Measuring Our Social Responsibility — Simpson Strong-Tie and ESG Values
At Simpson Strong-Tie, social impact and responsibility have been a cornerstone of our business philosophy from the very beginning. This philosophy is embodied most explicitly in our Company Values, which we’ve taken directly from the “Nine Principles of Business” laid down by Barclay Simpson. From “Long-Range View” and “Be the Leader” to “Give Back” and “Everybody Matters,” these are values we take pride in and that we use to help guide our business actions and decisions. We like to think that they help distinguish us as a company and make us who we are.
For decades, the company has tried to serve these values within its communities, both local and global, by contributing funds and products to people in need, in cooperation with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and the American Red Cross. Since 2016, we’ve even set aside a day in early November that we call “Do What You Can Day,” when employees throughout the company organize charitable activities allowing them to contribute to their communities as a team.
Likewise, when we say “Everybody Matters,” we mean that Simpson Strong-Tie is a company where all our people know that their role and their contributions are valued and they feel honored and respected for who they are as individuals. It’s a workplace where most employees choose to stay for years, some of them for decades. As Barc Simpson said, “When people join our company, they don’t come for a bus stop. This is a career.”
Reporting on our ESG practices is a natural outgrowth of these company values.
What Is an ESG Report?
“ESG” is shorthand for the environmental, social and governance aspects of a company’s behavior, and has become a common term to describe the long-range “sustainability” of a business. It measures not only the financial soundness of a company’s business model, but also its use of raw materials and other resources, its impact on the natural and social environments, and its approach to legal and ethical issues such as diversity, equity, and inclusion in its workforce. In other words, ESG is a way of evaluating what policies and practices a company has in place to keep it running soundly over the long term, notwithstanding inevitable changes in geopolitical conditions and organizational structure.
This March, Simpson Strong-Tie released its second annual ESG Report. We view the publication as a valuable opportunity to reflect on our values and provide our shareholders, employees, customers and other partners with insight into the framework we’ve created for measuring our environmental and social impact.
What’s in the Simpson Strong-Tie® ESG Report?
Although the 2021 report is only our second, we feel that implementing and measuring sound, sustainable ESG practices is a means of better realizing the values and vision that have inspired us since the company’s founding. So, one of the first points of business in our report was to show our employees and customers how ESG factors align with our already-existing business model, as you can see in this graphic from p. 11 of the document:
In its 45 pages, the 2021 Simpson Strong-Tie ESG Report covers topics ranging from LEED Green Building to the environmental and economic benefits of using software in product specification; from our corporate culture to our employee benefits, engagement and training systems; and from our positions on supplier conduct and human rights to our anti-corruption policies.
Following are a few very high-level takeaways from our 2021 report.
In 2021, for the first time, Simpson Strong-Tie was able to measure, evaluate and report our water usage (p. 20 of the Report), energy consumption (p. 21) and waste production (p. 16). We also calculated our carbon footprint (p. 22). Meanwhile, our R&D department continually looks for the safest alternatives to hazardous chemicals required in our acrylic and epoxy anchoring adhesives (p. 15).
In September 2021, Simpson Strong-Tie and the Building Talent Foundation (BTF) announced a strategic alliance to promote the growth of the residential construction industry workforce in the United States. BTF is a nonprofit organization focused on connecting young and underserved people to skilled trades training and career opportunities. As part of our commitment, Simpson Strong-Tie has pledged to donate a total of $600,000 to the foundation over the next three years (p. 35 of the Report).
In our Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR), which measures health and safety on the jobsite, we improved for the second year in a row and have challenged ourselves to achieve best-in-class standards by 2025 (pp. 32–33).
Simpson Strong-Tie maintains a positive shareholders’ rights profile and robust boardroom diversity, including 50% female representation on the Board of Directors. Additionally, we’ve structured our compensation levels so they are closely tied to financial performance.
Where We’re Headed
In 2021, we worked with a consultant to assess and benchmark diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) at Simpson Strong-Tie in the United States. We plan to continue our progress in attracting diverse talent and perspectives from all sectors of our communities to further demonstrate our commitment to the belief that Everybody Matters.
The Importance of Reporting
The bottom line of the ESG Report is simple: We take our responsibility to the environment and our communities very seriously, and publishing a report such as this, including quantifiable metrics, is one more way of holding ourselves accountable to all our stakeholders, both external and internal.
To view our ESG Report, as well as our financial reports, you may download them at ir.simpsonmfg.com. If you’d like to work for a values-driven company that truly cares about its people and their growth, visit the Careers page on strongtie.com.
Mike of the Strong-Tie Blog Team