Sustainability

We make environmental sustainability a priority – and it makes good business sense. We only have one world, and we need to take good care of it to sustain the future of our business. That is why we are committed to making our products and operations sustainable.

Our environmental policy is straightforward: We strive to follow all applicable environmental laws and make improvements that make sense for the future of our business and the communities where we work. We are committed to being a good corporate citizen in all communities worldwide where we have business activities. As part of this commitment, we strive to manage our business in a way that conserves natural resources and protects the environment.

Our Decision Making

We focus on long-term, fact-based decision-making.

  • Deeply ingrained in the Graco organization is our belief that facts should rule our decision-making processes. During the 1990s, we developed a robust set of metrics top to bottom in our organization to measure and drive performance. To this day, we continue to improve and refine these measures, and are unwavering in our dedication to fact-based decision making.
  • The facts tell us the future relies on sustainable practices. We will do our part to protect the Earth for the future of our business.
  • To make data-driven decisions, we track our air emissions, waste generation, water use, wastewater discharges and energy use.

 

We’re committed to making ethical decisions and following applicable environmental laws.

  • This commitment stems not only from a desire to avoid the many problems unethical behavior may foster, but more importantly from a conviction that good ethics is good business.
  • We value ethics over turning a profit.
  • It is our policy to strive to manage our business in a way that conserves natural resources and protects the environment. In all locations and activities worldwide, Graco and its employees will:
    • Comply with, or exceed the requirements of, all applicable environmental laws and regulations;
    • Adopt accepted environmental practices in all its operations; and
    • Continuously improve its environmental practices, preventing pollution and reducing the impact its operations have on the environment.

 

Designing Products and Processes Together

We improve our environmental practices as a team.

  • Environmental improvements are up to each employee, and our employees have demonstrated a strong commitment.
  • Two of our larger factories in the United States, in Minneapolis and Anoka, Minnesota, are certified to ISO14001, the environmental management system standard. This certification is a result of our emphasis on quality management and environmental performance, as well as the hard work and diligence of individuals across Graco.
  • Employees participate in environmental and sustainability initiatives through “Green Teams” and Graco’s “Continuous Improvement Program,” encouraging and rewarding employees for ideas to improve performance with respect to quality, environmental, safety and cost outcomes.
  • Our employees also participate in everyday activities such as recycling, energy management and waste management that drive improved environmental outcomes.

 

We value innovation and efficiency.

  • Efficient products use less of the Earth’s valuable resources, and we design new products accordingly.
  • We consistently pursue research and development to design products that are recyclable, save energy and materials, and increase efficiency.
  • We develop high-quality products that are designed to have a long life.
  • Platform design improvements with increasingly easy-to-repair modular parts offer easy disassembly, repair and reuse of product, and separation of material types for recycling.
  • We’ve worked to expand our lines of electric-operated and battery-driven products to reduce emissions related to energy consumption, and many of our products now use energy-efficient brushless motor technology.

 

Sustainable Operations

We continuously improve our manufacturing operations.

  • Graco recycles metal, wood, cardboard, paper, plastics, machining fluid, oil, anti-freeze, glass bottles and aluminum cans. In 2017, Graco recycled 10.5 million pounds of metal, resulting in more than 12 million kilowatt hours of electricity saved. We also recycled a projected 1.8 million pounds of cardboard, the equivalent of more than 15,000 trees.
  • We leverage our own Graco PD2K paint proportioning system in our production painting operations. The PD2K system reduces the quantity of solvent required to complete effective flushing of the coating lines during color change over, reducing solvent consumption and waste while maintaining a high-quality coating application.
  • We also use our own coating application equipment to minimize emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other pollutants to the atmosphere. Our ProBell rotary atomizer increases transfer efficiency in liquid coating applications, reducing the quantity of coating required for a quality finish and producing a corresponding reduction of VOC and particulate emissions.
  • We also use an electrostatic powder coating application system by Gema, a Graco company, in our Minneapolis Riverside factory, where many of our products are painted. Using this system, we deliver transfer efficiencies as high as 95 percent. In addition, the powder coatings do not contain VOCs and the emissions from our corresponding HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filtration system are actually vented indoors and improve indoor air quality.

 

Supporting Our Customers

We design products that help our end users reduce their environmental footprint.

  • For example, Graco produces specialized vapor abrasive blasting systems for coating removal and surface preparation. By adding a small amount of water during the process, EcoQuip’s vapor abrasive blast equipment has been proven through testing to eliminate up to 92 percent of airborne dust and particles produced in typical dry-blasting applications.
  • Our spray foam equipment assists property owners in reducing energy usage for heating and cooling.
  • Our plural-component spray equipment reduces material waste since there is less mixed material at any given time. Compared to manual mixing, plural-component equipment also reduces the amount of solvent required for flushing mixed materials from lines.
  • Our innovative hot-melt adhesive delivery systems reduce the amount of glue used for case and carton sealing.
  • Our electrostatic spray guns help users reduce paint and solvent usage, thereby reducing associated air emissions.
  • Our fine-finish, low-pressure spray tips for paint sprayers require less pressure, which reduces paint overspray, consumption and associated air emissions.
  • Our line-striping systems also require less pressure and generate more accurate lines, reducing the use of road and parking lot paint and reducing associated air emissions over air-spray systems.
  • Graco has developed remote monitoring and control capabilities for both in-plant and mobile equipment that allows users to better manage their equipment for reduced material waste, lower energy operation and reduced scrap.

 

We support industries making strides for the future of the environment.

  • We recognize the growing demand for products with environmental applications, and we deliver on our brand promise by providing high-quality solutions to our customers in these markets, acknowledging that what is good for the environment is also good for our growth as a business.
  • Our sealant and adhesive dispensing equipment, lubrication equipment and paint spraying equipment help manufacturers of wind turbines produce more cost-effective and energy-efficient wind energy.
  • Our sealant and adhesive dispensing equipment helps solar panel manufacturers, insulating glass manufacturers and window and door manufacturers deliver more cost-effective and energy-efficient solar energy and reduce energy loss from buildings.
  • A variety of Graco equipment is used in the production of batteries required for electric vehicles, helping to reduce transportation-related emissions.
  • QED Environmental Systems, a Graco company, produces a variety of pump systems for groundwater sampling and remediation of contaminated groundwater; for landfill liquid and gas management; and for the removal of harmful chemicals from groundwater and drinking water.
  • Even while supporting the oil and natural gas industry, we manufacture products to reduce the environmental footprint of our users in this industry.

 

Doing the Right Thing

We strive to do the right thing for our partners, employees and the communities where we work.

  • We conduct our business ethically and with integrity, and in compliance with all applicable laws and governmental regulations. Our employees are expected to understand and follow Graco's Code of Ethics and Business Conduct and other company policies, comply with all applicable laws, and forego business opportunities that would compromise Graco's ethical standards. Management provides training and advice on Graco' ethical standards and legal compliance. Further detail is available in our Code of Ethics and Business Conduct.
  • We believe enjoying your work and making valuable contributions to the company are equally important. The health, wellness, satisfaction and security of our employees and their family are vital to their well-being and ultimately to the success of Graco. To that end, we are committed to offering our employees worldwide competitive pay and comprehensive benefit plans to fit their needs. Further detail is available on our Graco Careers page.
  • We are committed to providing a safe working environment for employees, visitors, vendors and contract personnel and make significant investments in safety best practices. Through our health, wellness and safety program, we weave our commitment to safety and employee wellbeing into our company culture, providing education to promote wellness and reduction of injuries.
  • We also give back to our local communities through the Graco Foundation. The Foundation gives grants to help organizations grow their ability to serve community needs, placing emphasis on educational programs, especially STEM programs; human service programs promoting workforce development; and youth development. The Graco Foundation also supports several employee-based programs including dollar-for-dollar gift matching, grants to support volunteerism, scholarships for children of employees, tutoring with a local middle school and an annual paint-a-thon. Further detail is available on our Graco Foundation page.

 

We aim to conduct our business for the benefit of all of our stakeholders.

  • Sound corporate governance is essential to the continued success of Graco Inc. Our capable, highly independent Board of Directors leads our system of corporate governance and ensures that Graco’s affairs are conducted ethically and for the benefit of all of our stakeholders. The members of the Board, each of whom is an experienced business leader, also provide our Executive Officers with valuable advice and counsel on matters of major strategic significance.
  • The Board of Directors typically meets five times each year, including a two-day retreat with Management. There are currently ten directors. Only one director, Patrick J. McHale, Graco’s President and Chief Executive Officer, is a member of Management.
  • Much of the work of the Board is conducted by its committees. There are three standing committees: the Audit Committee, the Governance Committee, and the Management Organization and Compensation Committee. The Committees are composed entirely of independent non-employee directors. Each member of the Audit Committee is financially literate. Three members of the Audit Committee have been designated a financial expert.
  • The Board has adopted Corporate Governance Guidelines. Together with the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of the Company, the Guidelines articulate Graco’s principles for carrying out our system of corporate governance.
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