SUSTAINABLY INSPIRED: STRENGTHENING OUR COMMITMENT TO CLEAN WATER
We took a significant step forward in our Clean Water mission when we acquired Elkay Manufacturing Company in July 2022. The combination of two industry leaders with complementary product lines and a shared focus on sustainability has made the new Zurn Elkay Water Solutions an even stronger pure-play water company. With enhanced programs to support associates and communities, plus an expanded suite of solutions for safe drinking water, hygiene and sustainable water management, we are truly Better Together.
In 2022, as we aligned Zurn Elkay under a comprehensive and uniform environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy led by our board-level ESG Committee, we achieved several critical milestones reflecting our commitment to sustainability.
As a combined organization, we made solid progress on the initial set of ESG targets announced in our 2021 report, and I’m pleased to share an update on each of those in this report. We are also announcing seven new ESG targets that are aimed at improvements in supplier diversity, air emissions, waste, plastic bottle elimination, engineering and R&D spending and Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR). These new targets provide additional transparency and accountability on our ESG journey.
For the first time, we’ve aligned our reporting with the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework to guide our climate-related strategy, risk management and targets. In May, we issued our first annual Communication on Progress after joining the U.N. Global Compact Programme (GCP) in December 2021, demonstrating how we have aligned our ESG strategy with the Ten Principles of the U.N. Global Compact
Within our operations, we leveraged our Zurn Elkay Business System and applied our core value of continuous improvement to advance our sustainability efforts. We continued to reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by completing several electricity and natural gas reduction projects in 2022. We also launched energy audits of key facilities, which will identify significant energy reduction improvements to meet our 2024 target. Renewable energy certificates were signed with utility providers at four of our facilities to expand our use of renewable energy. Building on our existing targets to reduce Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions, we met our 2022 goal of measuring our Scope 3 GHG emissions, which will enable us to develop emissions reduction targets across our entire value chain.
To strengthen support for the 2,600 people who work at Zurn Elkay, we added new benefits such as parental leave for all associates and paid sick time for hourly associates. We also reinforced our commitment to diversity and inclusion through partnerships with the National Black MBA Association, the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce and other organizations to help us increase diversity in our recruiting efforts and supply chain. We also quadrupled the number of employee resource groups (ERGs) available to associates.
Recognizing that our associates play a central role in our efforts to support the communities where we live, work, play and learn, we again provided equity grants making all employees shareholders, in addition to making all associates eligible for bonuses. Annually, we offer college scholarships for children of associates, up to $5,000 in matching funds for associates’ charitable contributions and 20 hours of paid volunteer time to every associate. To further harness the creativity and passion of the Zurn Elkay team, we launched the Zurn Elkay WAVES Social Impact Fund in 2022, funding associate ideas that address critical social and environmental issues.
One of our company’s guiding principles is Doing the Right Thing, and we embody this principle through our industry-leading portfolio of sustainable water products that contribute to Zurn Elkay’s positive impact on the world. Although the company experienced significant changes in 2022, we have not wavered from our commitment to design and deliver products that conserve water, save energy and promote health.
For example, our water bottle fillers are a critical tool for protecting schoolchildren from lead in drinking water and eliminating the use of single-use water bottles. Our touchless hand dryers eliminate the need for paper towels, saving trees and reducing emissions from the paper manufacturing process. Our pressure reducing valves, automatic control valves and touchless faucets and flush valves help reduce water usage to offset water scarcity. Our water safety and control systems prevent contaminated water from mixing with drinking water and keep fats, oils and sediment out of public waste treatment facilities.
We know our customers care deeply about the sustainability of their construction and retrofit projects. That’s why we developed our first product lifecycle analysis (LCA) in 2022 to document the end-to-end environmental impact of our Elkay branded U.S.-made stainless steel sinks. Conducting LCAs alongside Environmental Product Declarations gives our customers additional confidence when choosing Zurn Elkay products to achieve their own sustainability goals. Our new product development pipeline focuses on products that help our customers achieve sustainability certifications like WELL v2 and LEED.
As an inherently ESG-focused company, we’re proud that our sustainability efforts continue to be recognized. For the third consecutive year, Newsweek has named Zurn Elkay one of America’s Most Responsible Companies.
Our focus, however, is our purpose: clean water, the most important natural resource on Earth. To further advance our sustainability achievements, we’ve continued to build on our comprehensive ESG strategy under a strong governance and oversight program. By embedding ESG considerations into our annual strategic planning process, we’ve tied our sustainability goals directly to our company’s success. We are pleased to share this report with you to demonstrate how Zurn Elkay remains Sustainably Inspired—and accountable to all of our stakeholders.
Todd A. Adams
Chairman and CEO