The Home Depot is making progress toward its carbon reduction goals and striving to hire more minorities and women.
The home improvement giant has issued its 2019 Responsibility Report, which details the company's 2018 progress on its commitment to its three “pillars” of corporate responsibility — Operate Sustainably, Focus on People, and Strengthen Our Communities. In 2018, the retailer set science-based targets to achieve a 40% reduction in its carbon emissions by 2030 and a 50% reduction by 2035.
During 2018, Home Depot’s U.S. store energy use decreased 26% compared to 2010, ahead of the company's stated goal for a 20% reduction in consumption by 2020. Supply chain efficiencies reduced carbon dioxide intensity by 6% per dollar sold, and under the company's responsible sourcing policy, it conducted 1,362 factory audits and 1,649 follow-up visits in 2018.
In terms of focusing on people, in 2018 The Home Depot announced a new goal to invest more than 1 million hours per year over the next five years in training and development to help associates grow their careers. The report also includes additional disclosure on the diversity of its more than 400,000-employee workforce, which was 44% minority and 38% female in 2018. According to the retailer’s annual “Voice of the Associate” survey, four out of five associates feel emotionally committed to The Home Depot.
In addition, during 2018, The Home Depot Foundation committed an additional $250 million to veteran causes, taking the total commitment to $500 million by 2025. The foundation also gave nearly $5 million in 2018 to help communities affected by natural disasters, and made a $50 million commitment to train 20,000 skilled trades men and women by 2028.
"Our associates, suppliers and customers drive our sustainability success," said Ron Jarvis, VP of environmental innovation for The Home Depot. "The 2019 Responsibility Report showcases outstanding examples of our core values – how we work together to create a business that's inclusive, ethical and sustainable. We continue to challenge ourselves to think innovatively and keep raising the bar for sustainability."