Governance at Grainger

Our commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility begins with our Board of Directors. Our board, guided by the Operating Principles for the Board of Directors, is responsible for the overall stewardship, governance and performance of Grainger. The board oversees the company’s business affairs and integrity, works with management to determine the company’s mission and long-term strategy, establishes internal control over financial reporting and assesses company risks and strategies for risk mitigation.

Highlights of Corporate Governance Practices*

In accordance with the Operating Principles for the Board of Directors, the board maintains three committees: Audit Committee, Compensation Committee and Board Affairs and Nominating Committee. The board has delegated authority to each committee through individual charters that establish the roles and responsibilities of the committees in accordance with the Operating Principles. Only independent directors serve on these committees.

Among the responsibilities of the Board Affairs and Nominating Committee is reviewing and providing guidance to management on our Corporate Social Responsibility policies and programs, including environmental sustainability and community engagement.

Board Qualifications, Attributes and Background   Grainger is committed to a diverse, experienced and vibrant Board. Our Board is currently comprised of 11 directors of varying experience and background, including two new directors appointed in 2017. As a result of the Board’s ongoing refreshment efforts, we added directors with expertise in the technology and digital space, as well as in leading corporate social responsibility initiatives for a global business. Our two newest directors, Beatriz Perez and Lucas Watson, have enhanced the diversity of our Board in addition to bringing their valuable perspectives and experiences.

The Board of Directors oversees and supports Grainger’s commitment to being a good corporate citizen. Part of being a good corporate citizen is advancing shareholder interests through involvement with the communities the Company serves and promoting a sustainable environment.”

Stu Levenick
Lead Director, Grainger

Corporate Social Responsibility Governance

Grainger strives to serve others responsibly. To do so, we harness the power of our sound business principles, strong policies, sustainable facilities and engaged workforce to drive the investment and strategic alignment of our CSR program.

Structure and Strategy     The CSR Working Group, established in 2014, is led by our Vice President, President Merchandising and Supplier Management and is composed of leaders and subject matter experts in targeted functional areas. These individuals lead programs that support initiatives within our four pillars (Operating Responsibly, Valuing our People, Sustaining our Environment and Serving our Communities) and are responsible for implementing programs to drive progress toward our CSR goals. In 2017, we added two new members to the working group bringing expertise in data privacy, disaster relief and response, and environmentally preferable product procurement.

The Charter for the Board Affairs and Nominating Committee of our Board of Directors includes the responsibility to review and provide guidance to management about our policies and programs that relate to our CSR program including environmental sustainability and community engagement. It conducts this review on an annual basis, with information provided by the CSR Working Group.

The executive sponsor of the CSR Working Group provides guidance on the implementation of our CSR initiatives and ensures that program development is designed with our business objectives in mind.

In 2017, we launched the CSR Advisory Council, a small group of senior-level team members who frequently interact with customers, investors, suppliers, or have direct line-of-sight to the revenue-generating parts of the business. The group’s primary objectives are to provide strategic awareness to the program and to encourage developments in transparency throughout the organization. Adding team members in the areas of risk management, data privacy, corporate governance, and large contract sales and marketing strategy, the Council will work to enhance our unique value for customers, while supporting Grainger as responsible stewards of our business. The Advisory Council represents a meaningful step forward in our CSR and corporate citizenship efforts in a way that is authentic to our organization.

CSR Working Group

FORWARD: What’s Coming in Our 2019 Report

  • Operating Responsibly will become Governance and Ethics
  • Subjects will include Business Conduct Guidelines, Team Member Compliance Training, Board Governance, Data Privacy and Cybersecurity, Grievance Reporting
  • For Ethical Sourcing and Sustainable Packaging, see Solutions and Stewardship