The ITW Business Model, which is the core source of our competitive advantage as a company, guides and informs our CSR strategy and initiatives. The business model – combined with our commitment to our core values of Integrity, Respect, Trust, Shared Risk and Simplicity – is foundational to “Our Role in a Shared World.”
We introduced several new or improved CSR initiatives and targets in 2016, and, in 2017, we made significant progress across all of these initiatives. In safety, for example, we worked to implement our Enterprise Safety Strategy, which builds on our strong safety commitment to provide a consistent strategic framework across all 85 of our divisions. I am very proud of our progress in 2017, which helps to move us forward toward our safety goal of Zero Accidents.
In addition, we continued to make progress toward our 2020 employee diversity goals, as we increased the percentage of our global leaders who are women, as well as the percentage of ethnically diverse leaders in the U.S. Also in 2017, our Chairman and CEO Scott Santi joined the leaders of over 300 companies in support of the CEO Action for Diversity & InclusionTM.
ITW again provided great support to our local communities in 2017. The widespread support for United Way by our colleagues as well as our ongoing engagement with the ITW David Speer Academy, a STEM high school which serves low income families in Chicago, are two initiatives of which we are very proud. 2018 will be a milestone year for the Speer Academy, as it graduates its first senior class since the school opened in the 2014-15 school year.
Our CSR efforts are helping us make progress toward our goal to be one of the world’s highest-performing and responsible global industrial companies. We are honored to have received independent recognition for our efforts: being named to “The Just 100” America’s Best Corporate Citizens list by Forbes and being recognized as one of Barron’s 100 Most Sustainable Companies.
Thank you for your interest in ITW, and thank you to ITW’s dedicated colleagues around the world who live our culture and values every day.
Christopher A. O’Herlihy