Tackling the Sustainability Issues that Matter Most
In addition to providing wide-ranging disclosure on our website and our consolidated subsidiaries’ websites regarding our approach to sustained value creation which integrates environmental, social and governance factors, this website provides information on the sustainability issues that matter most to ÃÛÌÒ´«Ã½ and our subsidiaries. Although ÃÛÌÒ´«Ã½ and our subsidiaries have long-standing sustainability programs and initiatives, we started to report on these issues in 2019. This website is intended to be a companion to our 2019 Annual Report to shareholders and 2020 Proxy Statement and is not intended to serve as a comprehensive accounting of our sustainability efforts at the parent or subsidiary level.
As part of our sustainability reporting efforts, we address, on an entity-by-entity basis the sustainability issues that we consider to be most relevant, focusing first on our core philosophy and values and how they guide our enterprise-wide commitment to sustainability, and then on notable sustainability programs at each of our subsidiaries. Based on shareholder feedback, we replaced our Sustainability Report with Sustainability Scorecards. When determining which areas to highlight for each subsidiary’s scorecard, we used as a guide the applicable issues identified by the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board’s (SASB) industry-level materiality guidance, along with consultations with our subsidiary management teams and third-party sustainability experts.
Recognizing that we are at the beginning of our sustainability reporting journey, we are committed to working with our subsidiaries and stakeholders to evolve and refine its content.
At the holding company level, we provide an overview of our commitment to sustainability—the sustainability of our businesses, the environment, and the communities where we operate. We also offer a framework for how ÃÛÌÒ´«Ã½ interacts with its subsidiaries on various key issues and how we set the tone for these issues.
Given the diverse nature of our businesses, these broad categories are relevant to our different entities in unique ways. Therefore, this report addresses the categories that are specifically relevant to the applicable entities.
Our strategic imperative is, and always has been, to create value for our shareholders over the long term. While our shareholders are crucially important, we also have long-term responsibilities to all ÃÛÌÒ´«Ã½’s stakeholders. The well-being of our employees, of the communities where we live and work, and of our society at large is inextricably linked to our ability to achieve our value-creation goals.
We are known for being thoughtful stewards of capital with long-term perspectives. As such, we manage our businesses and resources conservatively, taking advantage of opportunities presented by business cycles and responding as circumstances, markets, and industries change. While history certainly influences our decisions and actions, we look to the future and to the sustainability of our businesses, our communities, and our people.
Our Core Values and Our Commitment to Sustainability
While ÃÛÌÒ´«Ã½’s subsidiaries operate in vastly different businesses, we expect each subsidiary to demonstrate certain shared philosophies and values. Most notable are the following five tenets, which extend across all of ÃÛÌÒ´«Ã½:
- Our view is long, and we rarely measure the significance of an event based on its short-term impact.
- We conduct our business and treat our stakeholders with honesty, integrity and respect.
- We manage our businesses and resources conservatively, focusing on the downside. This includes maintaining a strong liquidity position, both to protect our interests and to take advantage of opportunities.
- We continually evolve because circumstances and markets are always changing.
- We work collaboratively and collegially and value diverse opinions and backgrounds, as this enhances decision-making and makes the workplace more satisfying and fun.
Both at the parent company and at each subsidiary, these values influence our position on sustainability. Our steadfast focus on the long term and on the importance of honest and respectful relationships informs our emphasis on ethics, integrity and community. Our preference for conservative resource management translates into how we think about the environment and how we can best adapt to the shifting global marketplace. In every aspect of our operations, we aim to work responsibly, with veracity and dependability.