Positive progress: Companies making an impact

Mary Kate Miller
June 21, 2018
3 min read
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At Swell, we select our holdings because of their social impact as well as their financial performance. In the same way that we make it a priority to share our portfolios’ financial performances, we also like to share the steps our holdings are taking to make the world around them a better place.

Like all forces for change, the work doesn’t happen one time or overnight. It’s a series of small steps and achievements. Here are some of the recent highlights in our holdings’ exciting work for social change:

Shire PLC

What is Shire PLC?

Shire PLC is a global biotechnology company that focuses its energy on curing rare diseases, which affect an estimated 350 million people around the world.

What’s new?

If you’ve spent any time on the interment recently, you might have noticed an uptick on pieces about how bad screen time can be for your eyes and your brain. Shire has partnered with Thrive Global, media and tech company focused on behavior-change, to help do something about it. They have launched a program called “screen responsibly.” Based on a recent survey conducted by Shire and Thrive Global, they have found that many people don’t care for their eyes when it comes to screen time. As a result, they suffer from Dry Eye or Dry Eye symptoms. Shire is starting small in its attempts to help people use screens more responsibly. With “screen.blink.listen,” they encourage people to remember to take blink breaks with their screen time and to listen to what their bodies are telling them. It’s these types of small steps that can lead to big changes.

Medtronic PLC

What is Medtronic?

Medtronic is a global company that works to use biomedical engineering to research, produce, and sell medical instruments to help patients reduce and alleviate pain, live longer, and restore their health.

What’s new?

Get ready because this one is going to pull on your heartstrings and make you realize how beautiful humanity can be. Medtronic has stepped outside of its Pharma box to help honor American WWII soldiers. Medtronic employees and retirees in the Netherlands and Minnesota partnered to locate photos of all 234 Minnesotan soldiers buried at the Netherlands American ceremony. As a result photos of the soldiers are now displayed at their gravesites, bringing a sense of peace and closure to the families. It’s a beautiful initiative that preserves the human face of those sacrificed their lives in WWII.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc

What is Vertex?

Vertex is a global biotech company that dedicates its work to finding treatments for people living with serious and life-threatening diseases, including Cystic Fibrosis.

What’s new?

Vertex is showing us that medicine isn’t the only way to help. At the beginning of May, they announced that they would be awarding $400,000 in scholarships to people suffering from Cystic Fibrosis and their families. As part of the “All in for CF” scholarship program, they awarded eighty scholarships of $5,000 each for the 2018-2019 academic year. It’s a great example of taking a holistic approach to disease eradication.

For more news about the work each of our holdings is doing, check back soon. There’s always something new to celebrate!

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