Gregory A. Sandfort - President and Chief Executive Officer
One of the things that makes Tractor Supply Company’s culture unique is our strong commitment to our Mission and Values. As team members, we are all stewards of our culture. It is up to each of us to live up to our Mission and Values every day in everything we do.
Our Stewardship Program is a good example of how our team members live our Mission and Values. Through our Stewardship Program, team members are working to reduce our impact on the environment. For us, Stewardship is more than a corporate sustainability campaign. We know it is “the right thing to do” to protect our natural resources for our children and grandchildren.
Tractor Supply’s Stewardship Program has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a project by a group of team members in a leadership class in 2008. Today, we have team members throughout the company supporting the program. Whether it is team members in our stores and distribution centers who recycle cardboard and pallets, or members of our Green Tractor Teams who are generating new sustainable ideas and projects, our team members are living our Mission and Values by making Tractor Supply a more environmentally sustainable company.
The grassroots efforts of our team members are evident in our second annual report on Stewardship. From reducing the plastic in our shopping bags to completing the installation of our Energy Management System in our stores to making our transportation network more efficient, 2014 marked another year of notable achievements for our Stewardship Program. We are especially proud of achieving LEED Silver certification for our new Store Support Center. I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our team members who worked so hard to make these goals a reality.
Despite all of the progress made to date, we are certainly not finished. We view our Stewardship Program as a process of continuous improvement as we look for ways to eliminate waste, improve efficiency and reduce our impact on the environment. We look forward to keeping you updated on our progress as we continue our journey to becoming a more sustainable company.
Benjamin F. Parrish, Jr.
Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
Leader of the Stewardship Program
was another successful year for our Stewardship Program. Thanks to the efforts of team members throughout the company, we completed some important initiatives and launched some new programs that will make us a more environmentally sustainable company. After several years of planning, we completed the construction of our new Store Support Center in Brentwood, Tennessee.This beautiful new facility was designed to be highly energy efficient and was constructed in a way that minimizes its impact on the environment. We are pleased that our efforts to design, construct and operate the new SSC in an environmentally responsible way were recognized in October of last year by the U.S. Green Building Council when we were awarded LEED Silver certification. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is the recognized standard for sustainable design.
Another important initiative that was completed in 2014 was the installation of our Energy Management System across our chain. We began installing EMS equipment in our stores in the mid-2000s and accelerated the installation of the system in the last three years. EMS reduces energy consumption in our stores by at least 15% and enables us to monitor and adjust energy demand levels. We also continued to increase the efficiency of our transportation network with increased usage of highly efficient intermodal (rail) transportation, better utilization of containers and trucks and sourcing of merchandise closer to our stores and distribution centers. We partnered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, transportation providers and other retailers to improve transportation efficiency by becoming a SmartWay Transport Partner in 2014.
Our Green Tractor Teams were busy testing and implementing new sustainable ideas in 2014. Green Tractor Teams are composed of team members who volunteer to work together to make Tractor Supply a more environmentally sustainable company. We have teams in several different areas of the business, including Store Operations, Distribution Center Operations, the Store Support Center and a team devoted to energy management across the company. These teams tested new recycling ideas, promoted sustainability with fairs and local store events and even found a way to reduce the plastic in our shopping bags. The Green Tractor Teams provide important support for our Stewardship Program at the grassroots level.
The Stewardship annual report for 2014 contains more information on the many accomplishments of our team members in 2014. I hope you enjoy the report.