The events of 2020 reinforced and further validated our unwavering commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR). We continued to make progress on the key elements of our CSR strategy: Our Governance & Ethics, Our People, Our Communities and Our Environment. At the same time, we moved decisively to address the unprecedented challenges that we all faced this past year.
As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, our top priorities were to:
- Protect the health and support the well-being of our ITW colleagues; and
- Continue to serve our customers with excellence.
Our core values, the many contributions of our people and the application of our Decentralized, Entrepreneurial Culture continued to be essential elements in our ability to meet our stakeholder commitments. As the pandemic emerged and then deepened across the world, our divisions adapted quickly to ensure the ongoing health and safety of our colleagues, guided by national and international health protocols, while continuing to meet and exceed the needs of our customers. When the economic effects of the pandemic were at their most widespread and severe in the second quarter of 2020, we chose to use our strong financial foundation to reinforce our commitment to our people by continuing to employ all ITW colleagues through the entirety of the quarter. Throughout the pandemic, our global divisions have been directly involved in providing essential services and products, ramping up capacity when necessary to support customers in their response to the pandemic.
True to our culture of giving, ITW and our colleagues have pursued opportunities to support their communities during the pandemic through philanthropy and community involvement. ITW divisions donated face masks, hand sanitizer and other personal protective equipment to nonprofits, healthcare facilities, schools and community groups. ITW’s partnership with United Way was further strengthened by the collective philanthropic commitment of ITW and our colleagues across the U.S. and Canada. Our Employee Resource Groups also leveraged their networks to raise funds in support of pandemic relief for organizations such as the National Urban League and ITW David Speer Academy.
As 2020 brought renewed attention to the issues of racism and discrimination, we reaffirmed our commitment to diversity, inclusion and respect for all our ITW colleagues. Additionally, we initiated ITW’s “Do More” Agenda to promote and support more inclusive economic growth and opportunity in underserved communities in targeted and impactful ways. ITW also joined a new coalition of 37 leading companies to form OneTen, a 10-year initiative to train, hire and advance 1 million Black Americans into family-sustaining jobs with opportunities for advancement.
With respect to the environment, we made significant progress toward our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity reduction goal. As a result, we updated our target to reduce, by 2030, the company’s combined Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions per U.S. dollar of operating revenue by 40 percent, compared with 2017 levels. Through 2020, we reduced our GHG emissions intensity by 26 percent, compared with the 2017 baseline.
In closing, thank you for your continued interest in ITW, and thank you to ITW’s dedicated colleagues around the world who support our shared CSR journey and demonstrated exceptional performance in the face of the challenges of the past year.
Christopher A. O’Herlihy