Cintas Corporation Sets 2050 Net Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions Target
Cintas Corporation (PPAI 303547, D12) has announced that it intends to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The Cincinnati, Ohio-headquartered distributor is also undertaking a comprehensive, enterprise-wide review of its business model as it relates to environmental, social and governance (ESG) opportunities, improvements and efficiencies.
“Cintas was founded on a sustainable business model and has grown to a $7-plus billion-dollar company by recycling, reducing and reusing our products and materials for our customers, and helping them reduce their environmental impact. Our corporate culture is based on doing what’s right and challenging ourselves to be better, so we view announcing our ambition to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 as a natural extension of our culture and how we conduct our business,” says Todd Schneider, Cintas president and CEO. “We believe that climate change is a real issue, and that as a good corporate citizen, we must actively engage in activities and initiatives that help reduce our impact on the environment. We understand that reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 is ambitious given our business and industry, but we are committed to doing our part to innovate and explore new technologies that will be necessary in this journey.”
As its business review continues for the next 12-18 months, Cintas says that it expects to better define its ESG journey, including identifying strategies to reduce its scope one—direct emissions that occur from sources that are controlled or owned by an organization—and scope two—indirect emissions associated with the purchase of electricity, steam, heat or cooling—greenhouse gas emissions and potential avenues to reduce scope three—emissions that are the result of activities from assets not owned or controlled by an organization, but that it indirectly impacts in its value chain—greenhouse gas emissions from its supply chain. The review will also focus on opportunities to further reduce its overall environmental impact through continued reductions in energy, water, raw materials and waste throughout its business.
“We continually develop and implement new processes to reduce our energy and water consumption while still maintaining our industry-leading quality and service,” adds Schneider. “Our net zero ambition will challenge our entire company to think even more critically about our business and create more sustainable means to help our customers get ‘Ready for the Workday.’ To successfully achieve our ambition to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, we’ll need to think differently about our own operational processes—including the energy sources we use and our delivery fleet—and we’ll need the support and buy-in of our supply chain.”
Between the fiscal years 2016 and 2020, Cintas improved its water efficiency rate by 16 percent while increasing its sales by almost 48 percent in that same time frame. In the last three years, the company has reduced its energy consumption by almost 13 percent as sales rose by 10 percent.
Cintas’ organizational business review began in 2019 when the company implemented processes to help it start publicly reporting on its ESG priorities—including its environmental impacts—and now continues with due diligence and the analysis of historic data. Cintas notes that the ongoing business review will guide its ESG journey, and that it has established the structure and processes to take it into the future. In August, Cintas appointed Christy Nageleisen as its new vice president of ESG and chief compliance officer and re-organized several departments to create a new risk and compliance department. This new department will work cross-functionally under Nageleisen as she develops and leads the company’s ESG-related strategy, activities, monitoring and compliance. Cintas expects that this strategy will include further environmental impact improvements, as well as opportunities related to diversity and inclusion, human capital, safety and health, and governance objectives, among other areas.