CSWI’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) strategy is based on our belief that long-term stockholder value, sustainable growth, and social responsibility are interrelated. Corporate responsibility lies at the heart of our culture and speaks directly to our core values of Integrity, Respect, Excellence, Stewardship, Citizenship, Accountability and Teamwork. Driven by our executive leadership team, sustainability influences how we operate our business, take care of our people, and serve our customers. Our ESG initiatives are aligned with and inform the long-term strategies of our operating companies and corporate center. Additionally, ESG-related enterprise risks and opportunities are identified and addressed through our strategic processes, helping further align our initiatives and strategy.
Our Board’s proactive engagement and oversight on ESG matters is demonstrated in the following ways:
Our Board and its committees engage at least quarterly with our executive team members having responsibility to present and discuss various ESG topics. In the past year, management has presented to the Board and its committees on initiatives such as business continuity, environmental compliance, employee health and safety, gender pay equity, diversity and inclusion, and employee welfare programs.
Our Audit Committee and Board have direct engagement with ESG risk areas through our robust Enterprise Risk Management (“ERM”) program.
We are committed to being good stewards of the environment. We demonstrate our commitment by actively working to reduce the environmental impact of our operations and by providing environmentally responsible products and services to our customers. Our products help protect and reduce emissions from industrial systems and mission-critical equipment; improve the energy efficiency and resource consumption of HVAC/R, plumbing, and electrical systems; and make commercial and residential buildings safer for occupants and their surrounding communities. Additionally, certain manufacturing facilities within our operating companies are ISO 14001 certified.
In the last year, we have made progress on many environment-focused initiatives, which have included:
Reducing overall energy consumption and increasing the amount of consumed electricity that is generated from renewable sources, such as solar and wind
Reducing the amount of scrap and non-recyclable waste generated by our operations by increasing the use of rework and recycled materials
As we look forward, we are focused on making the environmental initiatives of our various operating companies more coordinated and standardized. This will help us provide more disclosure about these initiatives and align such disclosures with the SASB Industrial Machinery and Goods and Chemicals Reporting Standards.
At CSWI, how we succeed matters. We live out our commitment to doing the right things the right way by first taking care of the health, safety, and wellbeing of our employees—our most valuable asset. We view this duty holistically and address it on multiple fronts, including through competitive total rewards compensation; comprehensive benefits and retirement plans, including employer-funded healthcare coverage and defined contribution benefit plans with profit sharing; health and safety training and programs; and training and development, including job skills and compliance training, leadership training, and advancement opportunities.
Maintained full, performance-managed employment throughout the year, with no COVID-19-related furloughs or layoffs
Provided enhanced programs focused on employee wellness, including paid leave for personal or family COVID-19 illness
Reinvigorated our safety training programs, including the launch of an inaugural Safety Awareness Month with supplemental training
Demonstrating the effectiveness of our safety focus, our Total Recordable Incident Rate (“TRIR”) at the end of calendar 2020 was 3.2, and through the first three months of calendar 2021 (the end of our fiscal year), our TRIR was 1.9. These results represent meaningful improvements year over year.
Notably, in fiscal 2021 we maintained our comprehensive and competitive retirement and benefit programs, despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since our inception, we have provided a 100% match of employee contributions up to 6% of compensation to our 401(k) plans, as well as an additional 7% to 11% of eligible compensation each year through profit sharing benefit programs, including our Employee Stock Ownership Plan, which strongly aligns our employees’ interests with those of our stockholders. This equates to 13% to 17% of each employee’s annual eligible compensation that we invest to help provide a safe, secure and dignified retirement for our people. Our commitment to our employees fostered income certainty throughout the past year, eliminating one source of vulnerability for our employees, while contributing positively to employee engagement levels, which we actively monitor.
Sound governance practices are foundational to any high performing organization. We believe the principles and policies described throughout this proxy statement clearly demonstrate our commitment to thoughtful, value-focused governance that helps us effectively manage our enterprise risks and ultimately preserve and create stockholder value.
Our ERM program, which is overseen by our Audit Committee, supports our efforts in this area. Since our inception, our ERM program has begun with an annual risk assessment survey. Near the end of each calendar year, approximately 30 key leaders across our organization receive a focused questionnaire that they use to provide feedback on a universe of enterprise risks covering six distinct risk categories: Strategic; Financial; Legal & Compliance; Operational; IT & Systems; and Talent Management.
In the survey, each risk is evaluated on impact, likelihood of occurrence, and controls effectiveness. The survey results are compiled and calibrated, which produces a prioritized list of inherent and residual enterprise risks. Once these enterprise risk priorities are established, a “dashboard” for each risk is developed that identifies the risk owner, what we are doing to prevent or mitigate the risk, how we can improve our prevention or mitigation efforts, and key risk indicators. This process is completed in our first fiscal quarter of the year, which enables the annual ERM program results to inform and be incorporated into our strategic planning efforts.
Our core values form the foundation for our decentralized, entrepreneurial culture, and our Code of Business Conduct represents our shared commitment to living out these core values with the highest level of ethical conduct. All our employees across the globe, including our executive officers, are required to abide by our Code of Business Conduct to ensure that our business is conducted in a consistently legal and ethical manner. Our Code of Business Conduct covers many topics, including conflicts of interest, anticorruption, financial reporting, confidentiality, insider trading, antitrust and competition law, cybersecurity and information security, appropriate use of social media, and respect in the workplace. All employees receive on-line and in-person training on all topics addressed in our Code of Business Conduct every year, and they are required to certify that they will comply with the Code.
Employees are required to report any conduct that they believe in good faith violates our Code of Business Conduct. Through our Ethics Hotline, the Audit Committee has adopted procedures to receive and address complaints related to accounting policy, internal controls, auditing matters or fraud, and to enable the confidential and anonymous submission by employees or others of concerns relating to questionable accounting or auditing matters. Information on how to submit any such communications through our Ethics Hotline is on the Company’s website at www.cswindustrials.com under the “Investors — Corporate Governance” caption, and also is available through cswindustrials.ethicspoint.com. Our Senior Vice President and General Counsel, who serves as our chief compliance officer, reports directly to the Audit Committee on compliance matters, and periodically updates the Audit Committee on compliance with the Company’s Code of Business Conduct, including the overall effectiveness of the Company’s compliance program.
Our integrity and compliance program also includes, among other elements, a Supplier Code of Business Conduct that extends to our operating companies’ global supply chains. The Supplier Code of Business Conduct reinforces our expectation that suppliers will live up to our high standards of integrity and compliance, including our policies regarding Conflict Minerals, Human Trafficking, and Environmental, Health and Safety. Suppliers are monitored according to these standards, and if found to be deficient, are issued a corrective action plan or are replaced.
The Company has adopted a written policy for approval of transactions between the Company and its directors, director nominees, executive officers, greater-than-5% beneficial owners, and their respective immediate family members, where the amount involved in the transaction exceeds or is expected to exceed $120,000 in a single calendar year.
The policy provides that the N&CG Committee reviews transactions subject to the policy and determines whether to approve or ratify those transactions. In doing so, the N&CG Committee takes into account, among other factors it deems appropriate, whether a transaction is on terms that are no less favorable to the Company than terms generally available to an unaffiliated third party under the same or similar circumstances and the extent of the related person’s interest in the transaction. In addition, the Board has delegated authority to the Chairman of the N&CG Committee to pre-approve or ratify transactions where the aggregate amount involved is expected to be less than $1 million. A summary of any new transactions pre-approved by the Chairman is provided to the full N&CG Committee for its review in connection with each regularly scheduled N&CG Committee meeting.
The N&CG Committee has considered and adopted standing pre-approvals under the policy for limited transactions with related persons. Pre-approved transactions include:
business transactions with other companies in which a related person’s only relationship is as an employee, director or less-than-10% beneficial owner if the amount of business falls below the thresholds in NASDAQ’s listing standards and the Company’s director independence standards; and
charitable contributions, grants or endowments to a charitable organization where a related person is an employee if the aggregate amount involved does not exceed the greater of $1 million or 2% of the organization’s total annual receipts.
The N&CG Committee was not requested to and did not approve any transactions required to be reported under applicable SEC rules in fiscal 2021.