Since Atlas’ founding, the core principles of ESG have been and remain fully embedded in our culture. Early on, we didn’t describe all of this activity as “ESG Practices,” but our belief has always been that when you prioritize the interests of all constituencies – via a commitment to not just speak about your ideals but also to innovate and execute upon the very best ESG practices – you build better places to work and stronger, more valuable businesses.
We are proud to have an Atlas family-wide focus on each aspect of ESG – Environmental stewardship, Social advancement, and sound Governance. When meetings begin with a safety briefing, or we bring together our CEOs and HR Leaders to discuss diversity and inclusion, or institute a broad antitrust policy to strengthen governance that improve the places we work, we are far stronger than if one person was solely responsible.
At Atlas, everyone is responsible, every day.
Consistent with Atlas’ orientation toward solving problems rather than disposing of them, we believe that we can be most impactful not by avoiding or divesting of businesses with poor ESG related profiles, but by seeking out opportunities in which we can actively improve ESG performance.
Fundamentally, we believe attention to good ESG practices is good business.
Our commitment with respect to ESG matters is:
(1) to incorporate ESG considerations into investment decisions before investing; and
(2) to measurably improve the ESG performance of each Atlas portfolio company during the period of Atlas ownership.
As we communicate to all of our associates across the globe, we are deeply committed to the communities where our people work and where their kids go to school. We understand that maintaining a clean environment is in everyone’s shared interest and is a core responsibility of ownership we view as a moral obligation. Atlas conducts screening environmental assessments on 100% of the private investment acquisitions we evaluate. Atlas companies consistently interface with regulatory agencies on permitting matters, working together wherever possible to ensure that the strongest environmental protections, such as for clean air and clean water, are included in our companies’ operating permits. Our teams then implement a robust compliance process to adhere to those requirements.
We know that creating the capacity to deliver social impact through our companies requires an alignment around the Atlas culture and values. Atlas is deeply committed to diversity and inclusion throughout the Atlas Family. But we also recognize that being deeply committed falls short of our objective if we have not established truly diverse and inclusive organizations. More broadly, our commitment to all those around the globe that comprise the Atlas Family is to operate in a manner consistent with our approach to doing business.
Atlas requires that each platform company engage in a formal Board process as a means of ensuring good corporate hygiene and governance. Generally, once an acquisition has been stabilized, we select a Chairman who is not an Atlas associate and staff the Board of Managers with multiple individuals who are sector-specific experts and generally who are not associates of Atlas or the subject company.
Atlas also enforces the highest ethical standards in every business we operate. For example, we are fully committed to fair competition and winning customers and clients based on superior products, services, and capabilities. We have no tolerance for anticompetitive conduct in violation of antitrust laws and would rather lose business than break the law to obtain it.
Going Above and Beyond: Chasta Rauccio
“Seeing an individual like Chasta with a heart to serve getting involved, caring more than just for the job at hand every day, wanting to care for people… and give to the community, a community where she doesn’t even know everyone, that speaks volumes.” –Will Hill, Mayor of Louisville, Mississippi
Chasta Rauccio, Vice President of Human Resources at Winston Plywood and Veneer, is Chair of the Rotary Club in Louisville, Mississippi. The organization leads many service events for the community and Winston is a major contributor. One of the main issues that they seek to combat is the considerable poverty in the region. Chasta was inspired by a program that had been successful in her hometown and launched an initiative to help those facing poverty in Louisville.
As a result, Rotary of Louisville, Louisville Medical Clinic and Winston Plywood & Veneer teamed up to start a “Giving Box” for Winston County. This box is intended to help those that may be in need or down on their luck. It is supplied with basic hygiene necessities for babies to adults as well as non-perishable food items. It is not manned and completely anonymous for those in need to encourage use without judgment. It is available 24 hours a day so that no one in the community must go hungry. The box is replenished 2-3 times each week.
“We are a blessed nation and most of us have never experienced the fear of where our next meal will come from,” shared Chasta. The motto for the Giving Box initiative is “take what you need and give what you can.” It is their goal that one day the box will be self-sustaining.
Chasta was recognized at the 2021 virtual Atlas Annual Conference for her contributions to the community as the recipient of the Atlas Hero Award.
The Atlas Hero Award was established in 2020 to recognize a member of the Atlas Family that has gone above and beyond in service to the community. Clarence Watkins, Maintenance Manager at Banker Steel in Lynchburg, Virginia was the inaugural recipient in recognition of his work with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Virginia.