Supporting Local Communities

October 10, 2022

Year-round and around the globe, Amyris engages in efforts to enrich the communities where employees live and work. The company, its brands, and people routinely band together as one to support organizations that are meeting vital needs and protecting Planet Earth.

Not even the Covid pandemic has dampened spirits amongst employees. Amyris volunteers have continued to participate in their local communities both in person and virtually. Recent efforts have addressed racial and gender inclusion, shoreline cleanup, education, and more.

Their actions and volunteer activities support Amyris’ core pillars of corporate social responsibility:

  • Environment: ocean, biodiversity, carbon reduction
  • Education: science, specifically the STEM fields
  • Social: diversity, equity, inclusion & belonging
  • Health: innovative solutions

Amyris is continuing to expand its volunteerism to more cities and countries, too! A few examples of where Amyris is showing up in local communities include:


Amyris employees come together, regardless of what department or consumer brand they belong to, to participate in shoreline and park cleanups all year.

Last month, Amyris employees in Southern California, led by Christine Wolk, cleaned up Granada Beach in Long Beach.

And in Northern California, Amyris employees cleaned up Albany Bulb shoreline as well as did a data assessment on the trash in partnership with The Watershed Project. The team also cleaned alongside our Emeryville neighbor, Pixar!

In April, Amyris employees Isita Jhulki and Iris Forkink, both from the Biology team, served as chaperones for local school students attending the annual International Ocean Film Festival (IOFF) that stands for ocean conservation literacy. Later in the year, as part of Shark Week, Amyris sponsored a company-wide screening and virtual watch parties of the film, “Sharks of the Sea of Cortés: A Lost Treasure?” provided by the IOFF.

The Amyris legal team has organized a number of community service activities in the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area, ranging from collecting trash from beaches and parks, and hosting documentary film screenings such as a film about environmental sustainability related to the global fishing industry. to science books and Folioscopes to children in Barra Bonita.


Throughout the year, Amyris employees bring science to students. Amyris takes part in monthly STEM classes by participating in programs through Community Resources for Science. For example, 324 school students were able to learn from and engage with professional scientists working in the field. The Amyris legal team also donated several hundred “Foldscopes,” (a paper microscope developed at Stanford University) and science books for 5th grade public school students in Barra Bonita, Brazil. The donation also included microscopy training for 16 teachers at the school.

In September, employees from the Leland campus traveled to the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher for its annual Women in Science Day to represent Amyris, showcase their work in Quality Control, and inspire young women to go into STEM. By volunteering at this event the Leland team was able to connect with more than 2,000 individuals in our community, sharing how Amyris squalane is saving millions of sharks every year.


In 2020, Amyris pledged to develop a scholarship fund to help advance equitable access to education and last year, brought to life through partnerships with UNCF and 10,000 Degrees. In addition, Amyris launched a $180,000 scholarship fund for Black students in the STEM, marketing, and business fields.

UNCF: $88,000 awarded to 22 recipients so far

  • A sampling of majors include: Biology, Computer Science, Cellular Biology, Mechanical Engineering, Business Administration.
  • Schools include Howard University, Hampton University, Florida A&M University, Georgia Institute of Tech, and others

10,000 Degrees: $73,000 awarded to 29 recipients so far.

  • A sampling of majors include Biochemistry, Computer Science, Public Health, Mathematics.
  • Schools include Santa Rosa Junior College, Xavier University of Louisiana, College of Marin, Tuskegee University and others

Last month, Amyris employees participated in a back-to-school drive and raised nearly $8,000, helping to fill backpacks with school supplies for more than 28,000 students in the Bay Area.

As part of International Woman’s Day this year, Amyris donated a portion of its sales proceeds to two charities focused on empowering and supporting girls and women:

  • Scientific Adventures for Girls: Oakland-based, SAFG provides after-school STEM programs to children in K-6th grade, with a special focus on girls and youth in marginalized communities, to increase positive attitudes toward STEM, increase hands-on learning opportunities and encourage lifelong learning of STEM subjects
  • Women’s Earth & Climate Action Network International: A climate justice-based initiative established to unite women worldwide as powerful stakeholders in sustainability solutions, policy advocacy, and worldwide movement building for social and ecologic justice.


For the fourth consecutive year, Amyris employees once again donned the cyclist jerseys for Team Purecane, Pure Gain as participants in the annual American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure event in California’s wine country. This year, the Purecane Puregain team raised more than $10,000!

Team “Purecane, Pure Gain” riders include:

  • Kester Allen
  • Kirsten Benjamin
  • Svetlana Borisova
  • Sunil Chandran
  • Sylvia Do
  • Alastair Dorward
  • Nadine Franczyk
  • Drew Klein
  • Frank Lam
  • Nathan Mih
  • Matthew Rienzo
  • Michael Rutchik
  • Kavitha Sankar

Earlier this year, the JVN team donated $5,000 and participated in the AIDS/Lifecycle Ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise critical funds for HIV/AIDS care services for the Los Angeles LGBT Center and San Francisco AIDS Foundation. It’s a 545-mile, 7-day bike ride through California.

A passion for volunteerism and community service is fostered through the workforce culture at Amyris. For example, employees may take up to three days paid time off each year to volunteer, which is supported by company policy and Amyris’ core pillars of corporate social responsibility.

We’re grateful to our #TeamAmyris volunteers for the time they’ve spent supporting global communities.

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