We benefit from a global and diverse workforce of committed, passionate employees. At UL, living our mission to work for a safer, more secure and sustainable world means going beyond the work we undertake. In recognition of our people’s passion for improving the communities where we work and live, each full-time employee receives two volunteer time off (VTO) days a year to dedicate to volunteer service.
We also offer all our employees quality education and career advancement opportunities. We value their contributions and support an inclusive environment because it makes our work more meaningful and our company more successful.
In 2019, UL president and CEO, Jennifer Scanlon, signed two pledges related to UL’s commitment to inclusion:
The Equity Principles of the Chicago Network that commits us to work toward achieving gender equity in leadership roles throughout our organization by 2030.
The CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion Pledge to actualize inclusive culture. The pledge is the largest CEO-led commitment to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace. CEO signatories commit to cultivating workplaces that support diversity and inclusion through important dialogues and actions. They also commit to implement unconscious bias training and to create and share strategic inclusion and diversity plans with their board of directors.
Our mission remains the same. The way we live our mission includes positively impacting our customers and stakeholders, the communities around the globe where we have a presence, and the public that we serve. Safety and sustainability go hand-in-hand. The way we go about the business of keeping people safe must meet today’s needs without compromising tomorrow’s opportunities.
Working at UL means sharing a common commitment — to positively impact our planet, its people and prosperity — with all of our colleagues around the world.
Our employees are key to our company’s success and value, and in turn we invest in their growth and success. We begin by encouraging open, honest conversations so that everyone has an opportunity to share their perspective and expertise to enhance the common good.
Diversity and inclusion (D&I)
We are working together to sustain a diverse and inclusive culture where everyone can thrive. Beyond being a moral imperative, we understand that the best solutions are created when people collaborate and think beyond their own perspective.
UL’s third Diversity + Inclusion Summit was held at our location in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and broadcast live to our employees around the globe via webcast. Research by Accenture in 2019 reveals that the “innovation mindset is six times higher in the most-equal cultures than in the least-equal ones.”
We value our people and understand the need for the innovations our future prosperity demands
Business Resource Groups (BRGs)
Our BRGs are voluntary, employee-driven groups that help us to foster an inclusive workplace by supporting diverse perspectives and empowering community advocacy and transformation. All UL colleagues are able to join all BRGs.
Dedicated to driving inclusion through education and awareness, the Black BRG aims to accelerate UL’s commitment to engaging employees with diverse backgrounds, skills and capabilities to work together to deliver UL’s mission.
PRIDE UL BRG
PRIDE UL is committed to increasing awareness and understanding of our LGBTQ+ community. PRIDE stands for People
Recognizing Identities and Differences for Equality. This BRG strives to create a positive and supportive work
environment, helping deliver UL’s commitment to D&I, and the recruiting and retaining of LGBTQ+ talent.
The ULatino BRG promotes the heritage of Hispanic and/or Latino UL employees by sharing the Latino/Hispanic culture through educational opportunities, networking, cultural events and social gatherings. This BRG also supports the professional development and leadership opportunities for Latino/Hispanic team members to help recruit and retain top talent.
Women in Leadership BRG (WILBRG)
WILBRG helps accelerate the advancement of women working at UL by cultivating a strong community of female leaders. The BRG helps members develop their leadership skills and personal/business networks, shares best business practices and thought leadership, and promotes career opportunities for women.
Young Professionals BRG
The Young Professionals BRG aims to build and nurture an inclusive environment that engages millennials in support of UL's mission and business. Goals and objectives include supporting UL's effort to attract, develop and retain millennial talent, building an internal support system for millennials to share experiences and information, developing personal and professional growth opportunities, and influencing change to help grow and digitize the business.
2019 BRG highlights:
- In honor of Pride Month, the Pride flag was showcased at a number of UL’s main sites.
- Young Professional, Black BRG and WILBRG hosted a variety of career growth events centered around inclusive leadership, mentoring and work-life integration.
- To raise awareness during Mental Health Awareness Month, the Young Professionals BRG hosted educational events for employees.
- This year marked the launch of the Global Diversity and Inclusion initiative involving more than 30 focus groups across UL.
- This year also marked the third annual Leadership Summit, focused on building a globally inclusive culture.
Diversity and Inclusion Council
Formed in 2018, our D&I Council shares recommendations and offers guidance to build UL’s D&I strategy across UL’s global entities. The council also determines measurable goals and metrics to monitor the progress of our D&I initiatives. Council members include executive-level employees and representatives from each BRG.
In the community
UL’s social sustainability efforts connect local and global issues directly to our mission of working for a safer world, offering opportunities for our people to make a personal and lasting impact. Employee participation in volunteer service enhances our mission and deepens our connection to the communities where we work and live.
In 2019, we operationalized a global network of employee volunteers to drive sustainability at the local level in their communities. These Sustainability Champions support our enterprise volunteer initiatives as well as other local volunteer efforts put forth by employees at their locations. As we continue to develop global and regional campaigns to support the SDGs and utilize our employee talent, we are implementing a new online platform to measure our impact through donations and volunteer service.
UL University (ULU)
We provide education and training to all our employees with access to a free and comprehensive portfolio of instructor-led, online and self-directed learning options. We also facilitate mentoring opportunities that enable everyone involved to share their unique knowledge and skills.
In 2019, ULU won the 2019 Association for Talent Development (ATD) BEST award. Each year, the ATD assesses best-in-class learning and development functions from organizations all over the world and ranks them according to inclusive access to learning and development for all employees, alignment of learning programs to business outcomes and the impact of individual training programs.
125 streams for UL's 125 years
In 2019, to celebrate our 125th anniversary, we launched our first-ever global volunteer initiative, with an ambitious goal to clean 125 streams around the world. This volunteer effort captured the spirit of our mission and inspired our employees in a collective global effort to raise awareness about the necessity of clean, accessible water and progress the SDGs.
Stream cleanups were held in 20 countries: the U.S., Canada, Germany, Argentina, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, the U.K., China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, South Africa and India.
More than 1,500 employees volunteered more than 6,000 hours to cleanups around the world. Led by their local Sustainability Champion, each team selected a body of water to clean, improving streams, rivers, lakes and oceans in their communities.
In India, employees were so inspired by the 125 Streams initiative, they adopted the lake they volunteered to clean, Seegehalli Lake in Bangalore. They are committed to continuing work over the coming years to revitalize the lake and its surrounding area. We’re proud to say we reached our goal to clean 125 streams in our 125th year. Along the way, we helped restore habitats and ecosystems, made a positive impact on our communities, united employees across the globe and embodied our mission of working for a safer, more secure and sustainable world.
By cleaning 125 streams, we helped to combat waterborne diseases, contributed to inclusive and accessible green spaces for all citizens and reduced the release of waste into the water system.
Aligning to the SDGs
Partnering to improve lives
UL and Safe Water Network
Safe Water Network brings together resources to address the challenge of water contamination, lack of access to clean water, and water and sanitation-related illnesses and deaths. We support their efforts to develop and implement solutions to provide safe, affordable water to people in need in India, Ghana and Kenya.
In partnership with Safe Water Network, UL’s Field Engineering team in India supports the installation and inspection of water filtration stations. Additionally, UL grants help support the training of local village residents to self-manage those stations and provide education on water hygiene and safety. This project offers a start for safe water throughout India.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate students to pursue education and career opportunities in STEM while building life skills.
Since 2006, UL has been the official Safety Partner for FIRST Robotics. Serving as Safety Advisors, UL employees volunteer at robotics competitions around the globe where they help teams create a culture of safety and help ensure all participants practice important safety measures throughout the competition.
In 2019, more than 200 UL Safety Advisors attended more than 125 competitions, contributing more than 6,000 volunteer hours.
Safety Animation Award
Each year, FIRST teams from across North America compete for the Safety Animation award by creating short, animated videos focused on safety. The winning submission is shown at all FIRST competitions during the season. In 2019, volunteers reviewed more than 160 entries for the 2019 Safety Animation Award. For 2020, teams have been asked to submit videos on the theme “Sustainability is on the RISE,” paying particular attention to sustainable cities and communities and responsible consumption and production.
Danish Science Cup
UL volunteers in Ballerup, Denmark, support the Danish Science Cup, a science competition for 18-year-old students organized by the Danish Society of Engineers. Safety is an important criteria in evaluating projects in the competition.
Habitat for Humanity
We consistently support Habitat for Humanity’s work through volunteer efforts and charitable contributions, donating to fund employee build days at Habitat for Humanity homes in the U.S. and China. In 2019, UL sponsored the refurbishment of an entire historic home. UL volunteers helped to identify older technology and infrastructure in the home that could be refreshed and reused, diverting more waste from the landfill. Overall in 2019, more than 250 employees volunteered more than 1,700 hours.
In the world
As a 2019 Signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, we apply their definition of social sustainability to ourselves:
Social Sustainability refers to the proactive way a company identifies and manages business impacts on employees, workers in the supply chain, customers and communities
Collaboration between UL’s Corporate Sustainability Council, Corporate Sustainability, Human Resources and Ethics, and Compliance supports our social sustainability efforts to make a positive impact through:
Volunteering — Each full-time employee receives 2 paid volunteer time off (VTO) days per year.
Disaster relief — UL matches employee donations to disaster relief efforts.
Philanthropy — We donate to important causes that progress the United Nations’ SDGs, such as Habitat for Humanity, which aligns with Goals Nos. 6, 7 and 17.
Responsible sourcing — We expect our suppliers to practice responsible sourcing, foster safe work environments, exhibit transparency and ensure the secure distribution of goods.
Anti-counterfeiting — UL collaborates with law enforcement agencies around the globe to combat counterfeit goods to help protect the public and the supply chain.
Nonprofit partnerships — We selectively partner with local nonprofit groups to learn from their expertise as we make a difference in the communities where we work and live.
UL’s Ethics and Compliance office helps promote and maintain our values-driven culture, ensuring that the principles of integrity, honesty, quality and fairness are integrated into our business practices on a consistent basis around the world.