We were excited to launch our new strategic plan in April 2021, Sunbelt 3.0, which has at its core, growth and resilience, the title of this Annual Report. It is an ambitious three-year growth plan that is rooted in the fundamentals of our business. It is comprised of five strategic actionable elements supported by the strength of our culture, namely:
- grow General Tool and advance our clusters;
- amplify Specialty;
- advance technology;
- lead with ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance); and
- dynamic capital allocation.
We will add 298 new locations in North America over the course of the plan to give us 1,234 locations in North America. We will then be present in every US state except Montana, Wyoming and Alaska and in all Canadian provinces. The UK business will undergo an ambitious transformation through Project Unify and we plan to go from being among the leaders, to the absolute leader in the industry in the UK, with returns to match. Sunbelt 3.0 will lead to growth in our workforce, growth for the new customers we will be able to serve, growth for our supply chains, in the communities we will be investing in and of course, for our investors.
Our plan is driven by our customers’ increasing reliance on our abilities to invest quickly when we need to and they need us to, to enable them to build, repair, replace and improve. Our purpose is to enable our customers to do whatever they need to do with our help. As part of our wider commitment to our communities, for the first time we are including ESG priorities in our strategic plan. We are committing to reduce our carbon intensity by 35% by 2030 and by 15% during the three-year plan. Ashtead can make a significant contribution to improving the environment and we will discuss later in this report the crucial role of rental in reducing absolute carbon emissions.
Our core principle of safety has been tested this year more than ever before with the majority of our workforce continuing to work on-site. Our priority has been to safeguard Sunbelt’s own essential service providers as well as our customers and members of the communities we serve. We have done so with a relentless focus on our safety and wellness platform - Engage for Life.
We continue to have the utmost confidence in our business as demonstrated by our performance over the last year in the most difficult of circumstances and our ambitious and purposeful new Sunbelt 3.0 strategic plan.
Further details are provided in the Strategic review.
We made a decision early on in the pandemic that our priority was to all our stakeholders, our people, our customers, our investors and our communities, but our people first and foremost.