< American Vanguard Sustainability Report
As the CEO of a specialty chemical company, I am often asked what we can possibly say about sustainability that would be compelling. After all, our industry is often unfairly perceived as being on the wrong side of the issue. In fact, we have a strong story to tell. We want our audiences – employees, neighbors, stockholders, customers and business partners – to know what we are doing both today and tomorrow to ensure that we meet our social responsibility toward others and the environment.
Once limited to protection of natural resources, the term “sustainability” has evolved to include many issues, including treatment and development of people, community outreach, legal compliance, environmental stewardship, and the advancement of expanding social issues. Rather than attempt to cover every imaginable facet of sustainability within this report, we think it best to start with our core values – safety, employees, innovation, stakeholder engagement and stewardship – and then describe how they have helped us to become responsible corporate citizens. Also, rather than relying solely upon platitudes and aspirational language, we have collected success stories and metrics to illustrate our achievements.
Our discussion begins with our commitment to safety. We have safely and successfully operated highly-regulated chemical manufacturing facilities for 50 years. We could not have done so without an unerring commitment toward ensuring that our activities are safe – to workers, visitors, and neighbors. This discipline starts with our plants and permeates everything we do, from science-backed product testing, development and stewardship, to our industry-leading closed delivery systems. We are ideal stewards of our products. We know how they are made and what they can do, and we carry that knowledge from factory to farm.
Also critical to our enterprise is our commitment to our employees. It is the loyalty, energy and dedication of our team that enables us to compete and succeed. In a market populated by larger competitors, we have distinguished ourselves as a destination for people who want to make a difference. Within American Vanguard, we give people the tools to succeed, a chance to be heard, and room to grow. We do this through generous health benefits, an innovative wellness program, stock ownership programs, 401K retirement program, tuition reimbursement for career-related studies and on-the-job training. We try to make a difference in our employees’ lives, so that we can make a difference as a company.
“In a market populated by larger competitors, we have distinguished ourselves as a destination for people who want to make a difference.”
Further, we pursue technology innovation with an eye toward social responsibility. Thousands of laboratory studies and university field trials support the safety and efficacy profile of our product lines. In addition, our chemists continue to develop new formulations to enhance product safety and effectiveness. Also, we remain industry leaders in closed delivery systems, which serve to reduce risk of exposure to users and applicators. Our newest technology, called SIMPAS™, enables prescription application of multiple products at variable rates based upon actual yield and field data, so that growers can apply only what they need, where they need it – thus optimizing the environmental footprint and reducing waste.
In addition, we place a strong emphasis on engagement with our stakeholders, including not only stockholders but also customers, suppliers, peers, universities, government agencies, and neighboring communities. In fact, with the publication of this report, we will be polling these stakeholders to elicit their input on what they would like to see in future sustainability reports of the Company.
Finally, we are committed to continuous improvement of key performance metrics, such as emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), consumption of resources (water, fuels), production of wastes, and recycling/reclamation rates. We also include discussion of goals for future improvement on these metrics. In closing, I am pleased to present our 2017/18 Sustainability Report for your consideration. We believe that we have a compelling story to tell and expect that our story will get even better over time.
Eric G. Wintemute
Chairman and CEO