Hillenbrand Launches Local Sustainability Book Club

Date 2019-10-21 | Sustainability / Social Responsibility

BATESVILLE, Ind., Oct. 21, 2019 – Hillenbrand and the Batesville Community School Corporation (BCSC) have partnered to create a pilot program focused on teaching students about the principles of sustainability adopted by the United Nations.

Batesville Intermediate School, with the support of Hillenbrand, launched the Junior Ambassadors Program this semester. The program provides students an opportunity to read books, conduct research, create projects, present findings and spread awareness of the UN’s global sustainability goals.

The goals are generally focused on ending poverty and developing strategies that reduce inequality and spur economic growth around the world. During the first year of the program, students here will learn more about all of the UN’s goals and focus more narrowly on themes related to the reduction of poverty and hunger, health and well-being, and quality education through reading books aligned with those issues.

“We will use books as a tool to encourage students to interact with the world around them and help them think about how actions they might take here at home could make a difference in achieving global goals,” said Paul Ketcham, superintendent of Batesville Community School Corporation. “The program will offer students additional opportunities to build their knowledge through research activities, listening to guest speakers and participating in special projects, all the while increasing their collaboration and leadership skills.”

The company developed the idea with the UN’s initial framework in mind. Hillenbrand recently signed the United Nations Global Compact and wanted to create programming to localize the principles of the global goals, which are focused on developing strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality and spur economic growth. The company is helping develop the local programming the school will use and has provided additional resources to help defray the cost of books and other materials.

“Hillenbrand is committed to being a company where the positive impact of our people, products, and partnerships help make the environments in which we operate better,” said Tory Flynn, director of communications and public affairs, Hillenbrand. “As we move toward our sustainability goals, it is important to make sure we are taking our stakeholders along on the journey.”

Batesville schools will provide feedback on the program to help Hillenbrand and its operating companies launch similar educational partnerships in other communities where the company has a presence.

“We are incredibly grateful to partner on this initiative with BCSC and believe through helping our students localize global issues, it will bring long-term value for our communities. These students have an opportunity to work on big causes, and realize that no matter where they live, they can make meaningful contributions towards a solution,” Flynn added.