Matt Fortin Vice President, President Global Product Management, Executive Sponsor of the CSR Working Group
The release of this report marks the beginning of my term as executive sponsor of Grainger’s CSR Working Group. I’m thrilled to join such a dynamic, cross-functional team dedicated to the long-term sustainability of our business. My intention is to actively support our CSR Working Group as they drive awareness about our program at Grainger and execute on our commitments. My goal as executive sponsor is to continue to take practical steps to integrate our corporate responsibility practices into the core operations of our business.
Grainger has a strong track record of being a responsible steward, and that shows in this report. Persistent, hard work within our carbon footprint and safety targets is showing great signs of progress; our work with the American Red Cross to help prevent fires is saving lives; and the goal to reduce our emissions intensity by 33 percent is an industry-leading commitment.
We made headway in 2016 and look forward to enriching our program further in 2017. An important next step in our journey is to examine how our CSR reporting practices meet the needs of our stakeholders and align with Grainger’s overall strategy. We are accountable to a variety of stakeholders, each with distinct expectations of our business. In the months ahead, we plan to deepen our dialogue with both internal and external stakeholders, to confirm that our approach to CSR aligns with our stakeholders’ needs, and to the most material aspects of our business. While we don’t anticipate significant changes, we do believe this process will result in a more focused and strategic program.
As leaders in our industry, we believe we have the responsibility to lead by example. Our stakeholder engagement process is designed to provide fresh momentum, further integrating sustainability into Grainger’s DNA. We have the products and expertise to help create unique value for our customers with their business and sustainability goals, and we hope to inspire new customers along the way.
I know that we cannot do this alone, and I am thankful for all of the support we receive from those that have helped us thus far. Grainger has a unique opportunity to be a force for good in our industry. If we keep that in mind, we will achieve great things together.