Sustainability is not a new concept for The Toro Company. It is deeply rooted in our purpose - to help our customers enrich the beauty, productivity and sustainability of the land. Sustainability directly ties to our mission to deliver superior innovation and to deliver superior customer care. It is also the foundation of our strategic business priorities of accelerating profitable growth, driving productivity and operational excellence and empowering people.
"Sustainability is not a new concept for The Toro Company. It is deeply rooted in our purpose - to help our customers enrich the beauty, productivity and sustainability of the land."
Consistent with our strategy for accelerating profitable growth, we continued to invest in innovation and new product development in fiscal 2019. Alternative power, smart-connected products and autonomous technologies are important areas of focus for us. For example, our Reelmaster® 5010-H and Greensmaster® eTriFlex™ hybrid mowers provide fuel savings over comparable mowers, plus they reduce noise levels and operating costs for our customers. In addition, the new e-Dingo, launched this year, is designed to provide customers with the ability to work indoors with zero emissions and lower noise pollution. We also recently established a new technology acceleration center, which is designed to support our development of smart-connected technologies.
"There is much we have done, and there is more we can, and will, do."
Fiscal 2019 was an exciting year of growth for us. The acquisition of The Charles Machine Works, Inc., CMW, was the largest in our history, adding more than 2,000 employees and the largest manufacturing plant in our global footprint. The addition of CMW and its well-known family of businesses, like Ditch Witch and others, expands our company in adjacent categories. These markets create new opportunities to support the needs of a growing population - like the installation of 5G networks to enable next generation smart networks – and provide new solutions to address the aging global underground infrastructure.
In addition, we are driving productivity and operational excellence in our manufacturing operations. For instance, we continued to focus on Lean and productivity initiatives. We also are investing in manufacturing automation, robotics and capacity needs and tools to assist with our resource use and management.
Our people are our most important asset. As our company grows, our commitment to empowering people and fostering diversity, equity and inclusion remains steadfast. It starts with ensuring that our employees feel a genuine sense of belonging and remain healthy and safe every day, no matter where they perform their work. We continue to enhance and expand our efforts to educate, train and prepare our employees to stay safe in the workplace. Empowering people extends beyond our own four walls. Giving back to the community has long been a part of our culture. We are committed to sharing our success through financial support, volunteer hours and in-kind product donations. Around the world, our employees actively volunteer their time and talents to nonprofit organizations and civic projects that support the beautification and preservation of outdoor environments, water conservation, community health and housing and youth enrichment activities, just to name a few.
Our Land. Water. Thrive. initiative is something that is unique to The Toro Company. As part of this effort, we provide immersion experiences for our employees to work with smallholder farmers in developing countries to improve their productivity and provide education on the efficient use of water in sustainable agriculture. We also are helping our communities enrich the beauty of the land for the health, well-being and enjoyment of everyone with a focus on revitalizing parks and green spaces.
Sustainability has long been a part of our purpose and culture. We will build on this foundation with focus, innovation and transparency to meet the demands of the rapidly changing world. There is much we have done, and there is more we can, and will, do. We are resolved to continue our unwavering commitment to lead with integrity and win in the right way. This means growing our business while reducing our own environmental footprint and providing solutions to help our customers reduce their environmental impact as well. It also means continuing to leverage our time and talents to help our communities around the globe. You can count on us to deliver results, financially, socially and environmentally, because at The Toro Company, sustainability endures.
Richard M. Olson
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer