George Floyd has been laid to rest. While I hope this begins the process of comfort and closure for his family, I know this won’t bring closure to the underlying issues laid bare by Mr. Floyd’s death: racism, unequal opportunities, and outright physical abuse targeted at our Black community.
The frustrations and rage were not created in the last few weeks, they have been building and simmering for years. My hope is that the intensity and depth of those feelings, as evidenced by the protests, are the final wake-up call that we need to change…individually, and collectively. The fact is that our past inaction is already impacting us for the worse. Our unaddressed unequal treatment is crippling us morally and economically, and we either address it or die from it.
We have a number of initiatives to drive diversity and inclusion within our company, and we are accelerating those efforts. We realize that intent is not enough – results matter, and we are committed to making faster, deeper progress within Ecolab. But we also must recognize we cannot get to where we want and need to be within our company without also doing our part to drive needed change in our communities.
We have several ideas about how to do that, but this needs to be a collaborative process, because no one has all the answers. We will take the time to listen and seek to understand, working with community leaders to gain the insights and perspectives we need to make significant, sustainable change. And we’ll continue to support organizations dedicated to advancing racial and social justice.
We will report on our actions and provide updates on our commitments within the Sustainability section of this website.
My goal is that the next time we experience this level of intensity and emotion, it will be because we are celebrating the profound progress and healing that we have collectively created, instead of the anger, resentment, and alienation we have helped foster to date.
Chairman and CEO