Our employees continued to enhance and strengthen our sustainable operations around the globe. During the year, we recognized 233 projects through our internal sustainability awards initiative. These projects, which we estimate saved nearly $7 million, helped us reduce our energy consumption, waste, water use and emissions.
As our portfolio continues to evolve, we are evaluating our businesses and striving to achieve even more impactful, sustainable business practices. In 2018, we launched new, aggressive goals that will further guide and increase our use of sustainable business practices.
In addition to advancing our own sustainability, we are developing innovative products and processes that provide environmental and other sustainability benefits to our customers. In 2018, 32 percent of our total sales were derived from sustainably advantaged products and processes. Our goal is 40 percent by 2025.
We know that our purpose and commitment extend beyond the boundaries of commerce. That’s why we have continued to grow our partnerships in communities where we operate across the world through our COLORFUL COMMUNITIES® initiative and other community engagement programs. We invested more than $9 million in communities worldwide in 2018, supporting hundreds of organizations across 28 countries.
One of PPG’s greatest strengths is the diversity of our people, whose unique perspectives enable us to meet challenges quickly, creatively and effectively. This provides a significant competitive advantage in today’s global economy.
Through extensive recruiting and hiring efforts, we are committed to attracting, hiring and retaining future generations of diverse and talented employees. Our efforts were again recognized by FORBES® Magazine, with PPG named one of the Best Employers for Diversity in early 2019.
We have made significant progress in sustainability, but we remain focused on continuous improvement. I encourage you to learn more by reading our 2018 Sustainability Report
and 2018 Community Engagement Report.
Michael H. McGarry
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer