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Simply put, our future success depends on our ability to innovate – to find new and better ways to serve our customers. And, our ability to innovate relies on our ability to leverage the power of diverse inputs.

April 28, 2011

NCCJ Annual Human Relations Award Acceptance, Remarks of United Technologies Chairman & CEO Louis Chênevert, Hartford, Connecticut – As Prepared

It’s an honor to be here this evening and it’s truly an honor to accept this human relations award on behalf of the employees of United Technologies. I’d like to take a moment to compliment you and the entire NCCJ board for hosting a really great event this evening. More importantly, I’d like to thank and congratulate you for the great work you do for our community.

Promoting understanding and respect across diverse populations is not only the mission of the NCCJ. It is also a critical element for organizational success in today’s increasing global marketplace. It is how companies like United Technologies continue to succeed in the face of growing competition.

Simply put, our future success depends on our ability to innovate – to find new and better ways to serve our customers. And, our ability to innovate relies on our ability to leverage the power of diverse inputs.

Today, we live – and compete – in an increasingly interconnected world, a world that continues to change at a remarkable pace. As a result, the perfect solution for today may not satisfy tomorrow’s needs.

The ability to think differently, and the ability to harmonize diverse ideas from many sources is the quickest and most powerful way to drive innovation.

At UTC, we have a track record of driving innovation. Many of UTC’s businesses were started by individuals who transformed industries with innovative, game-changing products and technologies. Willis Carrier, for example, invented modern air conditioning, while Igor Sikorsky almost single-handedly perfected the modern helicopter.

However, from my point of view, it is becoming increasingly clear that today’s innovations do not come from a single person. Rather, innovation today – and in the future – will come from groups of people who collaborate to solve complex problems and mobilize the resources necessary to bring these innovations to market. So connecting people and creating an environment that encourages an open exchange of ideas and embraces diverse thinking, has never been more important.

Fostering an open exchange of ideas among our global workforce is a way of life for UTC – it’s how we get things done every day. Today, United Technologies employs over 200,000 employees at more than 4,000 locations in over 71 countries. To best serve our customers, our employees must be able to quickly and efficiently communicate complex ideas and collaborate in real time – whether they sit 30 feet or 3,000 miles from each other. This can only happen in an environment that fosters strong working relationships with people of all backgrounds, as they share the responsibility for developing our next generation of products.

My final point this evening is to recognize the importance of having a strong Code of Ethics, or a single set of ethical standards that allows everyone – irrespective of language, local customs, and background – the opportunity to excel on a level playing field.

A uniform ethical standard that is absolute and non-negotiable – in any type of organization – not only shows respect for individuals, it also fosters a culture of openness and trust necessary for the free flow and open exchange of ideas.

Let me just close by saying that embracing diversity is not just an initiative at UTC. It’s who we are. It’s how we operate. It’s part of what we expect from every employee – and it is why UTC has been so successful.

As the leader of UTC, I can assure you that we will continue to embrace the collective experiences and backgrounds of our employees and provide them the opportunity to be better and do better. It’s the right thing to do, and it’s critical for our future success.

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