Our years-long partnership with FIRST Global is integral to our commitment to advance STEM education around the world. FIRST Global promotes STEM opportunities with a special focus on females and underserved populations. The FIRST Global Challenge program enables global teams of students and their volunteer mentors to design and build robots to compete in tournaments. Along the way students develop a wide range of skills including project management, fundraising, coding, engineering, and teamwork. In 2019 the FIRST Global Challenge engaged more than 2,500 students and 800 volunteers from 191 countries.
Protecting land and water is just one of the ways we dedicate ourselves to sound environmental practices in our work. Along with controls, systems and processes guiding our operations and those of our suppliers, globally, we also act locally, for example: In Brazil, our team in Niterói conducted a community open house for World Environment Day to showcase conservation and waste reduction programs. And in India, we worked with The Nature Conservancy to conduct a desilting project on a local water reservoir that significantly increased the water supply for the Coimbatore district.
Health, safety, and environmental (HSE) excellence is a core part of our operating culture. The cornerstone of these efforts is our HSE Days—we celebrate every workday we complete with no injuries, accidents, or harm to the environment. We achieved 161 Perfect HSE Days in 2019, a 5% increase from the prior year. Still, we remain fiercely committed to improvement and learning from our experiences. In addition to measuring safety performance outcomes, we use leading indicators such as observations, near misses, and stop work events to measure the health and maturity of our systems and to identify hazards. All employees are encouraged to take an active role in promoting a positive safety culture.