I'm Jim Hagedorn, Chairman and CEO of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company.

We appreciate your interest in our 2011 Corporate Responsibility Report, which I'm pleased to say is our first following GRI guidelines.

In this report, you'll see how our associates around the world are working every day to make sure we're earning the trust of consumers, who are at the heart of our business. We are constantly striving to make our products more effective, easier to use and better for the environment.

This is a commitment that all of our associates take seriously, and one that I take personally.

I've been in or around this business nearly my entire life.

My father, Horace, founded Miracle-Gro in 1950, and my family remains the largest shareholder in Scotts Miracle-Gro to this day.

As this business has grown over the years, we have been adamant in our desire - not just to provide effective products for consumers - but to make sure our products can be used responsibly in the environment.

I believe we've been successful, though I recognize our journey is not complete. In fact, you'll see in this report that we are continuing to make improvements and to challenge ourselves to do even better in the critical area of sustainability.

This is important for several reasons.

First, I believe it is the job of all of us to do what we can to protect the environment. But, secondly, our business is really all about the environment.

If you think about lawn and gardening activities, they are entirely about caring for the Earth.

Gardeners, at their very core, are passionate about the environment. And we are as well.

For ScottsMiracle-Gro to reach its potential we must never forget that we ultimately work for the consumers who trust us to deliver on the promise of some of the most recognized brands in the world.

And we can't impose our ideals on them, because they are incredibly diverse.

…One may have decades of experience in the garden… but another may be a 6-year-old planting a seed for the first time…

...To some consumers, a garden is a showcase in a suburb… but to others, it's a single potted plant on the fire escape of an apartment building in a major city…

…Some consumers want perfectly manicured lawns… but some are willing to live with a few weeds here and there, or may prefer shrubs and native grasses to turf…

The fact is, in one way or another, every consumer places their trust in our company's products or services, and they need to know we're committed to earning that trust.

This report will explain that our research and innovation are focused on products that are simple, sustainable and significant.

This means our products should meet consumer expectations for ease of use, they should help consumers enhance and protect the environment around them, and they must work.

This is not a static exercise…

we're committed to continually evaluating the sustainability profiles of our products. As science and technology continually evolve, it is a business imperative that we stay ahead of the curve.

It may surprise some to learn that ScottsMiracle-Gro has become the largest marketer of organic lawn and garden products in the world, and that segment of our business is increasing every year.

In fact, nearly half of consumers entering the category for the first time are looking for natural and organic products. We are committed to developing even more of them and recently announced a partnership with a leading-edge research company to do just that.

We are also leading our industry in efforts to ensure water quality for generations to come, and in 2011, we announced that almost all of our lawn fertilizers, including our market-leading Turf Builder brand, will be phosphorus free by the end of 2012.

This is a direct result of our work with government and environmental stakeholders in several regions of the United States, and this kind of collaboration is happening globally as we seek out the thoughts and ideas of experts and stakeholders outside of our company.

I'm also pleased with our progress in reducing the environmental footprint of our operations around the world. As you'll see in the report, we are reducing the amount of waste material we send to landfills, reducing our energy use and finding alternative sources. We're also reducing our overall carbon emissions.

Additionally, we're making progress toward more sustainable sourcing of peat for our growing media products, especially in Canada and the United Kingdom.

In markets across the U.S., our Scotts LawnService business is making good progress in not only reducing its operational footprint, but leading in efforts to train its technicians in best management and sustainable application practices.

While we see all of these accomplishments as positives, we know there's more work to do, and I'm convinced that our associates are committed to achieving the sustainability goals outlined in this report.

I'm confident about our associates' future success because of the sense of family that's embedded in our culture. While my father founded Miracle-Gro in 1950, it was in 1868 when a civil war veteran named O.M. Scott founded what would eventually become The Scotts Company. He set up shop in the small town of Marysville, Ohio, and we're still there today.

Being headquartered in Marysville says a lot about who we are. Generations of families have worked at ScottsMiracle-Gro, including my own - and they still do today, not only in Ohio, but in locations around the world.

ScottsMiracle-Gro is a high-energy and dynamic company that cares about its associates and shares a feeling of family that is increasingly rare in today's marketplace.

We cherish this reality and will do everything we can to protect it. Many times our communities are extensions of our families, and I'm very proud of the way our company and our associates contribute their resources and labor of love to their communities.

As you'll see in this report, we take pride in using our resources and expertise to improve the communities that we live and work in every day.

This commitment is most visible in our GRO 1000 initiative … a multi-year commitment to create or support at least 1,000 community gardens and green spaces. Some of these gardens will be in small towns and will serve as gathering places for local citizens to grow vegetables to be donated to food banks. Others may be healing gardens to provide therapy and relief to service members returning home from battle.

And others will be in highly visible venues, such as the U.S. Botanic Garden, the New York Botanic Garden, the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio, The Great Park in Southern California, and others in Europe and Canada. These are magnificent public gardens and we are delighted to be a major supporter of each.

All of the good work that we do -- and will do -- adds to the legacy of our company. All of us at ScottsMiracle-Gro know that we are just temporary stewards of one of the best consumer companies in the world today, so we have a duty to leave this company in better shape than we found it.

That's why we are sharing this report with you, and why we want to be transparent about our commitments and our progress. In some areas, we have reason to be proud of our accomplishments, and we will point that out. In other areas, we know we can do more, and we will point that out as well.

So I hope you'll take some time to learn about the progress we have made - and the challenges we face -- as a company that is growing into more and more markets around the world. I also hope you'll take some time to provide feedback to us, and you'll find several opportunities to do so in the report.

On behalf of our thousands of ScottsMiracle-Gro associates around the globe, we hope you'll see that the roots of our company run deep… that we're committed to a strong, sustainable future…. and that we're working every day to make good on our vision: … to help people of all ages express themselves on their own piece of the Earth.

Jim Hagedorn
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company