From its founding, Dollar Tree has operated its business with integrity and concern for others. The company is focused each day on promoting a welcoming and safe environment for its customers and associates. The principles that guide Dollar Tree are ingrained in its people and its operations. From the safety of the products it sells to its concern for the individuals who make them, Dollar Tree strives to stay focused on these values.
From an initial focus on customer and associate welfare, our vision has widened over the decades to encompass concerns in the communities where we work and live. Early on, our attention was drawn to developing standards about the products we sell, what goes into making them, and how our vendors and supply chain can promote a safer, more equitable world. At the same time, our customers and our shareholders were asking for more details about our efforts across a range of sustainability topics. Ten years ago, this led us to produce our very first Corporate Sustainability Report, bringing to the company’s website a consolidated source of information about Dollar Tree’s operations as they relate to environmental issues, social impact, and corporate governance. The report is now updated annually.
Over time, we realized that stakeholders were seeking even more robust data, and in 2019 we committed to expanding our Corporate Sustainability Report. In response, the company identified climate change as an area of new focus, with broad ramifications for the future, and set out to provide significant additional information about Dollar Tree’s response to the crisis.
When we made this commitment, we had no sense of the unique challenges that 2020 would present to our country, our customers, our communities, and our associates. As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold around the world, the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, and other minority men and women unleashed widespread anguish and sparked renewed calls for social justice and racial equity. In response to these challenges, Dollar Tree reassessed, among other things, the daily safety and security needs of our customers and associates, as well as the impact of systemic racism and injustice on the communities we serve.
These challenges also gave us an opportunity to reflect more broadly on our previous approach to sustainability and to embark on a new journey to enhance our identification, management, and disclosure of key risks relating to ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) issues, particularly around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), adding to our focus on climate change. We were driven not only by a desire to calculate and mitigate, but also by the promise that our efforts could make a real difference and set us on a path to a brighter future.
For the first time, Dollar Tree has partnered with outside experts to define and measure its carbon emissions footprint, to set long- term greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions goals, and to prepare a formal climate disclosure report. Over the coming months and years, we will further develop our goals and disclosures around environmental sustainability in response to our continued analysis and learning around climate change initiatives and renewable energy, anticipated governmental and regulatory requirements, and the demonstrated strong concerns of our customers and shareholders.
Inside our headquarters, the expanding scope of sustainability reporting has been matched by ever increasing management attention to these issues and oversight by our Board of Directors. Through our newly-formed Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Executive Council, senior managers can advocate for strategies to promote and embrace diversity, ensure fair treatment, and enable everyone — across the communities we serve, our associates, and our customers and vendors — to feel welcome and have equal access to opportunities and resources. To help measure our efforts, we also expanded our social disclosures, providing more transparency around the racial, ethnic, and gender makeup of our evolving workforce.
In order to reflect its view that sustainability, as a category of business risk, deserved special attention, the Board of Directors first established explicit oversight responsibilities (via a committee) in 2019. Expanding on the growing range of ESG topics deserving focus, the Board of Directors recently revised its committee charters such that
- the Compensation Committee will now oversee and evaluate DEI and human capital programs, metrics and management topics;
- the Audit Committee’s oversight of cyber, privacy, and data security risks has been documented in great detail; and
- the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee has been renamed the Nominating, Governance,and Sustainability Committee and relevant duties and responsibilities, including ESG disclosure and shareholder engagement on ESG topics, have been expanded.
At Dollar Tree and Family Dollar, our passion has always been to bring incredible value to customers who need it the most. Our more than 207,000 associates live and work in the very same communities where we “serve the underserved” every day. The challenges presented to our associates, customers, and communities in 2020 gave us a new lens through which to view, and re-engage with, ESG concerns that impact us all. Our 2021 Corporate Sustainability Report, and its underlying work, marked the launch of a new phase in our journey to improve our processes and disclosures around significant corporate ESG initiatives, particularly DEI and climate change, and deepened our commitment to help create a safer, better, and more sustainable tomorrow.