Sustainability Report > Workforce > Volunteerism & Giving
Sustainability Report

Volunteerism & Giving

Management approach


Edwards Lifesciences’ work to encourage Volunteerism and Giving supports our Aspiration to Strengthen Our Communities.

Dedicating time, talent and resources to communities where Edwards’ employees live and work, and supporting community health and well-being.


Management Approach

Edwards Lifesciences believes our work can inspire greater hope and possibilities for our patients, employees and communities. Volunteerism and giving is a strong part of our corporate culture. Many of our employees feel personally connected to our philanthropy and identify this commitment as a key reason why they are proud to work at Edwards.

Philanthropy at Edwards Lifesciences

Edwards strategically aligns our Global Corporate Giving program with our mission to enhance care for cardiovascular and critically ill patients and strengthen our global communities. These initiatives include grants from the Edwards Lifesciences Foundation, employee volunteerism, a scholarship program, corporate donations and employee gift matching from our Foundation. We provide a full list of our philanthropic goals on our website, which include:

  • Support research and education to increase expertise and innovation in treating heart valve and critically ill patients
  • Strengthening the communities where our employees live and work
  • Expand awareness of cardiovascular disease, its prevention and treatment with an emphasis on heart valve and critically ill patients 
  • Provide opportunities for employees to volunteer
  • Enhance support and access to care for underserved heart valve and critically ill patients

Edwards has a strong community presence at our corporate headquarters in Irvine, California. We open our campus as a meeting place and provide externships for local organizations such as Girls Inc. of Orange County. We also engage with communities at our global facilities. For example, in Singapore, Edwards employees have developed a Wellness Outreach Committee that focuses on improving opportunities to serve the community. Additionally, our Switzerland office participates in local events for the Special Olympics.

Employee Volunteerism & Giving

Edwards’ employees are caring individuals with a shared mission to improve lives. We encourage employee participation in charitable activities every year with an aspiration of 100 percent participation. The Strengthen Our Community volunteer program offers opportunities for employees to engage hands-on in this effort. Past activities range from participation in fundraising walks, providing free heart screenings for underserved patients and donating blood. Additionally, we align our foundation giving with employee engagement through our foundation’s employee matching gift program that matches donations to non-profit organizations up to $5,000 per employee each year.

The Edwards Lifesciences Foundation

We established the Edwards Lifesciences Foundation to strengthen and support our passion for helping people around the world.

Goals of our Global Corporate Giving include:

  • Execute our Every Heartbeat Matters initiative with a goal that, by 2020, our philanthropy will support the education, screening and treatment of one million underserved people
  • Expand awareness of cardiovascular disease, its prevention and treatment with an emphasis on heart valve and critically ill patients
  • Enhance support and access to care for underserved heart valve and critically ill patients
  • Support research and education to increase expertise and innovation in treating heart valve and critically ill patients
  • Strengthen the communities in which our employees live and work
  • Provide opportunities for employees to volunteer
  • Establish trusted partnerships to further leverage impact

Product Donations

Edwards’ belief in humanity and compassion form the foundation of our global philanthropic efforts. We donate our life-saving products and expertise to medical missions and training programs worldwide. These technologies help provide cardiac services in some of the most impoverished parts of the world that lack basic medical care. In 2000, we established a partnership with AmeriCares, an international non-profit relief and humanitarian aid organization. Since then, we have provided millions of dollars of in-kind donations that support mission trips to countries all around the world.

Increasing Access to Cardiovascular Care

We title our signature philanthropic initiative Every Heartbeat Matters, reflecting our belief that all people deserve access to cardiovascular care. We pledge our support to impact the global burden of heart valve disease by supporting the education, screening and treatment of one million underserved people by 2020. More information about this initiative can be found on our Access to Healthcare page.

Annual Performance

Edwards is energized by our work to support those in need and seeks to embed this spirit throughout our culture, encouraging our employees to give back. In 2015, 74 percent of our global employees reported that they participated in at least one charitable activity in the past 12 months. Every year, we seek to inspire more charitable activity with an aspiration of reaching 100 percent, including our Executive and Senior Leadership Teams. In 2016, our Executive Leadership Team reached 100 percent participation and our Senior Leadership Team reached 97 percent. 

Community activities at our global facilities included:

  • Our employees in Haina, Dominican Republic, have served on each of the quarterly pediatric cardiac surgery missions of International Children’s Heart Foundation, providing language translation between the English speaking medical staff and the Spanish speaking families of children undergoing open heart surgery.
  • A group of employees in Cartago, Costa Rica, participated in a local sports community center revitalization project.
  • Edwards’ Korea team volunteered to help the homeless in Seoul by preparing and serving lunch for approximately 1,000 underserved people.
  • A group of employees from China assembled cost-effective wheelchairs and distributed them to impoverished disabled people.

Our Philanthropic Contributions

The Edwards Lifesciences Foundation publishes an annual list of grantees on our website. In 2016, we contributed $6.4 million from our Foundation to non-profit organizations across the globe. Additionally, we publish the partners in our Every Heartbeat Matters initiative on our website. Since the launch of this initiative, we have supported the education, screening and/or treatment of more than 400,000 underserved people. We’re proud of this progress and are on track to meet our 2020 goal to serve one million underserved people in our pursuit of impacting the global burden of heart valve disease. 

Sustainability Targets
Aim to have 100% of ELT and SLT participate in at least one philanthropic activity per year.
Strengthen Our Communities
Sustainability Targets
Increase employee participation in philanthropic activities every year toward our aspiration of 100%.
Strengthen Our Communities
Highlight Story
Building Community in Costa Rica Through Edwards Employees
As Edwards develops our presence in Cartago, Costa Rica, we are instilling our strong culture of giving alongside our innovation. Our employees helped identify institutions for Edwards to support through donations and volunteerism—most notably those greatly benefitting the Cartago community. Among the organizations Edwards supports is the Asociación Pro Comedor Infantil de Cartago where the soup kitchen or lunchroom makes sure the children of the community have fresh food every day. It also provides them a place to study where they are safe and happy. Click here for video highlights of our first community-building initiative launched in December 2016.