A Letter From Our Chairman and CEO


I am proud to share with you Grainger’s sixth annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report, which details the progress on our key citizenship initiatives. This year, you will find new elements in our report that provide greater insights around our volunteer programs, workforce demographics, and materiality at Grainger.

This report looks back at 2017, which was a remarkable year for Grainger. It marked our 90th year of helping our customers keep their operations running and their people safe while creating a company where dedicated, talented people can thrive. We celebrated Grainger’s anniversary by embracing our long-standing culture of service and giving. Team members contributed about 9,000 volunteer hours through activities focused on the company’s core philanthropic pillars of disaster preparedness and response, education and workforce development.

Our service culture extends beyond the communities in which we live and work—it encompasses our customers too. This makes us unique and is one of the things I am most proud of as Grainger’s Chairman and CEO. Every day, our team members build relationships with customers and expand our reputation as a trusted partner. We understand what our customers do and deliver real solutions to their business problems with the highest level of ethics and integrity. That approach and commitment to serving customers in the most efficient way possible also has positive implications on the environment. For example, when we ship orders in one box, as opposed to many, it significantly reduces the amount of boxes we need overall. As a result, Grainger is able to maintain a lower usage of corrugate and produces lower emissions through our transportation partners. We had a successful year providing value to customers, which we highlight in more detail on page 6.

Also in celebration of our 90th anniversary, we underscored our commitment to advancing inclusion and diversity when I joined other CEOs by taking the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion Pledge. At Grainger, we welcome all people and have no tolerance for any type of inappropriate workplace behavior, including harassment, intimidation or abuse. We are committed to continue to have a respectful and inclusive culture where we can be our best, bring our brightest ideas forward and learn from each other. All team members participate in training to support this culture. We also all underscore our commitment each year by signing our business conduct guidelines, which codify the values upon which the company was built.

Finally, I’m honored by the recognition we received in 2017, including:

  • Our first inclusion on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index
  • A first-place category rank in Fortune’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” for the fifth consecutive year
  • Recognition by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) as a SmartWay® partner
  • A perfect score on the 2018 Corporate Equality Index for the fourth consecutive year
  • Designation of a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation
  • High marks on the 2017 Disability Equality Index (DEI), and
  • Designation as a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion” by the American Association of People with Disabilities and the U.S. Business Leadership Network.

These achievements speak to the true character of Grainger team members and our shared commitment to create a culture that delivers real value to all of our stakeholders.

Thank you for your interest in Grainger. We are proud of our progress in 2017 and of our pledge to advance our CSR initiatives in 2018 and beyond.

D.G. Macpherson
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer