A Message from Our President & CEO

Chris-Peterson-headshot.jpgI am pleased to share Newell Brands’ annual Corporate Citizenship Report. This year’s theme, “Building Today for a Better Tomorrow,” encapsulates our 2023 progress to strengthen the organization, improve financial performance, build a sustainable future and create value for our stakeholders.

Since I became President & CEO in May 2023, we introduced and deployed a comprehensive corporate strategy based on a thorough capability assessment. It focuses on strengthening our front-end commercial capabilities and disproportionately investing in innovation, brand building, and go-to-market excellence for our largest brands and most profitable geographies as part of an integrated set of Where to Play and How to Win choices. Despite a challenging external environment, our clear focus has enabled us to make tangible progress in executing our strategy and improving the structural economics of the business.

Over the past year, we added new senior leaders to the company to help drive our strategic objectives, drove record productivity across our Supply Chain, further reduced our SKU count, rightsized inventory and introduced new company values of Integrity, Teamwork, Passion for Winning, Ownership, and Leadership to guide us in fulfilling our aspiration to light up everyday moments for our consumers.

We are laser-focused on building a strong company that can withstand the dynamic retail environment, inflation, other external headwinds, and global conflict instabilities. We also remain committed to our Corporate Citizenship goals as we strive to impact the world in a positive way.

We continue to identify ways to minimize our environmental impact while acting ethically and sourcing responsibly through our operations, packaging, and products. In 2023, we reported a 38 percent cumulative reduction in global manufacturing-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We are pleased that in 2022 and 2023, we exceeded our target of reducing Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions from manufacturing by 30 percent. Additionally,18 percent of our manufacturing sites’ global electricity has been shifted to renewable energy, continuing progress toward our goal of 30 percent by 2030.

Our product packaging goals focus on improving the sustainability of our packaging materials, and we aim to eliminate the use of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) in all packaging by 2025. In 2023, we reported that 96 percent of our plastic packaging by weight was EPS-free and 91 percent was PVC-free. Our products aim to support our consumers living sustainable lifestyles like Contigo and bubba water bottles that reduce single-use plastic consumption, Rubbermaid and Sistema food storage containers and FoodSaver vacuum sealers that keep meals fresh longer, reducing food waste. Rubbermaid Commercial Products provides solutions that support sanitation, hygiene and proper waste management and recycling. Consumers count on us to provide them with high-quality, safe products, and we take that responsibility seriously.

In 2023, we unified our Global Supply Chain and centralized our manufacturing operations to increase our scale and leverage our expertise for value creation. We made significant strides in optimizing operations, consolidating our Supply Chain footprint, and investing in technological solutions like automation to drive efficiencies and improve safety and cost savings. Training and development programs supported our frontline employees, including a targeted learning system that provides high-potential frontline supervisors and hourly leaders with leadership development and personal growth opportunities tied to our values. Employee safety remains a top priority. We continued to achieve world-class safety levels while deepening our training programs and educational programs to address the safety risks and opportunities in Newell’s frontline locations, such as our Hand Safety Awareness campaign. The campaign sought to educate and empower employees across our facilities to take ownership of their safety. In the month following the campaign, we achieved a 0.18 Monthly Total Incident Rate across facilities, a new safety record partly attributable to the campaign’s effectiveness.  

We made strides to evolve our company culture with a focus on high-performance, innovation and inclusion. We launched an annual CEO Awards program recognizing top talent, and I look forward to highlighting the 2023 winners in our 2024 report. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) are important to our culture, and we are committed to attracting, engaging, and retaining the talent and capabilities necessary to win in the market while ensuring our workforce was representative of the consumers we serve around the world. We are proud to be recognized by Forbes on its list of Best Employers for Women 2023 and by The Human Rights Campaign Foundation, scoring 100 on their 2023 Corporate Equality Index. We were also named a 2023 and 2024 World’s Most Admired Company by Fortune. We encouraged our employees to take ownership of their careers by hosting a month-long global campaign to support a unified understanding of what taking ownership means and raise awareness of our internal mobility opportunities. 

Our commitment to our communities was reflected in the work of the Newell Brands Charitable Foundation and by our brands. The Foundation invests in nonprofits whose missions align with our businesses and values. One of our signature strategic programs, the Local Impact Grant Program (LIGP), which celebrated its fifth anniversary in 2023, allows employees in select Newell Brands locations to nominate and vote on nonprofits aligned with our focus areas to receive a grant from the Foundation and last year we expanded our LIGP efforts internationally. In 2023, the LIGP awarded $195,000 to 27 nonprofit grant recipients across 14 locations. 

As a global consumer products company, we make our greatest philanthropic impact by donating Newell products to communities and nonprofits in need. In 2023, we proudly donated $9 million in products, including Graco and NUK baby gear, Sharpie, Elmer’s, Expo and Paper Mate school supplies, Rubbermaid food storage containers and Rubbermaid Commercial Products cleaning products to charitable partners around the world. Our employees also came together to volunteer throughout the year. During our annual CommUnity Week, employees volunteered 1,700 hours in five days.

As we look to the future, we are excited about the opportunities ahead and are confident in our ability to deliver market-leading innovation and value to our stakeholders. Thank you to our consumers for trusting us and to our customers for their partnership. I also want to recognize our employees for their continued focus and support of our strategy.

We look forward to sharing our continued journey and what we are building at Newell with you in the coming year.


Chris Peterson e-sig copy.GIF

Chris Peterson
President & CEO