Message From Our CEO
Sustainability is an essential part of Whirlpool Corporation’s heritage of innovative, efficient products, and our long-term commitment to our communities. Our enduring promise began over 50 years ago when former Whirlpool Corporation CEO Elisha “Bud” Gray wrote his “Letter of Sustainability” to shareholders. In this letter, Gray articulated the company’s need to engage in social issues including the human impact on the environment. Gray’s vision of a more sustainable enterprise is the foundation on which we build today and tomorrow.
Today, our pledge to support sustainability is deeply rooted in our culture. This work is guided by a clear mission to earn trust and create demand while in constant pursuit of improving life at home. It’s a commitment that is brought to life through the choices and investments we make in the safety and well-being of our employees, in the environmental efficiency of our products and our operations, and in our support for the communities we call home.
Our experience and results prove sound corporate citizenship and environmental performance are fundamentals of good business. In 2019, we focused on raising the bar in terms of our commitments to global targets, accelerating the pace of sustainable practices at our plants, and increasing our efforts around governance and management. The following are some of our key achievements throughout the year:
- Our emissions reduction targets were approved by the Science Based Targets initiative to meet and exceed the levels required by the Paris Agreement. Throughout Whirlpool Corporation’s operations, we continue to make progress toward the goal of zero waste to landfill across the enterprise, with manufacturing facilities in multiple regions already achieving zero-waste status.
- We officially rolled out our new Code of Ethics known better as “Our Integrity Manual.” It not only identifies what we cannot do but more importantly it focuses on how we do business the right way. It also highlights key principles that help inform our ESG approach.
- Through implementation of World Class Manufacturing (WCM) methodology, our plants were able to decrease energy, water, and waste in all regions. We were able to decrease our Scopes 1 & 2 emissions by 18% in the last four years. WCM methodology and principles are embedded across all 36 manufacturing plants in 13 countries as of 2019, creating operational excellence across a uniform global platform and enabling significant improvements in our Safety, Delivery, Quality, and Cost metrics. 2019 was a record year for Whirlpool Corporation’s plant efficiency.
- On behalf of Whirlpool Corporation, I was very proud to sign the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) to reinforce our global commitment to the Ten Principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption. In addition to supporting and taking action to match the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, Whirlpool Corporation will push to further the UN’s broader goals, including the Sustainable Development Goals, which idealize fundamental, impactful change.
We embrace our responsibility as the largest employer in the many small communities where we do business and support programming that will make positive impacts for generations to come. You will see evidence of this support through the many stories in this report. Through the delivery of our commitments, we have made great progress. We’re excited to develop and commit to even more aggressive goals in 2020 and beyond, raising the bar for our company and our industry.
Chairman and CEO