Wesco 2024 Sustainability Report: CEO Letter

We Believe in Our Employees
Jun 4, 2024 2:30 PM ET
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John Engel, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Office, Wesco International.

Read the 2024 Wesco Sustainability Report here

By John Engel, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Office, Wesco International.

I am pleased to present Wesco’s 2024 Sustainability Report, in which we detail how we are making a positive impact for our customers, our partners and our communities.

As a leading provider of business-to-business (B2B) supply chain solutions, our team continues to navigate through a mixed economic environment, while managing changing customer buying patterns. Following two years of double-digit sales growth, we set a new company record again in 2023 with 5% growth to over $22 billion in sales. I am incredibly proud of our team and our company culture.

2023 also marked the successful completion of our three-year integration of Anixter. The acquisition of Anixter literally transformed Wesco. This combination not only established Wesco as the clear leader in several of our businesses, but it also mix-shifted our company to higher growth and higher margin end-markets, reducing our cyclicality and increasing our resilience across all phases of the economic cycle. Looking at our performance metrics since the acquisition underscores the extraordinary performance and commitment of the entire Wesco team:

  • Met or exceeded our 2022 sustainability goals and set new targets for 2030.
  • Synergy capture – far exceeded all our initial operational and synergy targets set at the time of the Anixter acquisition.
  • Above-market sales and profit growth – sales increased 30% and adjusted EBITDA increased 89% versus the 2019 performance of the standalone companies, and EBITDA margin expanded 240 basis points.
  • Strengthened balance sheet – rapidly de-levered our balance sheet by three turns, one year ahead of schedule.
  • Superior shareholder returns – since closing the Anixter acquisition in June 2020 through the end of 2023, total shareholder return was 353% compared to 62% for the S&P 500.

Today, Wesco is much more than a traditional distributor. We are a critical partner to both our supplier partners and to our global set of customers. The combination of Wesco and Anixter, along with our digital transformation, is empowering us to capitalize on the long-term secular trends from which we are well positioned to benefit. We also understand the urgency to develop solutions for the complex problems in a changing world. To do our part we have continued our journey to meet our sustainability goals and again made very good progress in 2023:

Environmental Stewardship: We are making good progress on our 2030 goals which aim to reduce our absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 30% and our landfill waste intensity by 15%. We are implementing initiatives that curb energy use and minimize waste generation. These efforts reduce our environmental impact, reduce costs, and contribute to our operational efficiency and long-term success. 

Investing in Our People: We believe in our employees and their potential to drive positive change. We are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace, where everyone feels valued and empowered to contribute their talents. This year Wesco launched a campaign called “Ignite Change,” that targeted 3,200 leaders across our enterprise to build leadership capability and to provide tools and resources to help lead their teams through ongoing transformation. We also reshaped our Learning and Development program to adapt to our evolving needs, with a focus on incorporating technology and industry professionals to offer our employees the best resources available. In 2023, Wesco employees spent over 168,000 hours in training, a worthwhile investment in their future and ours.

Ethics and Compliance: At Wesco, we are unwavering in our commitment to ethical business practices. Our robust global ethics and compliance program ensures we operate with integrity and uphold the highest standards in all aspects of our business. This year, we saw a significant increase in employee engagement with our program, demonstrating their trust and commitment to ethical conduct. We are continuously improving to address emerging risks and ensure we remain at the forefront of ethical business practices. For example, our internal audit, quality and security teams performed over 200 audits in 2023, ensuring our operations are running in alignment with the standards we set. This commitment is not only vital to our continued success, but is also essential to building trust with our stakeholders and creating a positive impact on the communities we serve. Through company-wide training, we reinforce corporate governance principles and empower our team members with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate complex ethical dilemmas. This investment in education has contributed to a notable increase in the number of reports to our internal hotline, indicating a growing awareness and willingness among our employees to speak up against misconduct.

Innovation for a Greener Tomorrow: We offer a wide range of sustainable products and services that help our customers reach their own sustainability goals. From energy-efficiency and energy-management solutions to renewable energy, we are dedicated to pushing boundaries and setting new standards for environmental responsibility.

Wesco was again recognized for our corporate responsibility programs. Likewise, our supplier partners appreciated the value in our collaboration, outstanding demand creation and leading service capabilities. We were named one of Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies, and this year ranked #2 in the Diversified Wholesalers category. Our company strategy, performance and management were recognized as well. For the second year in a row, we were named the Best Sustainable Supply Chain Strategy, (United States) by Capital Finance International and to The Drucker Institute’s list of the Best Managed Companies in the World.

Wesco was also named Most Innovative B2B Supply Chain Solutions, North America by Pan Finance magazine for the first time this year.

Our journey toward sustainability is ongoing, and we remain committed to continuous improvement. We recognize that collaboration is key to success, and we are actively engaging with our stakeholders to learn, share best practices, and drive collective action.

Thank you for your continued support as we build a more sustainable future for all. Together, we can create a world where progress thrives in harmony with the environment, where communities flourish, and where responsible governance paves the way for a brighter tomorrow.

John Engel 
Chairman, President 
and Chief Executive Officer

To learn more, download the 2024 Wesco Sustainability Report here.

About This Report

Unless otherwise stated, this report covers activities, data and initiatives from our fiscal year 2023.

ESG Disclosure and Framework Alignment

The topics covered in this report include those that we have determined to be material for our business and stakeholders as noted on page 12. Wesco aligns with several ESG frameworks and disclosures in support of our commitment to transparency and our fulfillment of stakeholder needs and expectations. We leverage the following frameworks and standards to provide robust ESG information disclosure:

  • Global Reporting Initiative (GRI): GRI offers a list of global standards and guidelines around sustainability reporting.
  • Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB): SASB provides a comprehensive set of industry-specific disclosure topics and guidelines.
  • Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD): TCFD provides disclosure recommendations on thematic ESG topics such as governance, strategy, risk management, metrics and targets to provide stakeholders with fuller information surrounding climate risks.
  • CDP: Formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project, CDP is an international organization that helps companies and cities measure and disclose important environmental impact information through an annual questionnaire and rating system.
  • United Nations Global Compact (UNGC): UNGC is an initiative that aims to help businesses align their strategies and work toward the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals.
  • United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (U.N. SDGs): U.N. SDGs provide a shared set of 17 toward peace and prosperity for people and planet goals and create a call to action by all countries in a global partnership.

We also regularly engage with our investors, employees, customers, regulators, ratings agencies and others on ESG and business issues. Additional information about Wesco can be found in our public financial filings—including our annual report and proxy filings—as well as on the Security and Exchange Commission’s website at www.sec.gov or on the Investors page of our website at Wesco.com.

Wesco plans to continue to report annually as we monitor, measure, and deepen our ESG initiatives and disclosures.

Wesco endorses the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are a call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

More information about our SDG aligned initiatives is included throughout this report.

We did not seek third-party assurance for this report; however, we will consider doing so for future reporting. The information and data contained in this report was vetted by internal subject matter experts on the various ESG topics included in this report.

Contact Us 
We appreciate and welcome feedback on our ESG initiatives and reporting and invite you to contact us directly via email at Sustainability@Wesco.com.