Someone once asked what I’m most proud of when it comes to ScottsMiracle-Gro. It is not our market-leading brands or leadership in our industry. Rather it’s about being part of something bigger, being part of an organization that is rooted in family and in purpose.
My father, Horace, who founded Miracle-Gro, operated by a simple rule: “To find a need and fill it.” Yes, that meant meeting the needs of consumers and the marketplace. But it also meant meeting the needs of society. Horace also famously said that companies—like gardeners—“can’t just keep taking from the Earth; you have to give something back.” His words remain just as relevant today.
There is a lot of attention paid these days to so-called “purpose-driven” brands and companies. But, I submit, that’s what we’ve been all along. Based on a core belief that good can grow anywhere, simply put, our purpose is to “GroMoreGood everywhere”.
I believe the time has come to share our corporate purpose more broadly and to tell the world what we’re really about. And here’s why. It not only drives us but also serves as an example of what the world needs more of now—more good.
In this 2020 Corporate Responsibility Report, you’ll see how we bring this purpose to life in our commitments to the environment, our communities and our associates. We’ll share our continuing efforts on our sustainability journey. And we’ll provide important updates on how we are fostering a safe, healthy and inclusive workplace and providing essential products in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
In 2019, we took meaningful steps to further our strategy and management of environment, social and governance topics, commonly referred to as ESG. We completed an assessment and prioritization of ESG topics, taking a deep look at our operations, stakeholders and leading frameworks and benchmarks. The outcomes helped us to identify our key areas of ESG focus for the next five years. This process was driven by our associates across the organization in truly collaborative fashion.
It was in the later stages of the creation of this report when our global way of life began to change. In a span of weeks, the strength and commitment of our entire organization was focused on putting protocols and programs in place to help protect our associates. We also took additional steps to ensure our people wouldn’t suffer economic harm from a crisis that, for most of them, came out of nowhere.
But it’s not in our nature to sit back and say that it’s good enough. This report shows how we are continuing to live out our purpose, in 2020 and beyond. Our commitment to growing more good everywhere means we’re working to give back to our communities, ensure our products work in concert with the environment and put the needs of our associates at the forefront of what we do.
It’s how we are working to leave our corner of the world in better shape than we found it.
Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company