ESG is Central to Cintas


The concept of corporate social responsibility has evolved in recent decades. Where the concept once explained a company’s commitment to philanthropy and responsible social practices, it now also incorporates its environmental impact, how it governs itself, and how it monitors compliance. Public interest in companies’ holistic environmental, social, and governance – or ESG – strategy is a relatively recent and evolving concept.


At Cintas, we view our entrance into formal ESG reporting and the development of our company-wide ESG strategy as the latest steps in our progression.


That’s because many of the core ESG concepts we now measure and report have been engrained in our company for decades. These foundations are rooted in our corporate culture and in our “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” mindset.


Our sustainable business model began almost 100 years ago at the very origin of the company and has continued to evolve in everything we’ve done since. So this development isn’t a drastic leap for us. Rather, it’s a natural evolution of our long-standing business practices.



ESG concepts have been engrained in our company since its very beginnings. The origins of our sustainable business model date back to 1929 and the Great Depression, when Doc and Amelia Farmer collected dirty, discarded shop rags from Cincinnati-area businesses’ trash. They took these home to be washed, then resold them to the same businesses. They created a local circular economy for the product — and established the foundations of spirit and ingenuity for which Cintas has become known. Since then, Cintas has continued to introduce new products and services that help customers keep their own facilities, employees and customers cleaner, safer and healthier — pushing Cintas to the company it is today.


We provide a host of products and services to help businesses open their doors with confidence. Our company portfolio includes a wide range of environmentally and socially focused products that promote a cleaner environment, an ethical supply chain, and the safety and health of the communities we serve.



who we are and what we do

Dick Farmer, who established modern Cintas in 1968, developed Cintas’ foundation with our values, standards and practices, and our Corporate Culture. He was ahead of his time, incorporating ESG values in the company’s culture and operations long before the ideas of ESG and corporate social responsibility were commonly articulated. His personal insights inspired the book, “The Spirit is the Difference,” and that title has become a common phrase for Cintas partners as they describe what makes the atmosphere here unique. Our culture has three elements—our Principal Objective, corporate character, and our management system. In 1979, our Board of Directors established our principal objective as, “We will exceed our customers’ expectations to maximize the long-term value of Cintas for its shareholders and working partners.” Our corporate character is summarized by the ethical values, standards, and attitudes we aspire to exhibit to each other, to our customers, and to the communities in which we do business. And finally, our management system is guided by dynamic policies and procedures that help promote our ethical, operational, and cultural expectations for our business.


read more


Doc and Amelia’s ingenuity and environmentally focused activities of almost 100 years ago remain at the core of our company. As we’ve grown, we’ve enacted processes and policies to promote conducting our business with the highest ethical standards and keeping people central in all our decisions.


Cintas Corporation helps more than 1 million businesses of all types and sizes get Ready for the Workday® with confidence. Our products and services help keep our customers’ facilities and employees clean, safe, and looking their best. We do so by operating with a sustainable business model. We strive to minimize the aggregate environmental impact of our products and services, promote sustainability and a common respect, and manage our business in a responsible, ethical way.


We provide a host of products and services to help businesses open their doors with confidence. Our company portfolio includes a range of environmentally and socially focused products that promote a cleaner environment, an ethical supply chain, and the safety and health of the communities we serve.



We call each other “partners” at Cintas, recognizing that we all work together and play a vital role in our collective success. And we show our employee-partners how much we believe in their talent and value their contributions by providing them with competitive compensation, a comprehensive benefits package, rewarding health and wellness programs, and professional development opportunities. Another way we make sure our partners feel supported and fulfilled by their careers is by welcoming the diverse backgrounds and unique life perspectives that shape and benefit our company. This focus on diversity extends to our diverse supply chain as well, which includes many businesses owned by minorities, women and veterans. A commitment to safety is also embedded deep within the Cintas culture. We’ve been incredibly successful in keeping our employee partners safe and heathy — and this is evident by our industry-leading low incident rates and wide recognition for our ongoing safety initiatives and track record.


  • Almost the entire Cintas workforce — 99.4% — are full-time employees
  • All full- and part-time employees are eligible for our benefits package, including our retirement plans.
  • 44.2% of our workforce has self-identified as a minority
  • We spent $318.1 million with diverse suppliers in FY22
  • We recently lowered our employee-partners’ Total Recordable Injury Rate (TRIR) to 1.61
  • 127 of our locations have earned OSHA’s VPP Star Certification, three times more than any other US company




Cintas has been on a journey driven by our desire to be a socially and environmentally responsible company for many years. In early FY’22, Cintas announced its ambition to achieve Net Zero GHG emissions by 2050. Since then, and throughout the 2022 calendar year, we’ve been hard at work building an enterprise-wide environmental impact strategy.

Our new Cintas ESG branding was developed to help raise awareness and interest about our ESG efforts, and to bring consistency and cohesion to our ESG related initiatives. Using the theme “A Shared Drive for Better,” our ESG brand brings into focus the collective impact Cintas can make as we work together to create a more sustainable future for all. Our ESG Vision articulates our ambitions in this area: Guided by our principles, we work together to provide businesses with the sustainable products, services, and solutions they need for a better workday, supporting our partners and the communities we serve, building a better future. The brand’s visual identity features a “water leaf” in the logo with three distinct colors that are connected to our three ESG pillars. Using the water leaf as our logo helps to clearly impart the importance of the environment, and specifically water stewardship, in our ESG Journey. We expect to do our part to help sustain the world we live in, build on our culture of respect, belonging, and inclusion, and hold ourselves accountable with world-class business practices. It’s our SHARED DRIVE FOR BETTER.

Since forming the role of Vice President of Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) and Chief Compliance Officer in September 2022, the newly created ESG team works with business and functional leaders across our company to develop and enhance our ESG strategies. The group also works side by side with other employee-partners to help educate and raise awareness about these initiatives and how they complement and support Cintas’ broader ambitions. In FY’22, Cintas also formed a new cross-functional ESG working group of executive leaders and subject matter experts—the PACE Team (Partners for A Cleaner Environment) —to not only support existing environmental sustainability initiatives and related goals, but to also identify and develop potential strategies to drive our ESG ambitions further.

Historically, our efforts to reduce our environmental footprint in our production facilities grew from our positive discontent and the implementation of more efficient practices throughout our operations. We have steadily reduced our impact on the environment simply by doing what we do best: challenging the status quo and pushing toward greater efficiencies.

Throughout the 2022 calendar year, we:

  • Created and implemented an enterprise-wide ESG governance structure that brings together experience and perspective from across the organization
  • Developed and launched Cintas ESG branding and our ongoing ESG awareness and education campaign, A Shared Drive for Better
  • Implemented an improved process of gathering and reporting annual ESG-related data
  • Reconfirmed FY’19 as our base reporting year
  • Expanded our emissions and energy reporting to provide a full accounting of our locations throughout the United States and Canada (including our Canadian facilities and fleet), as well as our non-processing Rental, First Aid & Safety, Fire Protection, distribution, and corporate facilities
  • Developed an accounting of our Scope 3 emissions using the Greenhouse Gas Protocol’s standardized global framework
  • Deployed the first group of cars in our electric vehicle pilot program
  • Continued our LED lighting conversion project in our largest and newest facilities
  • Began construction of our first solar installation at our Piscataway, New Jersey, location



For more information about our 2022 ESG Report or if you have questions, contact us at [email protected] or through your stakeholder communications platform.


read more