The past two years marks a period of significant change at Emerson as we realigned our business portfolio for our future success. We executed our plan (announced on June 30th 2015) to transform the company into a more focused enterprise. In 2016, we entered into agreements to sell the Network Power, Leroy-Somer, and Control Techniques businesses at favorable values. Our remaining businesses, which hold leading positions in their served markets, have been realigned around two new business platforms: Emerson Automation Solutions and Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions. And we acquired Pentair’s $1.5 billion valves and controls businesses to strengthen our automation portfolio. The last of these major changes was completed by April 2017.
As we repositioned Emerson to be a more growth-oriented and economically sustainable enterprise for the next generation, we also worked to strengthen our approach to environmental sustainability and social responsibility.
We continue to drive innovation in our products, technologies, and services to reduce energy consumption and improve productivity for our customers. Automation Solutions introduced the Plantweb™ digital ecosystem which links our digital plant architecture for process control, safety and asset management with the power of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). This helps to deliver improved performance in safety, reliability, production and energy use for our industrial customers. Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions is working with the commercial refrigeration industry on systems that use more environmentally-friendly refrigerants. They are also working with customers in China to switch from local coal-fired, smog-producing boilers for residential heating to the use of modern energy-efficient electric heat pumps. We are working across this company to be more environmentally safe, cleaner, and more sustainable.
We also reaffirmed our commitment to improving internal operations. Safety is a priority at all of our manufacturing and office facilities around the world. This message has had an impact as our total recordable incident rate globally has fallen each year for the past five years, but we must be ever more vigilant to ensure the health and safety of our employees in the workplace.
As a company competing to recruit and retain the best talent for our management, engineering, and production needs, we are committed to making Emerson a more diverse and inclusive organization at all levels. In 2016, we began unconscious bias training for managers and employees, and this training was expanded in 2017. We have encouraged the growth of our Emerson Women in STEM organization to provide networking and professional development for women employees in engineering and other professional roles in our company.
I am also proud of how Emerson and its employees are helping to improve the communities where we operate. We are funding a wide range of programs and employees are volunteering in our communities to make a real and positive difference in people’s lives, from Ferguson to rural China. Through our “We Love STEM” initiatives, we’re helping make young people aware how Science, Technology, Engineering and Math classes help prepare them for future career opportunities. As a company, our focus is to help today's youth understand that manufacturing is very important to the global economy and we can make a difference.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to thank our employees around the world for living our core values and helping make Emerson an ethical and more economically, environmentally, and socially responsible company. Through this Corporate Social Responsibility Report and our other communications, we are committed to maintaining an ongoing dialogue with our stakeholders on our efforts and progress in these areas.
David N. Farr
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer