Sustainability Starts from Within

Green outline of a sustainable city and buildings.

“We recognize that there is a widespread desire among our employees to implement sustainability projects” - Derek Sharron, Global Director - Environmental, Health, Safety, and Security


Our commitment include understanding and respecting the world’s finite resources, lifting up communities in need, and building a strong culture where employees are trained and empowered in their work. Sustainability issues are often complex and interdependent, indicating that sustainable development, in addition to how willing people are to change, requires a holistic perspective across teams, programs and partners. Over the past years, we have been thoughtfully considering the impact of our operations, people, and products on the environment, the communities where we live and work, and our stakeholders around the world. More than ever, climate action and ecological footprint are setting up the international political, social and business agenda. We talked with Derek Sharron, Global Director - Environmental, Health, Safety, and Security, about our company priorities and how we are addressing those challenges while also fighting a persistent global pandemic.

Question: Changing habits is not easy, but every organization has the power to respond to the climate challenge and build a more sustainable world. How are we doing it?

Sustainability is fundamental to who we are as a company and a source of competitive advantage. As our customers work to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges, such as curtailing climate change, they look to H.B. Fuller as a technology partner. This partnership drives purpose-driven innovation in our products and manufacturing processes and leads to positive externalities throughout the value chain, such as reductions in energy and waste.

Question: In a year like no other, what would you highlight from the EHS team’s efforts?

Very early in the pandemic, our leadership team developed a business continuity strategy that kept employee safety as our foremost concern at every one of our 71 sites around the world. Teams were formed in each region to keep up to date on the spread of the COVID-19 virus, apply protective measures, and plan for the safe continuity of our operations to keep providing essential products to our customers. We were “first and fastest” at responding to customer needs, which resulted in a stand- out performance for H.B. Fuller. We simply focused on what was most important – our employees and our customers – and our talented teams around the world stepped up to take care of the rest.

Question: Regarding our facilities’ footprint, what will H.B. Fuller’s focus be for 2021 and beyond?

We have invested in an EHS model that is supported by digital solutions to enhance our data collection and analysis, which enables us to make informed decisions that will lead to reductions in energy, water, waste, and greenhouse gas emissions. We also are in the process of developing a playbook for sites to use in pursuit of sustainable best practices. We recognize that there is a widespread desire among our employees to implement sustainability projects, and we want to foster this by defining “The H.B. Fuller Way” for project identification, planning, and execution. Like that, we can capitalize on the innovations of our global team and develop a project pipeline that will position us to better meet our stated goals

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