Since our inception, Whirlpool Corporation has been committed to maintaining strong, lasting connections in the communities in which we do business. Most of our operations are located in small towns, and we believe it is our responsibility to support these communities. We utilize a global collective impact model that centers around improving life at home. Accordingly, our giving priorities focus on the areas of house and home as important levers to create thriving communities.
HOUSE: Our House initiatives focus on ensuring everyone can have a place to live that is comfortable and nurturing. A place where families can make healthy choices in their efforts to build their best life.
HOME: Our Home initiatives focus on developing resilient, vibrant communities through education and community development.
Donations supporting communities during COVID-19
Medical supplies to local hospitals
Appliances to local organizations
Funding COVID-19 research
When we can help improve life at home in our communities, there is an added benefit: our employees and potential employees have a great place to live, too.
In 2020, much of our efforts focused on supporting immediate community needs as a result of COVID-19. The needs were similar around the world, and our company and employees were eager to help in every way possible: from monetary donations, helping build health care facilities and contributing to COVID-19 research to procuring medical supplies and providing appliances for shelters, health care facilities and other organizations that were caring for the elderly and disadvantaged. We also committed to driving sustainable positive impact for all our current and future Black colleagues as well as our local community by announcing our company’s Racial Equality Pledge in 2020.
Our Community Partners Include:
While COVID-19 meant we had to pivot from face-to-face activities to virtual programs, we stayed true to our local engagement efforts to ensure every Whirlpool Corporation site across the globe participated in local community engagement activities through our annual United Way campaign in the U.S. and other volunteer opportunities globally. Many of our employees also serve on local nonprofit boards and volunteer on committees that conduct social impact assessments, including gender impact assessments. The impacts of our efforts are regularly reported in detail on our website, our annual report and in this sustainability report.
ranges and refrigerators in the U.S. and Canada
served more than
families and sponsored nearly
employees donated time
Celebrating Rio Claro and Joinville Anniversaries With Impact Projects In 2020, our Joinville plant completed 70 years while the Rio Claro plant celebrated 30 years. To celebrate the two anniversaries, we commissioned 24 projects for 2020, of which 14 had to be postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the 10 that were organized, we completed 70 actions together with employees, our families, community members, the media and influencers. These included:
Sponsored the Orquestra Filarmônica to 1,000+ health professionals from Santa Casa Hospital in Rio Claro
“Lives Solidárias” with Orquestra Filarmônica raised more than R$50,000 used to donate 1,000 hygiene and food baskets
Recognition of more than 6,000 health professionals by Consulado da Mulher entrepreneurs
Recognized 65 employees with long tenure with Whirlpool
Habitat for Humanity
Although the effects of COVID-19 required us to put our local builds on hold, we engaged Habitat to lay out a plan to expand our work to improve life at home by joining forces with them in 2021 and beyond to double our impact of the last 20 years by 2025.
Actions include creating innovative investments in accessible, resource-efficient housing, helping 540,000 people in need access quality, resource-efficient housing and support to improve their life at home and serving regions around the globe with focused programs in the areas where Whirlpool Corporation operates.
Whirlpool Corporation and our employees generate $3-$4 million annually for the United Way of Southwest Michigan which represents approximately 66% of its budget. We partner with the United Way across the U.S. to fund thousands of organizations and causes within our communities that focus on education, income, health and basic needs. The Whirlpool Foundation offers a dollar-for-dollar match on contributions made to these campaigns. Despite the pandemic, services continued.
Source: United Way of Southwest Michigan
Our support helps Consulado da Mulher:
Develop entrepreneurial and employment skills of low-income women and support their business path to a steady income
Prepare transgender women for the job market and to start their own businesses, while teaching them about their basic rights
Support a network of women entrepreneurs to supply snacks to local businesses
Instituto Consulado da Mulher
Since 2002, Whirlpool Corporation has supported women entrepreneurs with Instituto Consulado da Mulher, which works to improve and empower the lives of socially vulnerable women, eradicate poverty and promote gender equality in Brazil.
In 2020, Consulado da Mulher supported a group of women entrepreneurs in Brazil whose businesses were being impacted by pandemic-related lockdowns. With the help of 105 Whirlpool Corporation employee volunteers, they were provided with mentorship and advice on their businesses to continue selling their products. They were also supported by the Consul brand, which partnered with Consulado da Mulher to create a campaign to direct part of the brand’s sales profit to the entrepreneurs. As a result, over $32,000 was donated between April and June to the group. Consulado da Mulher also raised approximately $15,000 to assist vulnerable communities with food, hygiene products and PPE, benefitting almost 12,000 people as a result.
Other Consulado da Mulher 2020 activities supported by Whirlpool Corporation included:
Launching a new 100% online course in 2020 developed specially for women who live in remote areas of Brazil. A total of 426 people enrolled in the course, with the top 30 participants being invited to participate in a two-month mentorship program with Whirlpool Corporation leaders.
Partnering with the Dom Cabral Foundation, a prestigious business school in Brazil, to assist a group of women who live in Paraisópolis, a significantly economically disadvantaged area in São Paulo, Brazil. The group included 60 women who received training on business management from Consulado da Mulher and Dom Cabral Foundation. These women entrepreneurs cook meals for those in need in the community, and the Dom Cabral Foundation provides funds to cover the cost of the meals.
The Feeding Post
During the COVID-19 pandemic, our brand teams developed different activities to support our communities. In Italy and France, the Whirlpool brand launched #TheFeedingPost to support the European Food Bank to donate meals to people in need in Italy and France.
Moments Not to Be Wasted
In January 2020, the EMEA region officially launched the fourth edition of Moments Not to Be Wasted, a recreational and educational project that reached Italy, Poland, Slovakia, and the U.K. The program engaged a total of 2,500 schools and 2 million people in Europe with the purpose of raising awareness of the social and environmental value of food among younger generations, along with the importance of not wasting it. The project continued during the COVID-19 pandemic, with teachers using our digital platform for distance learning.
According to the latest data*, domestic food waste in Italy is worth 12 billion euros a year. Whirlpool Corporation has become actively involved in eliminating waste, by helping grow awareness of the respect for the resources by those who use them.
*Source: Waste watcher observatory by Last Minute Market released in Feb 2020.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Over the past decade, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Maytag have presented more than 110 Boys & Girls Clubs youth development professionals with a Maytag Dependable Leader Award and $20,000 grant. Maytag plays an intricate part in making sure Boys & Girls Clubs members have opportunities to explore their passions. Throughout the partnership, Maytag has provided nearly $9.5 million to help deserving youth reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.
Almost 6,000 Whirlpool Corporation employees volunteer their time at various Clubs across the U.S. each year. Together, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Maytag celebrate dependability—a quality that is at the core of what the Clubs do every day and is central to the Maytag brand.
As part of our Employee Wellbeing plan in Europe, this summer we launched “WeRead,” Whirlpool Corporation’s reading challenge that aims to encourage children to read, combining the opportunity to develop their skills while also supporting a global cause to foster access to education. For every minute a child spent reading, the company donated one cent to Scholas, an international organization founded by Pope Francis that promotes educational projects for more than 1 million children and young people around the world. With the donation, Whirlpool Corporation has contributed to the creative potential of 120 young people globally and has supported them in turning their ideas into actions that generate value for others.
Robotics in Schools
In 2020, Whirlpool Corporation sponsored the Robotics in Schools initiative to raise awareness among students on the issue of waste and the importance of reusing and recycling materials. We partnered with 121 public schools in four cities in Brazil and invited 900 students to participate in virtual classes to learn how to build a robot with recycled materials. The students learned concepts of robotics, participated in workshops on the reuse of recycled materials and presented their projects in a virtual event. Their inspiration included four Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from the 2030 agenda:
SDG—Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
SDG12—Responsible Consumption and Production
SDG17—Partnerships for the Goals
The project involved four cities during the pandemic, with 121 schools, 900 students and 2,700 relatives and friends participating.
Midland Flood United Way Sale
In May, Midland, Michigan, and the surrounding areas saw two nearby dams break, flooding the area and damaging or completely destroying more than 2,500 homes, businesses and nonprofit facilities. Even where residents didn’t lose their homes, many experienced significant basement flooding, effectively destroying many belongings, including, for many, their washers and dryers.
In early August and again in October, a team of Whirlpool Corporation employees served as United Way volunteers and organized weekend appliance sales for the flood survivors of Midland. Whirlpool Corporation donated the appliances, enabling these products to be sold to those in need at deep discounts. All proceeds went to benefit the United Way. Altogether, the sales raised more than $600,000. With a match from the Whirlpool Foundation, we were able to donate over $1 million to United Way along with countless hours spent by our volunteers securing product, moving product, staging it, selling it, coordinating delivery, and at the same time keeping everyone safe during the pandemic.
Whirlpool Corporation Community Golf Event
”Where there’s a will, there’s a way” was the motto of the 2020 Whirlpool Corporation Community Charity Golf Event (WCCGE). Despite having to cancel the 17th annual event due to COVID-19, the WCCGE still exceeded all expectations to help support multiple charitable organizations in Southwest Michigan.
In the past, the annual event has been hosted on six golf courses, raising approximately $2 million each year for local charities with a focus on youth education. The WCGGE began as a way to help our headquarters’ local Boys & Girls Club with some of their costs and increase their programming. It then expanded to raising money to build the Boys & Girls Clubs Teen and Youth Centers in Benton Harbor, with additional support for the Benton Harbor First Tee program, local school foundations and other youth education-related activities such as FIRST Robotics and Junior Achievement. Since its inception in 2004 by Whirlpool Corporation’s former Chairman and CEO Jeff Fettig, the event has raised over $24 million. In 2020, the virtual event generated $750,000 for charities.
Since its inception
by Whirlpool Corporation's former Chairman and CEO Jeff Fettig in 2004, the Whirlpool Corporation Community Golf Event has raised over $24M In 2020, the virtual event generated $750,000 for charities.
Reach: 6.5M organically and additional 18M with paid media engagement
Influencer content exceeded engagement benchmarks by 15%
Paid media engagement rate exceeded benchmark by average of 18%
Recognized as ”Ad of the Week”
Chore Club by Whirlpool Corporation
Parents across the country are caring for their families in new ways as home becomes school for millions of children. Our Whirlpool brand helps turn everyday chores into fun ways to teach everyday lessons that have proven benefits into adulthood. The program, a direct response to parents seeking homeschool curriculum that would keep children busy in the early days of shelter in place, includes kitchen activities like simple recipes, making dough and growing a small herb garden and laundry activities like learning shapes through folding towels.
The program launched as an organic, social campaign. After receiving positive feedback, the program was shared with other regions for global usage. The campaign itself earned Whirlpool brand "Ad of the Week" recognition.
According to teachers nationwide, one in five students struggles with access to clean clothes*. The stigma and shame of not having clean clothes can lead students to miss school, and students who miss school are seven times more likely to drop out. The Care Counts laundry program by Whirlpool brand is committed to helping remove one small but important barrier to attendance—access to clean clothes—by installing washers and dryers in schools.
Now in its fifth year, the Care Counts laundry program has grown to support students in need across 18 cities and 82 schools around the country. In 2020, Care Counts helped provide access to clean clothes for more than 38,000 students.
A Woman’s Place by KitchenAid brand
Taking a strong stance on culinary equality, the KitchenAid brand produced a documentary titled “A Woman's Place” in 2020 that raises awareness of the harsh inequalities women in the culinary profession face, to empower and elevate them to the top of the industry. Directed by Academy Award winner Rayka Zehtabchi, the film provides a provocative and honest look at the biases and barriers women face in the culinary industry through the stories of three inspiring chefs who are pushing for change.
The film reveals the significant underrepresentation of women at the highest levels of the culinary industry. According to a 2013 report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, even though women constitute a majority of U.S. food service occupations, they hold less than 20% of ‘chef and head cook’ roles in the United States. A unique partnership with the James Beard Foundation (JBF) complements the launch of the film through a custom mentorship program, developed to advance women in culinary arts and support the industry at large as it rebuilds. The film went on to be acquired by Hulu and the program has garnered over nine billion media impressions.
*Whirlpool worked with school teachers, administrators and Dr. Richard Rende, Ph.D, an internationally recognized developmental psychologist and researcher, to draw research-based connections between access to clean clothes and attendance rates by creating the Care Counts laundry program.
#DoitTogether: Promoting Gender Equality
Indesit kicked off the third year of its #DoItTogether campaign, which promotes gender equality with a push to help families to share home responsibilities. In 2020, the campaign took a more proactive stance to present a positive vision of how change is possible: including a new advertisement that shows a family enjoying a collaborative lifestyle and celebrating the role of education in helping children grow up as open-minded adults, assisted by Indesit’s incredibly simple and easy to use appliances. The campaign, which ran in main European markets used multiple social channels, media and influencer partnerships to generate public debate on the issue of gender equality. As part of the campaign, Indesit surveyed 4,000 parents in the U.K., France and Russia, confirming its observation that housework is still mainly done by women and that in many families one parent feels that their partner could be doing more to help. As well as supporting better sharing between partners, the Indesit campaign aims to encourage happier and healthier families by encouraging parents to set a positive example for the next generation.