I am pleased to present Intercontinental Exchange’s (NYSE:ICE) inaugural Corporate Responsibility report. Since our founding in 2000, ICE’s culture has been one of a conscientious, ethically driven company – and one that contributes to the development of our employees, community and shareholder value.
As you may know, 2015 was a pivotal year for Intercontinental Exchange. It marked our tenth year as a public company with 10 years of consecutive year of record revenue and adjusted earnings, which is an unmatched achievement in our sector. These achievements were driven by a focus on our customers, and the commitment of our teams around the world to innovate and grow. The result of our efforts is that we have continued to drive outperformance in returns for our shareholders.
We are one of the premier architects and advocates of the world’s markets and clearing houses. We take the responsibility to heart and advocate for a market structure that is secure, transparent and resilient. Our global ecosystem of markets, clearing houses, data services, and technology provide secure, reliable access to investment and risk management. Our business spans established global benchmarks across energy, agriculture, interest rates, currencies, equities, equity options, and equity indexes. As a result, we are uniquely positioned to provide end-to-end risk management solutions to our customers.
As we look ahead, we see many new opportunities to serve our customers and our other stakeholders, which include sharing more information about how we operate. ICE’s business continues to evolve, and consequently, how we view and implement our governance policies will change with the needs of our business as well.
Our commitment to corporate responsibility underpins our business strategies and operating policies and is indicative of our commitment to shareholders, customers, employees, business partners and society. As a highly regulated, global company we operate at an exceptionally high standard of integrity in complying with the laws and regulations of the jurisdictions in which we operate.
A key element to our operations, and a key tenet of corporate responsibility overall, is sustainability. Within ICE, sustainability means understanding how environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations carry both risks and opportunities for us as a business so that we may create long-term value for our shareholders. Our commitment to sustainable and responsible operations manifests in these key components of our corporate responsibility efforts:
Sustainability is not the only key element in our corporate responsibility activities. At ICE, we also focus on consistently serving our customers, delivering for shareholders, and contributing to our communities while working to preserve our environment. Supporting markets like our U.S. environmental and European carbon markets makes good business sense and supports our environmental objectives in a unique and meaningful way. We also contribute to our local communities around the world – whether building Habitat for Humanity homes or supporting U.S. veterans and military families, our team is driven to make a difference. The combination of financial resources and the participation of talented ICE employees is the foundation of our ability to execute on these commitments.
Our success worldwide depends on the ideas and dedication of our team, which embodies the ICE culture of teamwork, communication, decision-making, problem-solving, and continuous improvement. I thank all of our ICE employees for their commitment to our customers, our communities, our shareholders and to the world around. And, I thank our customers for the opportunity to continue to earn their business and make our contributions to their success possible. I look forward to reporting to you on the continued efforts that we have outlined in our report.
Jeffrey C. Sprecher
Chairman & CEO, Intercontinental Exchange