MEMBER FEATURE: a conversation with Duncan Ross, Operational Excellence Project Manager at Lonza

picture1.pngWhen you're in the business of saving lives, how you do business and engage your community matters. Lonza Group with over 14,000 employees and 100 sites and offices, is one of the most-trusted and respected life science companies in the world. Lonza's Portsmouth, NH site, Lonza Biologics was acquired in 1996 and employs approximately 1,000 New Hampshire and central New England residents in the kind of advanced medical manufacturing that proves life-saving; from cutting-edge oncology treatments to addressing auto immune disorders. For Lonza, having a solid and sustainable business model is important not only to the vitality of the company, but also to that of the thousands of patients and their families that depend on Lonza's leading role in the healthcare industry.

Increasingly, Lonza is realizing that it is just as imperative that the company plays a direct and engaged role in the communities it resides in. "I'm from New Hampshire. I went to UNH" Duncan Ross, Lonza's Operational Excellence Project Manager, explains, "I was growing up in the north country when the mills were shutting down and now I understand how important it is for a community to thrive. We are a large employer with a lot of complex infrastructure in the places we operate in. It's important and necessary for us that our communities thrive alongside our production facilities themselves." At the beginning of this year, Lonza corporate headquarters in Basel, Switzerland launched a pilot program for some of its sites to develop ways though which they could more deeply engage its local communities.

Lonza Biologics is already on its way to having a meaningful impact on the greater Portsmouth area. At the grassroots level, Lonza hosts careers days and school tours to encourage student interest in science and technology. Lonza also offers a benefit for all of its employees to volunteer for a day through avenues such as United Way's Day of Caring, Baby Basics drive or local beach clean ups. Food, clothing & toy drives, blood drives, and events that celebrate veterans frequent Lonza's Portsmouth facility. The company itself also actively recruits veterans to its workforce. Its annual golf tournament, the Harvest Open, has raised almost 1 million dollars for 36 local charities since 2001.  Lastly, the Lonza safety team and Environmental Action Forum (LEAF) team organizes initiatives such as the Environmental Health and Safety fair, which invites local businesses to share sustainability resources and initiatives.

“By joining NH Businesses for Social Responsibility we're really hoping to tie into the NHBSR network and develop the strategic partnerships that will allow us to do more,” Duncan states. “We want to connect with the resources and frameworks that other members have developed to guide our own community impact program. We have a very passionate and dedicated workforce with great ideas. It's just a matter of finding the right outlets and connections."

**Lonza employees putting together baskets to give to new mothers at the community baby shower (Photo credit: Lonza)

Connect with Duncan at our Spring Conference on May 2 in Concord or reach out to him by email at!!