In our 2022 Sustainability Report, we share our sustainability strategy and progress and our environmental, social and governance (ESG) management with our employees, customers and other valued stakeholders. We issue this report to address what matters most to you, and to listen, learn and evolve as we lead. We utilize the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards to help guide our ESG disclosures. We remain committed on our journey toward a safer, more secure and more sustainable world, and to making progress on our responsibilities. This report shares ESG data on UL Solutions Inc. from the year beginning January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2022.
UL Solutions Inc. is distinguished by the fact that we’ve been a mission-driven company since UL was founded in 1894 as part of the nonprofit Underwriters Electrical Bureau. In 2022, UL Inc. became UL Solutions Inc., and we continue to offer safety, security and sustainability services to our customers, while research, standards and advocacy activities are carried out by two nonprofit organizations:
UL Research Institutes (also known as Underwriters Laboratories Inc.): conducting rigorous, independent research into ongoing and emerging human-safety risks across a broad range of critical fields from fire safety to autonomous systems and artificial intelligence (AI).
UL Standards & Engagement (also known as ULSE Inc.): serving as a facilitator of public-private relationships around the world, translating knowledge gained from safety science into practical and measurable standards, policies, advocacy campaigns to improve public safety.
The combined enterprise of UL Solutions Inc., UL Research Institutes and UL Standards & Engagement remains united by our founding mission to work for a safer world. All of us in the UL enterprise believe in this mission, working together for a safer world through complementary focuses and commitments.
Founding the future of safety science and sustainable progress
In 2021 and 2022, UL Solutions Inc. made special dividend payments totaling $1.8 billion (USD) to our shareholder, UL Standards & Engagement, to help support the future of critical safety science research, Standards development and safety advocacy. These dividends were made possible by the work performed at UL Solutions in support of our customers and our safety mission.
Powered by a shared purpose, UL Solutions, Inc., UL Standards & Engagement and UL Research Institutes will continue to have a profound impact on the quality of life on our planet, and the safety, security and sustainability of our world.
James M. Shannon
Chairman of the board of directors, UL Solutions
“We are proud that, through this major commitment, we are moving forward to accelerate safety science discoveries and inform public policy and behaviors that will advance the public good around the world.”
Where we are
UL Solutions Inc. is incorporated in the state of Delaware and is wholly owned by ULSE Inc. Our global headquarters are in Northbrook IL, and we have operating subsidiaries around the world in more than 35 countries. Wherever we work, we seek to match the local communities’ needs, offering customer service in local languages and nurturing the critical governmental and regulatory relationships that allow us to keep abreast of changing trends and provide efficiencies to our customers.
What we do
Since being founded, UL Solutions has worked to make the world safer. As a global leader in applied safety science, we help customers in more than 110 countries transform safety, security and sustainability challenges into innovations and opportunities. We provide testing, inspection and certification (TIC) services, together with software products and advisory (S&A) offerings, to support our customers’ product innovation, ESG and business goals while helping keep consumers safe and satisfied. Around the world, the UL-in-a-circle certification mark (“UL Mark”) on our customers’ products empowers trust in those products as an emblem of independent third-party safety, security and sustainability certification and compliance.
We continue to evolve and adapt as the needs of people and planet change. We seek to play an important role in advancing the solutions that will help our customers meet the global demand for ESG progress. We are seeing increased focus on environmental, health and safety (EHS) and ESG matters from a variety of stakeholders, which is expanding the need for TIC services both in existing and emerging channels. We also work to understand our effects on society and the planet as we operate and take action to address our responsibility, to improve our communities and to positively impact all stakeholders.
Who we are
With approximately 15,000 employees around the world, we meet our customers where they are today and help them advance to where they want to go tomorrow.
In 2021, we redesigned the global human resources (HR) function to support our goal to lead as an employer of choice for the world’s top talent. Talent attraction and engagement is a top-tier topic identified by our stakeholders in our ESG materiality assessment. Attracting and retaining the talented people we need to fulfill our safety science imperative is fundamental to our operating strategy and continued success. In 2022, our HR organization defined its mission to enable the people who make the world a safer place and its vision to unite our employees around the world by fostering an engaged and inclusive culture. To mobilize these aims, we strengthened connectivity and expertise in our HR Centers of Excellence, established regional Employee Solutions Centers for local support, and began to implement a new cloud-based HCM (Human Capital Management) system to accelerate efficiencies and learnings.
EVP and chief human resources officer, UL Solutions
“From day one, we’ve blazed a trail to make the world a safer place and will continue doing just that. Our employees’ unwavering dedication and expertise are what propel us forward and drive our success. It takes passion to protect people from physical dangers, dynamic action to safeguard livelihoods and commitment to make the world a more sustainable place.”
While we operate globally, we aim to incorporate regional and local perspectives to create inclusive environments for our colleagues and increase employee engagement. Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is an important topic for our culture, and we have established several initiatives to help foster a diverse and inclusive workplace.
For example, we have established Ways of Working behaviors to unify our workforce and provide clear guidance on how to foster a culture of community, connectivity and innovation.
As of December 31, 2022, we employed 15,133 total employees, with 14,842 full-time employees and 291 part-time employees. We employed 2,191 women and 3,999 men in the Americas, 2,569 women and 3,612 men in the Asia Pacific (APAC) and Middle East and Africa (MEA) regions, and 918 women and 1,844 men in Europe. We regularly engage contractors as needed to serve our customers around the world in areas where we may not have a legal entity and during instances that require additional support.
Workforce ratio per region
In 2022, we also engaged 2,258 contractors, including 1,354 agency resource workers, 330 independent contractors and 567 service providers. Our contractors support global operations in areas such as information technology (IT), field engineering, auditing, consumer product testing and administrative support. There was no significant fluctuation in the number of workers who were not employees between 2021 and 2022.
Total workers who are not employees
An agency resource worker is an individual employed and paid through an agency resource supplier of temporary labor retained by UL Solutions to perform work ordinarily performed by UL Solutions employees. UL Solutions contracts with the agency resource supplier, which is the intermediary directly managing these temporary labor resources and charging a fee for providing such services.
An independent contractor is an individual who is self-employed and is not an employee of UL Solutions or on UL Solutions’ payroll. An independent contractor typically invoices UL Solutions for their services and is responsible for their own business expenses, including taxes and other required government-related payments (e.g., Social Security in the U.S.). An independent contractor performs a service for UL Solutions, typically for a defined timeframe or on a project basis. An independent contractor may only be retained pursuant to a written agreement approved by Global Sourcing and the business or function leader and will perform services pursuant to the terms and conditions provided in such an agreement. An independent contractor is not subject to UL Solutions’ supervisory control in the manner and means of performing the contracted-for services.
A service provider covers those individuals employed or retained by an independent third party for purposes of providing special or unique services not normally performed by the company.
Globally, in 2022 women represented 38% of our employee base and 27% of our senior leadership. Global generation representation in 2022 was 4% Boomer; 35% Gen X; 50% Millennial, and 11% Gen Z.
Our executive leadership team is 45% female (10 females) and 55% male (12 males). 17 members are more than 50 years old (77%), 5 members are between 30-50 years old (23%) and 6 members (27%) are from under-represented groups.
All workforce data is based on employee headcount and is extracted and compiled from our HR management system and certain reporting local offices. No significant variations have occurred, and no assumptions have been made.
We are focused on creating a high-performing, diverse, equitable and enjoyable workplace while working toward a safer world every day. Our Ways of Working behaviors support the workplace culture we embrace: Change Mindset, Connectivity, Customer Centricity, Decisiveness and Accountability. We are committed to nurturing a culture where diverse perspectives and voices are valued and considered as we strive to enable a workplace where people and problem-solving can thrive. In 2022, more than 93% of our employees completed DEI training.
“As a global company with a multigenerational workforce, we aim to embrace diversity in all its forms, such as race, ethnicity, age, national origin, sexual orientation, cultural identity, gender identity and expression, and physical and mental ability. Diversity in all its variations is a force multiplier.”
UL Solutions Inclusion Promise
Furthering our commitment, we encourage all global colleagues to commit to the UL Solutions Inclusion Promise to individually contribute to make our workplaces more inclusive. Employees around the world who pledge to this commitment describe the specific actions they will take to expand their understanding, confront unconscious bias and actively encourage DEI in every space. More than 3,000 employees have created personal inclusion promises since 2019.
Learn more about UL Solutions’ commitment to supporting a more equitable workforce, workplace and marketplace in our 2021 Diversity and Inclusion Report.
UL Solutions Inc.'s board of directors directs the management and affairs of the company, as provided by Delaware law, and conducts its business through actions of the board of directors and standing committees. Our board of directors has four female and seven male members, including two directors who are members of under-represented [racial/ethnic] groups. The president and CEO of UL Solutions, Jennifer Scanlon, and ten non-executive directors sit on the board. James M. Shannon, board chair since 2009, is a non-executive director. Each of the 10 non-executive directors of the company has been determined by the board of directors to be independent. Board members are required to adhere to the UL Solutions’ Conflicts of Interest policy and Standards of Business Conduct (SoBC) policy set forth for all employees and directors.
Committees of the board of directors are the audit committee, the human capital and compensation committee, the finance committee, and the nominating and corporate governance committee. The membership of each of these committees consists entirely of non-executive directors.
Board committees assist the board of directors in its oversight of the company’s business and affairs, including the management of ESG matters within their scope. Any critical concerns are shared by senior management to the relevant committee, and then reported out to the board of directors as necessary.
In addition to our board of directors and dedicated committees, we’re governed by our mission, our code of conduct and by the following dedicated bodies serving our sustainability ambition:
Board of directors and CEO
The UL Solutions board of directors, primarily through its nominating and corporate governance committee, and the CEO provide oversight of corporate sustainability strategy, commitments and ESG reporting.
Sustainability Senior Leadership
Dr. Al Zucco, vice president of safety and sustainability, and Barbara R. Guthrie, vice president of corporate sustainability, lead internal sustainability at UL Solutions. Sustainability senior leadership reports to the nominating and corporate governance committee of the board of directors on a regular basis regarding ESG strategy, risks, opportunities, progress on initiatives and impacts.
Corporate Sustainability Council (CSC)
The CSC promotes business alignment with corporate sustainability strategy and priorities; raises education and awareness about sustainability issues and identifies internal resources, expertise and service offerings to achieve our objectives. The CSC is sponsored by Ryan Robinson, chief financial officer, and Dr. Al Zucco, vice president of safety and sustainability.
Members of the CSC establish and help lead sustainability task forces to support key initiatives and offer insight to corporate sustainability strategy and goals. Council members serve as subject matter experts (SMEs) and contribute and validate ESG data for reporting as appropriate to their functions.
Council members also make a personal commitment to driving an employee culture of sustainability.
SME task forces
These task forces are driven by experienced employees who help guide and activate the strategic direction of UL Solutions’ sustainable impact areas such as field engineering, responsible sourcing, energy and carbon, water and waste and materials. These task forces provide insight into external best practices and act as an advisory team to promote the progress and maturation of corporate sustainability objectives.
While working to fulfil our mission, our colleagues worldwide embrace and embody the principles of honesty, quality and fairness. These values unite us and are essential to maintaining and imparting trust as we operate. We maintain a proud culture of integrity, nurtured and backed by our Legal and Ethics and Compliance (E&C) offices. Every UL Solutions colleague and board member receives training on our Standards of Business Conduct (SoBC), distributed in 13 languages and signed by every new employee when they join the company. Our code of conduct compels us to act with respect for our business, property, people and planet. It requires every UL Solutions employee to understand their obligation to act with integrity and respect. The SoBC is reviewed and approved by the CEO and board of directors annually and all employees are required to participate in annual E&C training pertaining to the SoBC. In 2022, all active UL Solutions employees completed the SoBC training.
UL Solutions is a Participant of the United Nations Global Compact, committed to respecting human rights, and is informed in that endeavor by the Ten Principles of Responsible Business. As set out in our SoBC, we treat our employees, suppliers, customers and all parties we interact with fairly and with respect and dignity. We endeavor to create and maintain an environment that allows the talents of our diverse work force to flourish, and we comply with internationally recognized human rights in every jurisdiction in which we operate.
Human rights are addressed in our annual SoBC training which is mandatory for every employee. UL Solutions is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion and does not tolerate discrimination, bullying or harassment of any kind based on a person’s characteristics, such as race, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression or any other characteristics protected by law. We have a board approved Modern Slavery Statement prohibit the use of forced or involuntary labor, or child labor. We aim to offer fair compensation in accordance with applicable law.
We strive to conduct our business in accordance with the highest ethical standards and, to the best of our knowledge, in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. A cross-functional compliance team including senior representatives from Internal Audit, Legal, HR and Finance works globally to operationalize compliance commitments and address applicable laws. We expect our partners to operate ethically and incorporate our Standards of Business Conduct expectations into the terms and conditions of general services and supplier agreements. Policy commitments apply across UL Solutions associates, including employees, officers, and directors of UL Solutions or any of its related companies, and any third parties such as subcontractors, sales agents and consultants who work as agents or intermediaries on behalf of UL Solutions. In 2022, UL Solutions had no reported significant instances of non-compliance with laws and regulations, or fines. A significant instance of non-compliance is defined as something that would have meaningfully or materially impacted the company's ability to effectively deliver services to our customers or our financial statements.
Environmental Health and Safety
We strive to create and maintain environmental, health and safety (EHS) work practices and secure work environments that minimize the risk of injury. Our employees are required to understand and comply with UL Solutions’ EHS policies and rules. We are dedicated to driving a global culture of sustainability by our actions, services and offerings, which empower our customers, stakeholders and communities to realize a better world. We have committed to setting a near-term emissions reduction goal, which we intend to submit to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) for validation. We encourage appropriate waste minimization and diversion and have processes to help us properly dispose of waste from our operations in accordance with local standards.
Our Ethics and Compliance team (E&C) handles any reports of alleged fraud or policy violations that are received, and our SoBC provides for no retaliation against reporting parties. We work to enable employees to understand their individual obligations and to provide effective means for raising concerns. Employees are trained to report concerns to our web-based Global Ethics Helpline anonymously or, if they prefer, to leaders, HR, Legal, or Internal Audit teams. All reports are taken seriously and investigated.
These reporting mechanisms are available to all employees and business partners. E&C, HR, Legal and other groups within the organization can all initiate a request for an investigation by our Corporate Investigations group. The HR and the Corporate Investigations team treats each investigation as confidential and conducts confidential interviews with anyone they believe has information relevant to the investigation. Investigation findings are secured.
E&C regularly evaluates reporting and investigation processes and provides quarterly reports to senior leadership and the audit committee of the board of directors. Internal and third-party audits are conducted periodically on grievance processes and any findings or recommendations are reviewed and implemented as needed. E&C, Corporate Investigations and Internal Audit meet quarterly with the company's external auditors.
Our four policies related to bribery risk – Anti-bribery and Corruption Policy, Gift and Entertainment Policy, Engagement of Government Officials Policy and Conflict of Interest Policy – are accessible to all UL Solutions associates and communicated annually. Employees receive training on the Gift and Entertainment Policy when completing mandatory SoBC training. Integrated controls surrounding expense reimbursement, meeting planning and charitable giving processes support these policies. We seek to incorporate our anti-corruption policies and procedures into standard contracts with UL Solutions customers, vendors, contractors and subcontractors.
We assess operations for potential risks related to corruption. We believe that the most significant corruption risks are associated with UL Solutions’ inspection/certification services. Although we did not conduct a formal risk assessment pertaining to corruption in 2022, our most recent formal assessment continues to guide ongoing mitigation measures.
In 2022, our E&C office received a total of 393 reports of corruption, including 223 improper offer reports and 20 bribery reports. No incidents of corruption were substantiated, and no employees were dismissed or disciplined. There were no confirmed incidents where contracts with business partners were terminated or not renewed due to corruption violations in 2022, and there were no material public legal cases regarding corruption brought against UL Solutions or its employees.
Likewise, in 2022, we did not identify any material legal actions related to anti-competitive behavior, antitrust or monopoly practices.
Our supply chain
Our Global Sourcing team works with our business partners to develop global sourcing and procurement strategies, implemented regionally and locally, to manage our supply chain needs. Global Sourcing supports UL Solutions’ broader business strategy, including safety and ESG considerations. The majority of UL Solutions’ suppliers provide equipment and consumables for our testing and certification work. The next largest group of suppliers covers contingent workforce resources to support seasonal spikes or specific customer-based requirements. Our procurement spend is mostly indirect and focused on services and laboratory equipment sourcing. We are interconnected with our customers’ supply chains as we support ESG enablement through our TIC services, Software and Advisory (S&A) solutions, field evaluations, and more.
Global Sourcing is organized into geographical regions and Customer Operating Units (COUs) representing TIC and S&A. We have a dedicated task force whose goal is to implement and conduct due diligence on our UL Solutions Global Supplier Standards of Conduct for UL Solutions to strive for responsible sourcing of our goods and services around the world. The task force collaborates across functions and is governed by the CSC. The task force collaborates across functions and is governed by the CSC. The task force leverages internal expertise from our customer-facing solutions to support the project, identify risks and develop mitigation approaches that we align to our operational and ESG goals.
Between 2019 and 2022, we integrated ESG objectives into our Global Sourcing policies and processes through:
UL Solutions Global Supplier Standards of Conduct – UL Solutions’ suppliers are required to agree to adhere to our supplier standards of conduct and expectations to practice responsible sourcing, foster safe work environments, exhibit transparency and help enable the secure distribution of goods as well as comply with all national and international legal and regulatory requirements and highest industry standards.
Global Purchase Order Terms and Conditions – Our updated global purchase order terms and conditions more comprehensively address supplier diversity and ESG audit and compliance requirements.
At our Northbrook, IL headquarters and largest site in North America, we currently work with partners like Chicago United to seek out and support a diverse supplier base and further investment in our local community.
Responsible Sourcing program
We are developing a responsible sourcing program to assess our suppliers’ performance against our supplier standards of conduct and social and environmental issues for high-risk goods and service suppliers in 2023. We intend to expand the program to include lower-risk suppliers. The design and development of the program is informed by our current supplier standards of conduct and commitments, the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative Standards.
Our program is proposed to include: 1) supplier qualification through an online tool to perform pre-qualification due diligence steps covering responsible sourcing risks and compliance and to conduct ongoing due diligence 2) preferred supplier lists for major categories of spend to reduce exposure to high-risk suppliers, and 3) periodic supplier assessments capturing uniform, comparable data.
We are committed to protecting the privacy of our employees and customers. We have established processes to help secure and safeguard our customers’ confidential information as we provide our services. We also generate and protect our own confidential information as we operate. Every team member at UL Solutions accepts the responsibility for safeguarding confidential information. Global security strategy seeks to mitigate risk and secure stakeholder trust. All UL Solutions employees are expected to complete annual information security training including knowledge checks as we work to protect the privacy of all stakeholders.
Under the leadership of the chief information security officer, our Global Cybersecurity department delivers key cybersecurity capabilities for UL Solutions. UL Solutions has adopted a policy on data privacy and processing of personal data that affirms our commitment to implement appropriate standards to protect personal data. The policy sets out our obligations regarding the collection, processing, transfer, storage, and disposal of personal data. The procedures and principles set out in the policy stipulate that all UL Solutions employees, agents, contractors, or other parties working on behalf of the enterprise are mandated to uphold best practice principles of personal data processing. UL Solutions’ data privacy director and team enable the implementation of, and compliance with, our privacy commitments in the jurisdictions in which we operate.
In 2022, there were no substantiated complaints of customer privacy breaches from outside parties or regulatory bodies, or identified leaks, thefts or losses of customer data involving personal data.