At Southwire, we remain committed to the sustainability of our company for the next 100 years and beyond. As we strengthen this commitment, we continue to work hard every day to discover, develop and distribute sustainable solutions that exceed the expectations of our stakeholders around the world. Also, as a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), Southwire is pleased to reaffirm our continuing support and commitment to its Ten Principles and their integration into our business.
Building upon this spirit, we are pleased to present our 2018 Sustainability Report. As seen in our past reports, this assessment covers all areas of sustainability at Southwire and highlights our most significant impacts and opportunities. These findings detail our sustainability goals and strategies, which align with our five tenets—Growing Green, Living Well, Giving Back, Doing Right and Building Worth.
You will read, in the report’s detail, many accounts of our successes and challenges over the last year, but as an overview, we’d like to share a few highlights:
We always, and will always, begin with our efforts toward safety. We’ve made significant strides toward creating an even safer workplace, as we continually look for ways to increase awareness and implement new processes to keep our employees injury-free. 2018 was our best year in safety in the company’s history, as we reduced our injury rate and added new sites to those certified by OSHA VPP as STAR sites, but we aren’t stopping here. We will continue to set new goals toward safety, as our ultimate goal is zero injuries.
At the beginning of 2018, we launched our five-year strategic plan companywide, structured around growing our revenue and, even more so, growing our profitability. We continue to focus on strengthening our core wire and cable business while emphasizing growth opportunities in our tools, components and assembled products business and keeping an eye on those megatrends and transformational influences that could impact our future.
In August, Southwire completed the acquisitions of Garvin Industries and ProBuilt Lighting, allowing us to further expand our product offering and reach in the tools, components and assembled products space. We are pleased to share that our acquisitions continue to meet or exceed our expectations in the market, we and look forward to continued success in these businesses.
SYSTEMS & OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE
We are also pleased to share that we completed our roll-out of SAP in 2018. Supporting our ONE Southwire approach, improving the quality and timeliness of management information, and driving our operational efficiency as we move forward, this integration allows us to streamline our systems and Drive Operational Excellence across the company.
INCLUSIVITY & EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT
A great deal of consideration goes into the value of our culture and making sure Southwire remains a great place to work. We were honored to be recognized by Forbes on their 2018 list of America’s Best Workplaces, and we set forth many new initiatives over the past year, highlighted by the introduction of our new Living Well Engagement Survey platform and the growth of our employee resource groups. We have also taken significant steps in the realm of performance management and learning, and we are continuing to grow in these areas as we move ahead.
And, as we continually strengthen our commitment to Giving Back, we are always encouraged by the generosity of our people and our Project GIFT teams in the places we work, live and serve. In 2018, our approximately 1,000 Project GIFT volunteers provided more than 12,000 hours of service, providing relief in the wake of natural disasters, giving out more than 22,000 bags of school supplies, supporting events in our local communities and much more. In addition, through grants from the POWER Fund, we were able to assist hundreds of employees who were facing financial hardships due to unexpected life events.
Also in the spirit of community, we celebrated more than 2,300 graduates throughout the history of 12 for Life® and many other strides through our community partnerships and efforts to help develop the workforce of tomorrow. We reflect our commitment to the environment through our recognition in the Georgia Water Coalition’s 2018 Clean 13 Report.
So, you can see, we have much to be proud of as we look back to 2018, and we are well into an even better 2019. You will hear more about this in next year’s report, but as we began the year, we announced a restructure of the business that aligns with our strategic plan. As we focus on our core business, we have unified into one wire and cable team. We have elevated tools, components and assembled solutions and, as mentioned, are placing a renewed emphasis on metals management. With this realignment, we are focusing on research and development, modernization, business transformation and improvement in our customer service and distribution.
These changes best position us to help meet, and possibly exceed the goals we have set for our future. We are incredibly proud to be associated with this great organization and continue to be thankful for the approximately 8,000 employees that are working together around the world to ensure we remain an industry and community leader for years to come.
President and CEO
Burt M. Fealing
EVP, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary