As you might know, I joined American Eagle Outfitters as chief executive officer on January 30 of this year. After just over a month on the job, I am struck by the passion and commitment of this company to create a Better World for ourselves and future generations.
The Better World section of our website is home to AEO's comprehensive Corporate Responsibility Report, which was first published in October 2011. It outlines the company's overall philosophy, as well as program specifics in the areas of sustainability and the environment, supporting human rights in manufacturing, as well as corporate culture and philanthropy through 2010.
Many factors play a role in shaping our approach, including emerging environmental technologies, raw materials pricing, and inflation in developing countries, to name just a few. Carefully considering all variables, we've identified several key initiatives designed to make meaningful, measurable progress over the next few years and beyond. For example, we hope to further integrate the Corporate Responsibility and Production teams, expand our environmental programs, strengthen associate development and work-life experience, and create an international giving strategy to accompany our extensive philanthropic efforts in North America.
Of course, we will continue to support organizations such as the Fair Labor Association and the ILO/Better Work program, which help guide internationally accepted human rights and labor standards, and provide opportunities to learn from and engage with our stakeholders.
Throughout my twenty-plus years in the apparel industry, I developed a personal passion for giving back, along with an admiration for the socially conscious mindset of this generation. I am also an avid world traveler with an innate interest in the diverse people and cultures that share this planet.
Make no mistake, this is a business, and we are here to make great products for our customers, as well as generate profits for shareholders. At the same time, it is our duty as a local business and global corporation to operate with integrity and respect for our associates, customers, partners and the people who make our products. The good news is, being a responsible corporate citizen and a highly profitable business are neither mutually exclusive nor conflicting. On the contrary, they are inextricably linked and in fact complementary.
I truly believe that we are in the midst of a sea change in how the world thinks about commerce, defines success and understands how closely we are all connected. AEO will embrace this change with curiosity, innovation and courage. As CEO, I look forward to the journey of discovering how we can learn, collaborate and achieve our goals in building a Better World together. Thank you.
Chief Executive Officer
American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.