ScottsMiracle-Gro marked a major milestone in 2018—our 150th anniversary. In 1868, upon his return from the Civil War, Orlando McLean Scott opened a small hardware store in Marysville, Ohio, where he sold clean seed to farmers. That humble start blossomed into who we are today—the global leader in products for lawn and gardening care, as well as hydroponic growing.
Our success is tied to many things: Willingness to reinvent ourselves as times change, commitment to quality, focus on innovation and devotion to the customers and consumers who count on us. Yet, at the very core of our success are those who make it happen—our associates. We strive to create a culture that empowers our associates across North America to succeed and grow in their own careers.
We express this value for people in tangible ways. When federal tax reform came into effect last year, we committed to sharing these savings with our associates. As a result we have increased pay for our hardworking hourly associates, enhanced our 401(k) program for all associates, and continue exploring other improvements to our benefits plans.
Our commitments go far beyond our own associates. Helping people express themselves on their own piece of the Earth is at the core of why we do business. Caring for natural resources, especially water, soil and plants, ensures gardeners can continue to get out and make things grow today, and it also helps secure our future.
As we look ahead, our commitment to innovation and sustainability will continue. This year, we are introducing breakthrough technology in organic fertilizers while continuing to invest heavily in natural and organic ingredients for all of our controls lines. We also will reach our public commitment to remove neonicotinoids from outdoor garden control products ahead of schedule.
In addition to these product innovations, we will continue investing in strong environmental partnerships, helping young people unlock their inner potential and encouraging our associates to give back to their communities. We remain committed to connecting children and families to to fresh food, outdoor play, and the natural world through our community outreach programs. Last year, we made good on our promise to create 1,000 gardens and greenspaces across North America, as you’ll read later in this report.
ScottsMiracle-Gro is the leader in the lawn and garden industry. As such, we embrace our responsibility to continue innovating in ways that care for our associates, environment and communities. This Corporate Responsibility Report shows how we are bringing that commitment to life as we prepare for our next 150 years.