorpe

National Space Academy

Science isn’t about what we do know, it’s about what we don’t know. It’s about investigating, problem solving and creativity – and the PPG masterclass brings in all of these things.


In support of STEM programs


Students impacted

Mini-grants to schools for STEM projects (U.S.)

Employee Engagement

We encourage our employees to volunteer and make contributions to help better their communities. To support these efforts, PPG and the PPG Foundation offer ideas, opportunities and often financial support to bolster employee community service.

Each region offers tailored opportunities for employees to volunteer with our nonprofit partners on hands-on to skill-based activities. From painting alongside colleagues during a Colorful Communities project to teaching young kids STEM subjects at an afterschool program, these efforts amplify our grants and deepen our impact.

In the U.S., eligible employees can participate in community-minded programs such as Matching Gifts and the GIVE volunteer grant program. Eligible employees also can have eight hours of paid volunteer time off per calendar year for non-company sponsored activities. Learn more.

As part of our Charity Partner program, employees in EMEA can identify and collectively support a charitable organization through the year with fundraising efforts and volunteering. PPG matches their efforts dollar for dollar. Learn more.

Community Sustainability

We aim to develop more sustainable communities by revitalizing the spaces where we live to create happier, healthier and thriving communities. Our grantmaking meets essential needs in our local communities through support of disaster relief efforts and local food banks.

The centerpiece of our efforts is our Colorful Communities program, which launched in May 2015 with a $10 million commitment over 10 years. Through this global initiative, our committed employee volunteers use PPG paint products to help transform neighborhoods.

Each region works with its local communities to identify partners and projects that need a refresh, such as a popular park in a city center with faded playground equipment or a school with dreary corridors and dull, uninspiring classrooms.

Our product experts advise on the best PPG paint brand and colors, and our employee volunteers lend their skills and enthusiasm to paint, plant flowers, interact with children and community partners, and more. Through this program, we strive to enhance quality of life and leverage the impact of color to bring happiness and a sense of pride to these community organizations.

In 2019, the Colorful Communities program received the 2019 GOLD Halo Award in the Employee Engagement Group Volunteering category from Engage for Good. Learn more.


2015-2019 Highlights

projects completed in 41 countries


Students, seniors, teachers, patients, and community members impacted

employee and community volunteers


volunteers hours


in PPG funding


gallons of PPG paint products (106,750 liters)

Headmaster, Thoi Lai Primary School

Mai Dình Nhân

Ben Tre Province, Vietnam

We are extremely appreciative to PPG for our beautiful and more colorful school, which makes it a happier, more fruitful learning environment for our students and staff, I wish PPG continued success in helping other schools in Vietnam.

Learn more about how we give back at

Center Director, SOS Femme en Détresse

Meriem Belaala

Algiers, Algeria

The transformation has proved that color is a form of therapy. Thanks to the efforts of all PPG volunteers, our shelter is now a place where women can collect their thoughts in peace and happiness.

Brightening the path for future STEM stars

Employees at our Automotive Coatings sites in Camarma and Valladolid, Spain, participated in the STEM Talent Girl program during 2019. This ASTI Talent and Technology Foundation initiative offers young women a glimpse into potential careers in the STEM fields.

Through a $19,800 PPG community engagement grant, girls between the ages of 14 and 17 were given access for nine months to STEM Talent Girl masterclasses, job shadowing sessions with mentors from various fields, STEM workshops and events, and visits to companies to introduce them to engineering and manufacturing as part of the program’s STEM for Her activities.

In addition to encouraging future career paths, PPG offered additional workshops with our employees focused on environment, health and safety, quality control, plant operations, information technology, laboratory services, human resources, production and maintenance. We also conducted visits to our sites and organized hands-on experiences with participants.

Science of color brightens young minds

In Querétaro, Mexico, the playground and minds of more than 500 schoolchildren were transformed in June 2019 through our first dual STEM and Colorful Communities project.

Several PPG employees whose children study at the Universidad Anáhuac (UA) regularly volunteered and raised funds for the Mano Amiga School in Querétaro, Mexico, which aims to break the circle of poverty in which its students live and enable their success through education.

In the STEM phase of the project, our technical color team and UA students developed a full day of classroom activities that taught the elementary school’s students about the anatomy of the eye, primary colors, rainbows and paint production.

Using more than 270 gallons (1,020 liters) of donated COMEX™ paint by PPG, 30 volunteers from PPG, UA and the community joined together in a Colorful Communities project to revitalize the basketball court at the school’s playground. The result is a bright and lively place where the students can play and explore their creativity

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