COVID-19 Lessons: How ESG Prepared Us for Unprecedented Challenges

November 23, 2020

Harry A. Kemp

COVID-19 Lessons: How ESG Prepared Us for Unprecedented Challenges

November 23, 2020

Harry A. Kemp

COVID-19 has tested our spirit and resilience. Everyone is wondering how to respond and reset in whatever the new normal might be. One of the most critical lessons we learned from COVID-19 is that companies with strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles were better prepared to face the unexpected and unprecedented challenge.

At Lear, we leveraged our global expertise to respond to the pandemic and re-open safely and efficiently. We made the same health and safety protocols we developed and utilized in our 250+ locations around the world available to anyone, anywhere. Using strong partnerships in our supply chain and our local ingenuity, we produced more than 10 million face masks for Lear employees, frontline workers and medical facilities in just four months. Our strong foundation of operational excellence and focus on ESG helped make this happen.

At Lear, our ESG journey began long before COVID-19 tested us all. Here are some valuable lessons we’ve learned along the way:

  1. ESG is not a program—it’s a long-term business strategy. Built on policies and procedures, ESG allows companies to closely examine how they do business, objectively identify and assess risks, and develop plans to manage them effectively. By addressing long-term risks and opportunities instead of merely short-term gains, companies can truly focus on sustaining their business into the future.
  2. Everyone owns ESG. From supply chain to quality to environmental, health and safety (EHS) to new product development to internal and external communications—ESG involves every aspect of a business. It is multi-functional by nature, enabling every person throughout the organization to contribute.
  3. Measurable goals and continuous improvement drive results. Similar to lean manufacturing and quality standards, ESG requires a metric-focused approach with an emphasis on continuously strengthening processes and policies. Setting aggressive, specific goals results in long-term success for companies, customers and communities.

Recently, Lear published our 2019 Sustainability Report announcing significant new goals and policies, such as:

  • Aggressive climate change goals to aspire to net zero emissions by 2050, while cutting carbon emissions 50% and achieving 100% renewable energy in our plants by 2030
  • Enhanced Human Rights Policy to better align with United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals and meet our commitments as a signatory participant in the UN Global Compact
  • No Deforestation Policy to ensure responsible sourcing of leather and other materials while conserving natural resources

As a team, we make choices every day to do what is best for the long-term sustainability of our company, keep our 164,000 employees and business partners working safely, support their families and the communities where they live, and protect the environment for the people and planet we all share. ESG is the foundation of our efforts. Lear is proving that by getting results the right way, we can all prosper.


Harry A. Kemp

Making every
drive better.

COVID-19 Lessons: How ESG Prepared Us for Unprecedented Challenges

November 23, 2020

Harry A. Kemp

COVID-19 Lessons: How ESG Prepared Us for Unprecedented Challenges

November 23, 2020

Harry A. Kemp

COVID-19 has tested our spirit and resilience. Everyone is wondering how to respond and reset in whatever the new normal might be. One of the most critical lessons we learned from COVID-19 is that companies with strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles were better prepared to face the unexpected and unprecedented challenge.

At Lear, we leveraged our global expertise to respond to the pandemic and re-open safely and efficiently. We made the same health and safety protocols we developed and utilized in our 250+ locations around the world available to anyone, anywhere. Using strong partnerships in our supply chain and our local ingenuity, we produced more than 10 million face masks for Lear employees, frontline workers and medical facilities in just four months. Our strong foundation of operational excellence and focus on ESG helped make this happen.

At Lear, our ESG journey began long before COVID-19 tested us all. Here are some valuable lessons we’ve learned along the way:

  1. ESG is not a program—it’s a long-term business strategy. Built on policies and procedures, ESG allows companies to closely examine how they do business, objectively identify and assess risks, and develop plans to manage them effectively. By addressing long-term risks and opportunities instead of merely short-term gains, companies can truly focus on sustaining their business into the future.
  2. Everyone owns ESG. From supply chain to quality to environmental, health and safety (EHS) to new product development to internal and external communications—ESG involves every aspect of a business. It is multi-functional by nature, enabling every person throughout the organization to contribute.
  3. Measurable goals and continuous improvement drive results. Similar to lean manufacturing and quality standards, ESG requires a metric-focused approach with an emphasis on continuously strengthening processes and policies. Setting aggressive, specific goals results in long-term success for companies, customers and communities.

Recently, Lear published our 2019 Sustainability Report announcing significant new goals and policies, such as:

  • Aggressive climate change goals to aspire to net zero emissions by 2050, while cutting carbon emissions 50% and achieving 100% renewable energy in our plants by 2030
  • Enhanced Human Rights Policy to better align with United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals and meet our commitments as a signatory participant in the UN Global Compact
  • No Deforestation Policy to ensure responsible sourcing of leather and other materials while conserving natural resources

As a team, we make choices every day to do what is best for the long-term sustainability of our company, keep our 164,000 employees and business partners working safely, support their families and the communities where they live, and protect the environment for the people and planet we all share. ESG is the foundation of our efforts. Lear is proving that by getting results the right way, we can all prosper.


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Making every
drive better.