Case Study

The Timken Company

Corporate Social Responsibility

Crafting the first CSR vision for a 120-year-old global industrial leader in a time of unprecedented change.

How can an engineering icon effectively create a framework for change, measure its progress, and transparently communicate its point of view around a fast-moving set of global sustainability challenges and cultural expectations?

H&S harnessed The Timken Company’s global brand strengths, core expertise, and leadership  perspective to drive a robust CSR vision that is inspired by the company’s specialized engineering capabilities, its global operations, and its values-driven culture.

Marketplace Expectations

In the context of significant social strife and pressing environmental challenges, expectations of corporations and their role as global corporate citizens has changed profoundly. Stakeholders --  from employees to investors --  increasingly believe corporations have a responsibility to apply their core competencies for impact and to assume a greater voice and role in building an equitable future.

The new leadership imperative: a company’s expertise, values and social accountability must align.

Values-driven Vision, Strategy, Narrative and Reporting

Since its founding in 1899, The Timken Company has been an authority in reducing industrial friction for customers like NASA and Boeing. Today the company is a global industrial leader with a growing portfolio of engineered bearings and power transmission products.

Throughout its history, Timken’s engineering knowledge and experience has focused on product sustainability -- a core competency that now informs the company’s approach to CSR. To create Timken’s first-ever global CSR vision, strategy, benchmarks,and communications, we mined this core competency and identified specific areas of focus that dovetail with the company’s long-standing values. Timken measures and expands its CSR efforts through the lens of this vision, in parallel with its GRI reporting. While global challenges and the demands of corporations will undoubtedly shift, Timken’s CSR platform provides the company with a clear but flexible framework to guide and evolve its efforts and reporting into the future.

“Engineering, as a discipline, provides us with the tools and thinking we need to help build a world that is both more efficient and more resilient.”
—2019 CSR Report

Results

This strategic initiative was overseen by Corporate Communications and publicly launched in 2018 with the first-ever CSR and GRI report by the company. The initiative has grown continually and in 2020 Timken was named one of “America’s Most Responsible Companies” by Newsweek.

H&S Role

  • Developed first-ever global CSR vision, strategy, framework, and messaging
  • Developed strategic theme and narrative for 2018, 2019, and 2020 CSR reporting
  • Developed communications strategy
  • Led research, content development, design, and implementation
  • Created print and digital executions
  • Managed team of internal stakeholders

Long-standing Client Partnership

  • Decade-long advisory relationship with executive team and global head of communications
  • Lead counsel on brand strategy, communications, product portfolio, and digital work for executive team
  • Ongoing development and implementation of global strategic initiatives