Building a Better World is our ongoing commitment to a sustainable future — rooted in our values of transparency, trust and respect. That commitment fuels our continued focus on solutions that grow our business, drive innovative product development, prioritize the people important to our success and honor the planet we call home.
RPM approaches sustainability using a center-led three pillar model within our Building a Better World Program, consisting of Our Products, Our People and Our Processes.
We invest in products and materials that deliver eco-conscious and practical solutions for our businesses and our stakeholders. We:
- Pursue sustainable product development opportunities.
- Integrate sustainable procurement practices.
- Address chemicals of concern.
We create a work environment where associates feel supported and invested in their work and the contributions they make to their communities. We:
- Support associates’ mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.
- Expand diversity and inclusion programs and initiatives.
- Provide continuing education and development opportunities.
We conduct business by doing the right things, the right way for the right reasons —highlighting how sustainability can enhance successful business strategy. We:
- Reduce emissions and energy use.
- Reduce waste and increase recycling.
- Promote water reuse and conservation.
Our corporate governance and ethical practices create long-term stakeholder value guided by reasonable oversight through all levels of our leadership. Our governance is built on the foundation of our core values of transparency, trust, respect and our code of conduct and ethics, The Values and Expectations of 168.
For 75 years, RPM has valued and respected our place in the world as a steward of the built environment. We have a unique opportunity, given our global scope but local approach to conducting business, to leave a lasting legacy by doing well through doing right. Our commitment to sustainability, the environment, society and governance principles has been central to our values for decades.
That is why in recent years we have increased our efforts to build infrastructure that enables us to gather and analyze data from our many decentralized operating companies so that we can bring those practices together in this more center-led, strategic approach. Our company continues to implement changes, including new operational improvement programs, that drive our overall business strategy and propel us forward along our sustainability journey of Building a Better World.
Comprehensive practices across our operations have positioned us to create value for our customers, associates and other stakeholders for generations to come. To focus our sustainability efforts in ways that align with our business practices, we now center lead sustainability from the top with our Board of Directors and our cross-functional Building a Better World Oversight Committee chaired by our Vice President — Compliance and Sustainability, Associate General Counsel.
The Value of 168®
The number 168 — the number of hours in a week — reminds us of our commitment to ethical business conduct every hour of every day. The Value of 168 reminds us to always use the limited time we have to do the right things, the right way, for the right reasons.
2025 Sustainability Goals
Materiality & Stakeholder Engagement
In 2019, RPM partnered with external consultants to conduct a materiality* assessment identifying topics most significant to our business. With involvement from internal and external stakeholders, we prioritized areas where we can make the biggest impact — and those that could have the greatest impact on us. Steps included:
Topic Identification: We identified a population of potentially material* topics by evaluating sector-specific relevance and mapping to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). We assessed our internal strategic planning, emerging trends, peer performance and thought leadership to determine material topics for RPM and its stakeholders.
Topic Prioritization: After identifying potentially material* topics, we consulted internal and external stakeholders — as well as numerous internal and external sources — to collect perspectives regarding our related risks, opportunities and impacts. We consolidated the findings from stakeholders to determine the relative importance of each topic.
Validation: After prioritizing the topics identified, we held a validation session with key RPM leaders. During this exercise, leaders reviewed the topic prioritization and provided additional feedback.
As outlined by the GRI Standards, we identified RPM’s material* topics by considering the two dimensions of
the materiality* principle:
- The significance of our organization’s economic, environmental and social impacts; and
- Our substantive influence on the assessments and decisions of stakeholders.
While all identified topics are important to our company and warrant effective management, this report
focuses on those topics identified that are most material* to our business.