2015 SUSTAINABILITY REPORT
What are some of the key benefits of being a privately held company?
It all starts with a long-term commitment to our bedrock values of integrity, corporate citizenship, partnership, innovation and excellence. Our shareholders include the family whose name is on the door, our employees and the foundation which also shares the company name. They are true stakeholders who share our values, our commitment to excellence and our ultimate goal of ensuring the sustainability of the business for future generations. Being privately held also provides important competitive advantages. In addition to protecting the confidentiality of our financial information, we build strong and lasting relationships with our employees, lenders, customers and suppliers—all of whom appreciate their connection to a company who lives up to its values.
What are the guiding principles that drive growth in Andersen shareholder value?
It begins with everyone in our company thinking like owners. Like all businesses, Andersen is first and foremost an economic engine. We are squarely focused on delivering superior products that delight our customers. And if we do that better and better each year, we generate enough profits to share our success with employees, to invest capital to spur innovation and expansion, and to fund our other financial obligations. This is the “virtuous cycle” that fuels our business growth.
What does the triple-bottom-line mean at Andersen?
The triple-bottom-line is a lens we use every day to make critical decisions for the business. We never think about the profit dimension of decision-making without also considering how those choices will impact people and, when relevant, the planet. This was especially the case as we faced difficult decisions during the Great Recession. Even in the leanest times, we never abandoned our values of community and environmental stewardship.
What is unique about Andersen’s approach to corporate philanthropy?
Our spirit of stewardship goes all the way back to our founders, Hans and Fred Andersen, and has been carried forward with each successive generation of family, shareholders, employees and leaders. Our culture attracts talented people with a drive to make a positive impact. This shared commitment propels our collective quest for excellence—to do our best every day, and to represent our values in the way we live our lives inside and outside of the office.
We also provide financial support to the community in several unique ways. In addition to funding important nonprofit relationships through corporate giving and the Andersen Corporate Foundation, cash from the company funds the philanthropy of the Fred C. and Katherine B. Andersen Foundation, and other Andersen-related foundations. These unique dimensions of our business structure add depth and reach to how we support and enrich our communities.
Why is profit sharing important to the history and future of Andersen?
It is only through the ingenuity and sweat of all employees working together that our company can be successful. Profit sharing at Andersen began before there was Social Security, pensions or 401(k) plans, and was only suspended briefly during the Great Depression and Great Recession. The commitment underscores our belief that a company with a culture built on shared values and accountability—and a giving spirit—can move mountains.
Why has sustainability reporting emerged as a priority for Andersen?
Sustainability reporting aligns perfectly with our values and decades-long legacy of environmental stewardship. We also have a long history of providing rigorous, transparent financial reporting to our shareholders, board and financial institutions. Sustainability reporting is a very natural extension of that transparency, and we hold it to the same standards of excellence.
Does a changing environment pose economic risks to the business moving forward?
We live in a world that is constantly changing—whether through economic cycles, political influences, natural resource scarcity or climate change. As leaders in the energy efficiency business, we have both a responsibility and an opportunity to invest in improving the energy solutions we provide to our customers, and in reducing our own energy and carbon footprint. We also must practice good enterprise risk management to steer our decisions and investments for the future.