Year after year, John Deere employees are making Deere a more resilient and robust company. Their efforts certainly contributed to our strong performance in 2017. The company's ﬁnancial success, in turn, provided the means to continue giving back, to our home communities and throughout the world in the form of sustainable investments and employee volunteerism. We feel so strongly about being a good corporate citizen, or a Power for Good, that our corporate strategy cites civic and environmental stewardship as a factor critical to our success.
To that end, we're committed to annually investing 1 percent of the company's average net income from the previous three ﬁscal years in civic initiatives. I'm pleased to report that we made $33.4 million in civic investments in 2017 — 1.5 percent of net income measured over the last three years — surpassing industry giving benchmarks.
Our contributions continue to focus on world hunger, local economic development, and education, and are often magniﬁed by our employees' time and talent. John Deere employees reported a record 160,688 hours of volunteer service in 2017, putting us well on our way to meeting our goal of one-million cumulative volunteer hours from 2017 through 2022.
Our commitment to being a Power for Good also includes operating in a safe, environmentally-sustainable manner. In 2017, we continued making our products more environmentally friendly. As our machines grow in size to meet customer demand, we are using breakthrough technology and materials to reduce their environmental impact.
At the same time, we extended improvements in our sustainability performance for energy, water, and greenhouse gas emissions, keeping our promise of being good stewards of the land. For the third year in a row, we surpassed our goal of recycling 75 percent or more of the waste generated in our facilities, and in 2017 we also successfully achieved our greenhouse gas reduction goal.
On behalf of John Deere employees worldwide,
Samuel R. Allen
Chairman and CEO