Sustainability

A Culture of Sustainability

Our Sustainability Statement

At RPM, sustainability is more than just simply "greening" our products and operations. It’s about putting into play practices that will drive the continued existence and growth of our business, in turn benefiting our customers, employees, suppliers, communities and shareholders. RPM applies the principles of sustainability through its:

  • Products. They help our customers minimize their environmental footprint.
  • Processes. We proactively manage our operational impact on the environment.
  • People. We hire the best and create an atmosphere that will keep them.
  • Place. We help our communities flourish.
  • Prosperity. We reward our shareholders by continually growing the business.

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Corporate Social Responsibility Brochure

In its simplest terms, sustainability is all about creating and maximizing long-term social, economic and environmental value for the greater good of future generations. In many ways, it ties back to the operations, processes and products an organization has in place.

At RPM, we look at sustainability through a broader lens by applying its principles to those most impacted by our company – from employees, customers and suppliers, to communities and shareholders. Over the years, RPM has come to focus on what we call the five "Ps" of sustainability: products, processes, people, place and prosperity.

In keeping with RPM's entrepreneurial culture, execution of these five "Ps" is carried out by our operating companies. We believe that the foundation of sustainable business practices is most effective at the operating level, which is closest to the markets and customers our company serves.

Products

Many of RPM's products, services and processes drive sustainability by helping our customers minimize their environmental footprint. Energy efficiency, zero landfill, renewable resource use, greener chemistry, life cycle analysis, LEED support and emissions reductions are just some of the many customer expectations that RPM meets every day.

Below are a few specific examples from among the hundreds offered by RPM’s operating companies:

Recyclable Packaging a Winner

By transitioning its product packaging from aluminum pails to innovative cardboard boxes with plastic liners, Stonhard created an eco-friendly solution. The boxes cost less to produce and ship, require less storage space and can be easily broken down on the job site for recycling. This unique packaging prevents more than 4.8 million one-gallon pails and quart cans from being dumped into landfills annually.

Processes

When it comes to RPM's internal operations, the expectations for sustainability are simple: we lead by example. Our operating businesses do this by taking a proactive approach to managing their environmental impact. Among recent highlights are:

  • Packaging material and waste reduction: Stonhard and Flowcrete have moved from rigid metal pails to flexible pouches and cardboard boxes that cost less to produce and ship, require less storage space and are easily recycled.
  • Sustainable innovation: RPM businesses incorporate sustainability at the very forefront of their product innovation process, which includes the reduction and elimination of chemicals of concern, as well as the implementation of process operations that reduce waste generation and energy consumption.
  • Energy-saving systems: On a corporate-wide scale, RPM has audited and improved the systems that use the most energy, such as those for compressed air use, heating and cooling, water and facility control. Lighting upgrades, for instance, have resulted in annual energy and maintenance savings. Another example is our Viapol plant, which switched from fossil fuels to biomass, thus reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 85%.
  • Water recycling: Many of RPM’s manufacturing facilities have implemented technologies that reduce water consumption by taking cooled water and running it through a chiller or heat exchanger to reuse in their processes. This results in significantly less water and energy use. In fact, one such project at the Rust-Oleum facility in Attleboro, Massachusetts, cut its water consumption by nearly 30 million gallons per year.

People

When considering employees from the perspective of sustainability, RPM founder Frank C. Sullivan was ahead of his time. His philosophy, when he established the company in 1947, was to "Hire the best people you can find. Create an atmosphere that will keep them. Then, let them do their jobs." RPM continues to practice this philosophy today by providing its employees with:

  • A highly competitive compensation and benefits package designed to reward and retain them;
  • Tuition reimbursement and a variety of educational programs, such as RPM University, The Center for Creative Leadership and the U.S. Army War College, to develop the next generation of leadership;
  • An entrepreneurial culture that values innovation, hard work, collaboration, a hunger for learning and work-life balance;
  • A work environment grounded in ethical practices, fairness, integrity and respect; and
  • Equal employment opportunities with zero tolerance for discrimination or harassment.

Incorporating these sustainable practices enables RPM to continue to hire the best employees and retain them throughout the course of their careers.

A History of Sustainability

RPM has a long history of sustainability through its many products that renew, repair and protect materials and promote energy efficiency. Among those products are Rust-Oleum's small-project paints that give household items a new life, DAP's caulks and sealants that make houses and buildings more energy efficient, and Carboline's corrosion-control coatings that extend the life cycle of materials and protect them against harsh environments.

Place

RPM employs more than 14,000 employees and operates 139 manufacturing facilities in 27 countries. No matter their spot on a map, our company and its subsidiaries strive to be good corporate stewards in everything we do by:

  • Supporting charities, civic causes and economic development;
  • Collectively providing our time, talent and resources;
  • Promoting safe operating practices and being respectful of our neighbors;
  • Working to minimize the environmental impact of our operations and products; and
  • Complying with all laws and regulations.

Through these actions, RPM makes a positive impact on the communities in which it operates and helps them to thrive.

Prosperity

Embracing sustainability by way of RPM's products, operations, people and communities is certainly rewarding on many levels. A positive byproduct of these efforts is that they extend to RPM's bottom line, thus allowing our shareholders to continue to prosper.

RPM has increased its dividend for 44 consecutive years, enabled by its continually strong operating cash flow. This sustained dividend performance places RPM in an elite category – joining only 41 of all 19,000 publicly traded U.S. companies that have consecutively paid an increasing annual dividend for this period of time or longer, according to the Mergent Handbook of Dividend Achievers. In addition, RPM's total return to shareholders, including both capital appreciation and reinvestment of dividends, has considerably outperformed its peer group and the S&P 500 Index for the past ten years.

As the above demonstrates, long-term shareholders, in particular, have been rewarded for their confidence in RPM by this consistent, sustainable performance.
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