What does it mean to be socially responsible?
At Lowe’s, it means we’re accountable – to customers, to our people and to the communities we serve. It means we aim to do what’s right – to find a solution that works for all of us. It means we strive to be trustworthy – to do what we say and keep our commitments.
Last year, we issued our first report aligned with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines, and I made a commitment to continue enhancing our reporting, focusing on the social responsibility issues that matter to our stakeholders. This report is a demonstration of that commitment and a summary of the actions we’re taking as we build momentum on our ongoing journey to be a better corporate citizen.
As a purpose-driven company, Lowe’s is committed to helping people love where they live. That’s the lens we use to do what’s right for customers and our communities. In 2015, more Lowe’s employee volunteers than ever rolled up their sleeves to help people, schools and neighborhoods in need. In fact, last year every single Lowe’s store in the United States, more than 1,700, participated in a Lowe’s Heroes project. With double the budget to work with, they more than doubled the impact of their efforts. And we’ve already announced plans to give our employees the opportunity to do even more in 2016.
Our commitment to helping people goes beyond community projects. It extends to safety and sustainability as well. We listen to customers to ensure we continually evolve to meet their needs. In 2015, we took several steps to make sure we’re offering the best possible products. We worked with suppliers to remove ortho-phthalate plasticizers from all residential vinyl flooring products and committed to phase out the sale of products that contain neonic pesticides. We see it as our responsibility to take a leading role in helping bring better products to the market.
That kind of responsibility requires leadership, so developing our future leaders was an important area of focus in 2015. To continue to build a strong leadership team that reflects the diversity of our communities, we launched a mentoring program that pairs female and minority store managers with market directors to strengthen their leadership skills. And we remain focused on building diversity through our recruiting efforts, attending more than 100 recruiting events to attract people with diverse backgrounds and ideas.
We always strive to do our best, and in 2015, our best enabled us to make tremendous strides in meeting the needs of our employees, customers and communities. As you read this report, I hope you’ll agree that Lowe’s is focused on the social responsibility issues that are most meaningful to our business and to our stakeholders, and that we’re focused on them for the right reasons. I’m proud of what we accomplished in 2015, and I’m looking forward to building on our momentum and sharing our results with you.
Robert A. Niblock
Chairman, President and CEO