Johnson Controls International plc
10-K on 11/16/2020   Download
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UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the Fiscal Year Ended September 30, 2020
OR
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the Transition Period From _____ To _____
Commission File Number 001-13836
JOHNSON CONTROLS INTERNATIONAL PLC
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Ireland98-0390500
(Jurisdiction of Incorporation)(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
One Albert Quay, Cork, Ireland, T12 X8N6
(353)  21-423-5000
(Address of Principal Executive Offices and Postal Code)(Registrant's Telephone Number)
Securities Registered Pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Exchange Act:
Title of Each ClassTrading SymbolName of Each Exchange on Which Registered
Ordinary Shares, Par Value $0.01JCINew York Stock Exchange
4.25% Senior Notes due 2021JCI21BNew York Stock Exchange
3.750% Senior Notes due 2021JCI21CNew York Stock Exchange
4.625% Notes due 2023JCI23New York Stock Exchange
1.000% Senior Notes due 2023JCI23ANew York Stock Exchange
3.625% Senior Notes due 2024JCI24ANew York Stock Exchange
1.375% Notes due 2025JCI25ANew York Stock Exchange
3.900% Notes due 2026JCI26ANew York Stock Exchange
0.375% Senior Notes due 2027JCI27New York Stock Exchange
1.750% Senior Notes due 2030JCI30New York Stock Exchange
1.000% Senior Notes due 2032JCI32New York Stock Exchange
6.000% Notes due 2036JCI36ANew York Stock Exchange
5.70% Senior Notes due 2041JCI41BNew York Stock Exchange
5.250% Senior Notes due 2041JCI41CNew York Stock Exchange
4.625% Senior Notes due 2044JCI44ANew York Stock Exchange
5.125% Notes due 2045JCI45BNew York Stock Exchange
6.950% Debentures due December 1, 2045JCI45ANew York Stock Exchange
4.500% Senior Notes due 2047JCI47New York Stock Exchange
4.950% Senior Notes due 2064JCI64ANew York Stock Exchange
Securities Registered Pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Exchange Act: None
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes  þ    No  ¨
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act.    Yes  ¨    No  þ
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  þ    No  ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).    Yes  þ    No  ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer," "smaller reporting company," and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer þ  Accelerated filer ¨
Non-accelerated filer 
¨  
  Smaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ¨  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting
under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report  þ
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes      No  þ
As of March 31, 2020, the aggregate market value of Johnson Controls International plc Common Stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $20.0 billion based on the closing sales price as reported on the New York Stock Exchange. As of October 31, 2020, 723,907,803 ordinary shares, par value $0.01 per share, were outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the definitive Proxy Statement to be delivered to shareholders in connection with the annual general meeting of shareholders to be held on March 10, 2021 are incorporated by reference into Part III.
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JOHNSON CONTROLS INTERNATIONAL PLC
Index to Annual Report on Form 10-K
Year Ended September 30, 2020
  Page
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CAUTIONARY STATEMENTS FOR FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

Unless otherwise indicated, references to "Johnson Controls," the "Company," "we," "our" and "us" in this Annual Report on Form 10-K refer to Johnson Controls International plc and its consolidated subsidiaries.

The Company has made statements in this document that are forward-looking and therefore are subject to risks and uncertainties. All statements in this document other than statements of historical fact are, or could be, "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In this document, statements regarding Johnson Controls' future financial position, sales, costs, earnings, cash flows, other measures of results of operations, synergies and integration opportunities, capital expenditures and debt levels are forward-looking statements. Words such as "may," "will," "expect," "intend," "estimate," "anticipate," "believe," "should," "forecast," "project" or "plan" and terms of similar meaning are also generally intended to identify forward-looking statements. However, the absence of these words does not mean that a statement is not forward-looking. Johnson Controls cautions that these statements are subject to numerous important risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors, some of which are beyond Johnson Controls’ control, that could cause Johnson Controls’ actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, among others, risks related to: Johnson Controls’ ability to manage general economic, business, capital market and geopolitical conditions, including the impacts of natural disasters, pandemics and outbreaks of contagious diseases and other adverse public health developments, such as the COVID-19 pandemic; the strength of the U.S. or other economies; changes or uncertainty in laws, regulations, rates, policies or interpretations that impact Johnson Controls’ business operations or tax status; the ability to develop or acquire new products and technologies that achieve market acceptance; changes to laws or policies governing foreign trade, including increased tariffs or trade restrictions; maintaining the capacity, reliability and security of Johnson Controls' enterprise and product information technology infrastructure; the risk of infringement or expiration of intellectual property rights; any delay or inability of Johnson Controls to realize the expected benefits and synergies of recent portfolio transactions such as its merger with Tyco and the disposition of the Power Solutions business; the outcome of litigation and governmental proceedings; the ability to hire and retain key senior management; the tax treatment of recent portfolio transactions; significant transaction costs and/or unknown liabilities associated with such transactions; the availability of raw materials and component products; fluctuations in currency exchange rates; work stoppages, union negotiations, labor disputes and other matters associated with the labor force; and the cancellation of or changes to commercial arrangements. A detailed discussion of risks related to Johnson Controls’ business is included in the section entitled "Risk Factors" (refer to Part I, Item 1A, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K). The forward-looking statements included in this document are made only as of the date of this document, unless otherwise specified, and, except as required by law, Johnson Controls assumes no obligation, and disclaims any obligation, to update such statements to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this document.

PART I

ITEM 1    BUSINESS

General

Johnson Controls International plc, headquartered in Cork, Ireland, is a global diversified technology and multi-industrial leader, serving a wide range of customers in more than 150 countries. The Company’s products and solutions enable smart, energy efficient, sustainable buildings that work seamlessly together to advance the safety, comfort and intelligence of spaces to power its customers’ mission. The Company is committed to helping its customers win and creating greater value for all of its stakeholders through its strategic focus on buildings.

Johnson Controls was originally incorporated in the state of Wisconsin in 1885 as Johnson Electric Service Company to manufacture, install and service automatic temperature regulation systems for buildings. The Company was renamed to Johnson Controls, Inc. in 1974. In 2005, the Company acquired York International, a global supplier of heating, ventilating, air-conditioning ("HVAC") and refrigeration equipment and services. In 2014, the Company acquired Air Distribution Technologies, Inc., one of the largest independent providers of air distribution and ventilation products in North America. In 2015, the Company formed a joint venture with Hitachi to expand its building related product offerings. In 2016, Johnson Controls, Inc. and Tyco completed their combination (the "Merger"), combining Johnson Controls portfolio of building efficiency solutions with Tyco’s portfolio of fire and security solutions. Following the Merger, Tyco changed its name to “Johnson Controls International plc.”

In 2016, Johnson Controls completed the spin-off of its automotive business into Adient plc, an independent, publicly traded company. In 2019, the Company sold its Power Solutions business to BCP Acquisitions LLC, an entity controlled by
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investment funds managed by Brookfield Capital Partners LLC, completing the Company’s transformation into a pure-play building technologies and solutions provider.

The Company is a global leader in engineering, manufacturing and commissioning building products and systems, including residential and commercial HVAC equipment, industrial refrigeration systems, controls, security systems, fire detection systems and fire suppression solutions. The Company further serves customers by providing technical services, including maintenance, repair, retrofit and replacement of equipment (in the HVAC, security and fire-protection space), energy-management consulting and data-driven “smart building” services and solutions powered by its digital platforms and capabilities.

Business Segments

The Company conducts its business through four business segments: Building Solutions North America, Building Solutions EMEA/LA, Building Solutions Asia Pacific and Global Products.

Building Solutions North America: Building Solutions North America designs, sells, installs, and services HVAC, controls, refrigeration, integrated electronic security, and integrated fire detection and suppression systems for commercial, industrial, retail, small business, institutional and governmental customers in North America. Building Solutions North America also provides energy efficiency solutions and technical services, including inspection, scheduled maintenance, and repair and replacement of mechanical and control systems, as well as data-driven “smart building” solutions, to non-residential building and industrial applications in the North American marketplace.

Building Solutions EMEA/LA: Building Solutions EMEA/LA designs, sells, installs, and services HVAC, controls, refrigeration, integrated electronic security, integrated fire detection and suppression systems, and provides technical services, including data-driven “smart building” solutions, to markets in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

Building Solutions Asia Pacific: Building Solutions Asia Pacific designs, sells, installs, and services HVAC, controls, refrigeration, integrated electronic security, integrated fire detection and suppression systems, and provides technical services, including data-driven “smart building” solutions, to the Asia Pacific marketplace.

Global Products: Global Products designs and produces heating and air conditioning for residential and commercial applications, and markets products and refrigeration systems to replacement and new construction market customers globally. The Global Products business also designs, manufactures and sells fire protection and security products, including intrusion security, anti-theft devices, and access control and video management systems, for commercial, industrial, retail, residential, small business, institutional and governmental customers worldwide. Global Products also includes the Johnson Controls-Hitachi joint venture.

For more information on the Company’s segments, refer to Note 19, "Segment Information," of the notes to consolidated financial statements.

Products/Systems and Services

The Company sells and installs its commercial HVAC control systems, security systems, fire-detection systems, equipment and services primarily through its extensive direct channel, consisting of a global network of sales and service offices. Significant sales are also generated through global third-party channels, such as distributors of air-conditioning, controls, security and fire-detection products. The Company’s large base of current customers leads to significant repeat business for the maintenance, retrofit and replacement markets. The Company is also able to leverage its installed base to generate sales for its service business. Trusted building brands, such as YORK®, Hitachi Air Conditioning, Metasys®, Ansul, Ruskin®, Titus®, Frick®, PENN®, Sabroe®, Simplex® and Grinnell® give the Company the most diverse portfolio in the building technology industry.

The Company provides data-driven services and solutions to create smarter, safer and more sustainable buildings. In fiscal 2020, the Company launched OpenBlue, a digitally driven suite of connected solutions that delivers impactful sustainability, new occupant experiences, and respectful safety and security by combining the Company’s building expertise with cutting-edge technology, including AI-powered service solutions such as remote diagnostics, predictive maintenance, compliance monitoring and advanced risk assessments.

In fiscal 2020, approximately 35% of sales originated from product offerings, 38% of sales originated from installations and 27% of sales originated from service offerings.

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Competition

The Company conducts its operations through thousands of individual contracts that are either negotiated or awarded on a competitive basis. Key factors in the award of contracts include system and service performance, quality, price, design, reputation, technology, application engineering capability and construction or project management expertise. Competitors for HVAC equipment, security, fire detection, fire suppression and controls in the residential and non-residential marketplace include many regional, national and international providers. Larger competitors include Honeywell International, Inc.; Siemens Building Technologies, an operating group of Siemens AG; Schneider Electric SA; Carrier Global Corporation; Trane Technologies plc; Daikin Industries, Ltd.; Lennox International, Inc.; GC Midea Holding Co, Ltd. and Gree Electric Appliances, Inc. In addition to HVAC equipment, the Company competes in a highly fragmented HVAC services market. The loss of any individual contract or customer would not have a material adverse effect on the Company.

Business Strategy

The Company’s business strategy is to sustain and expand its position as a global diversified technology and multi-industrial leader in HVAC, industrial refrigeration, fire protection, security and building management systems by offering a full spectrum of products and solutions for customer buildings across the globe. The Company executes its strategy by creating growth platforms, driving operational improvements and creating a high performance culture. The Company has strong starting positions in attractive and growing end-markets across HVAC, controls, fire, security and services, enhanced by its comprehensive product portfolio and substantial installed base. The Company believes that it is well positioned to capitalize on the prevalent trends in the buildings industry, including sustainability and energy efficiency, urbanization in smarter and safer buildings and infrastructure. The Company has three strategic priorities:

Leading position in commercial HVAC equipment: Leverage the technological advantages created by the Company’s chiller and rooftop platforms and continued investment in emerging areas such as heat pumps, into leading positions in commercial HVAC. The Company intends to pursue both organic and inorganic opportunities to expand its global commercial HVAC position.

Leading position in building management systems: Strengthen the existing portfolio of individual core systems across controls, fire and security while leading the migration towards flatter architectures and convergence, and building out the capabilities to be a leader in smart buildings which result in lower cost, autonomous and higher value customer outcomes.

Growth enabled by digital: Integrate digital capabilities into our products, including predictive analytics, digital twin technology and “smart building” applications, to provide differentiated capabilities and drive growth. Leverage differentiated capabilities including services innovation enabled by digital, tiered service offerings and efficient service delivery, coupled with the company’s large installed base to accelerate service growth.

To realize these priorities, the Company is leveraging its technology leadership, comprehensive product portfolio, global presence, substantial installed base and strong channels to monetize the lifecycle opportunities of install, service, retrofit and replacement which are established and delivered by the Company’s direct field businesses across the globe. Towards this end, the Company’s field businesses are focused on commercial excellence, technology-enabled services and execution rigor.

Backlog

The Company’s backlog is applicable to its sales of systems and services. At September 30, 2020, the backlog was $9.4 billion, of which $9.2 billion was attributable to the field business. The backlog amount outstanding at any given time is not necessarily indicative of the amount of revenue to be earned in the upcoming fiscal year.

At September 30, 2020, remaining performance obligations were $14.4 billion, which is $5.0 billion higher than the Company's backlog of $9.4 billion. Differences between the Company’s remaining performance obligations and backlog are primarily due to the following:

Remaining performance obligations include large, multi-purpose contracts to construct hospitals, schools and other governmental buildings, which are services to be performed over the building's lifetime with initial contract terms of 25 to 35 years for the entire term of the contract versus backlog which includes only the lifecycle period of these contracts which approximates five years;
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The Company has elected to exclude from remaining performance obligations certain contracts with customers with a term of one year or less or contracts that are cancelable without substantial penalty while these contracts are included within backlog; and
Remaining performance obligations include the full remaining term of service contracts with substantial termination penalties versus backlog which includes one year for all outstanding service contracts.

The Company will continue to report backlog as it believes it is a useful measure of evaluating the Company's operational performance and relationship to total orders.

Raw Materials

Raw materials used by the businesses in connection with their operations, including steel, aluminum, brass, copper, polypropylene and certain flurochemicals used in fire suppression agents, were readily available during fiscal 2020. The Company expects such availability to continue. In fiscal 2021, commodity prices could fluctuate throughout the year and could significantly affect the results of operations.

Intellectual Property

Generally, the Company seeks statutory protection for strategic or financially important intellectual property developed in connection with its business. Certain intellectual property, where appropriate, is protected by contracts, licenses, confidentiality or other agreements. From time to time, the Company takes action to protect its businesses by asserting its intellectual property rights against third-party infringers.

The Company owns numerous U.S. and non-U.S. patents (and their respective counterparts), the more important of which cover those technologies and inventions embodied in current products or which are used in the manufacture of those products. While the Company believes patents are important to its business operations and in the aggregate constitute a valuable asset, no single patent, or group of patents, is critical to the success of the business. The Company, from time to time, grants licenses under its patents and technology and receives licenses under patents and technology of others.

The Company’s trademarks, certain of which are material to its business, are registered or otherwise legally protected in the U.S. and many non-U.S. countries where products and services of the Company are sold. The Company, from time to time, becomes involved in trademark licensing transactions.

Most works of authorship produced for the Company, such as computer programs, catalogs and sales literature, carry appropriate notices indicating the Company’s claim to copyright protection under U.S. law and appropriate international treaties.

Environmental, Health and Safety Matters

Laws addressing the protection of the environment and workers’ safety and health govern the Company’s ongoing global operations. They generally provide for civil and criminal penalties, as well as injunctive and remedial relief, for noncompliance or require remediation of sites where Company-related materials have been released into the environment.

The Company has expended substantial resources globally, both financial and managerial, to comply with environmental laws and worker safety laws and maintains procedures designed to foster and ensure compliance. Certain of the Company’s businesses are, or have been, engaged in the handling or use of substances that may impact workplace health and safety or the environment. The Company is committed to protecting its workers and the environment against the risks associated with these substances.

The Company’s operations and facilities have been, and in the future may become, the subject of formal or informal enforcement actions or proceedings for noncompliance with environmental laws and worker safety laws or for the remediation of Company-related substances released into the environment. Such matters typically are resolved with regulatory authorities through commitments to compliance, abatement or remediation programs and, in some cases, payment of penalties. See Note 22, "Commitments and Contingencies," of the notes to consolidated financial statements for further discussion of environmental matters.

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Government Regulation and Supervision

The Company's operations are subject to numerous federal, state and local laws and regulations, both within and outside the U.S., in areas such as consumer protection, government contracts, international trade, environmental protection, labor and employment, tax, licensing and others. For example, most U.S. states and non-U.S. jurisdictions in which the Company operates have licensing laws directed specifically toward the alarm and fire suppression industries. The Company's security businesses currently rely extensively upon the use of wireline and wireless telephone service to communicate signals. Wireline and wireless telephone companies in the U.S. are regulated by the federal and state governments. In addition, government regulation of fire safety codes can impact the Company's fire businesses. The Company’s businesses may also be affected by changes in governmental regulation of refrigerants and energy efficiency standards, noise regulation and product safety regulations, including changes related to hydro fluorocarbons/emissions reductions efforts, energy conservation standards and the regulation of fluorinated gases. These and other laws and regulations impact the manner in which the Company conducts its business, and changes in legislation or government policies can affect the Company's worldwide operations, both favorably and unfavorably. For a more detailed description of the various laws and regulations that affect the Company's business, see Item 1A. Risk Factors.

Regulatory Capital Expenditures

The Company’s efforts to comply with numerous federal, state and local laws and regulations applicable to its business and products often results in capital expenditures. The Company makes capital expenditures to design and upgrade its fire and security products to comply with or exceed standards applicable to the alarm, fire suppression and security industries. The Company also makes capital expenditures to meet or exceed energy efficiency standards, including the regulation of refrigerants, hydro fluorocarbons/emissions reductions efforts and the regulation of fluorinated gasses, particularly with respect to the Company’s HVAC products and solutions. The Company’s ongoing environmental compliance program also results in capital expenditures. Regulatory and environmental considerations are a part of all significant capital expenditure decisions; however, expenditures in fiscal 2020 related solely to regulatory compliance were not material. It is management’s opinion that the amount of any future capital expenditures related to compliance with any individual regulation or grouping of related regulations will not have a material adverse effect on the Company’s financial results or competitive position in any one year. See Note 22, "Commitments and Contingencies," of the notes to consolidated financial statements for further discussion of environmental matters.

Human Capital Management

As of September 30, 2020, the Company employed approximately 97,000 people worldwide, of which approximately 36,000 were employed in the United States and approximately 61,000 were outside the United States. Approximately 21,000 employees are covered by collective bargaining agreements or works councils and the Company believes that its relations with the labor unions are generally good.

The Company believes that success of its mission is realized by the engagement and empowerment of its employees to serve and win with clients, everywhere, every day. The Chief Human Resources Officer ("CHRO") is responsible for developing and executing the Company’s human capital strategy. This includes the attraction, acquisition, development and engagement of talent to deliver on the Company’s strategy and the design of employee compensation and benefits programs. The CHRO and the Chief Diversity Officer are responsible for developing and integrating the Company’s diversity and inclusion roadmap. In addition, the Chief Executive Officer ("CEO") and CHRO regularly update the Company’s board of directors and its committees on the operation and status of these human capital trends and activities. Key areas of focus for the Company include:

Health and Safety: The Company’s health and safety programs are designed around global standards with appropriate variations addressing the multiple jurisdictions and regulations, specific hazards and unique working environments of the Company’s manufacturing, service and install, and headquarter operations. The Company requires each of its locations to perform regular safety audits to ensure proper safety policies, program procedures, analyses and training are in place. In addition, the Company engages an independent third party conformity assessment and certification vendor to audit selected operations for adherence to its global health and safety standards. The Company utilizes a mixture of leading and lagging indicators to assess the health and safety performance of its operations. Lagging indicators include the OSHA Total Recordable Incident Rate ("TRIR") and the Lost Time (or Lost Workday) Incident Rate ("LTIR") based upon the number of incidents per 100 employees (or per 200,000 work hours). Leading indicators include reporting and closure of all near miss events and Environmental, Health and Safety ("EHS") coaching and engagement conversations. Reported total workforce numbers include employees and supervised contractors. In fiscal year 2020, the Company had a TRIR of 0.40, a LTIR of 0.12 and 0 work-related fatalities.

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Diversity and Inclusion: The Company believes that its rich culture of inclusion and diversity enables it to create, develop and fully leverage the strengths of its workforce to exceed customer expectations and meet its growth objectives. Current key initiatives include employee experience, Business Resource Groups ("BRG"), learning and development, talent acquisition, external relationships, and metrics and measurements. The Company places a high value on inclusion, engaging employees in our BRG programs staffed by employees with diverse backgrounds, experiences or characteristics who share a common interest in professional development, improving corporate culture and delivering sustained business results. The Company maintains its BRG chapters worldwide across nine categories: African American, Asia Pacific, LGBTQ+, Emerging Leaders, Hispanic, Disabilities, Veterans, Women and Sustainability. The Company uses these groups to serve as a source of inclusion and to support the acquisition of diverse talent internally and externally. Each BRG is sponsored and supported by senior leaders across the enterprise.

The Company has implemented several measures that focus on ensuring accountabilities exist for making progress in diversity. The CEO and other senior leaders have diversity and inclusion objectives embedded in their annual performance goals. The Company also commits to having a diverse talent pipeline by partnering with its business units in their workforce planning forecasts to develop initiatives and goals to recruit diverse talent across all leadership and skill areas. The Company trains its recruiting workforce in diversity sourcing strategies and partners with external organizations that develop and supply diverse talent. As of September 30, 2020, approximately 24% of the Company's global workforce was female and 19% of the Company's employees in managerial roles were female. As of September 30, 2020, minorities represented approximately 27% of the Company's US workforce, of which 18% of our US employees in managerial roles were minorities.

Training and Talent Development: The Company is committed to the continued development of its people. Strategic talent reviews and succession planning occur on a planned cadence annually – globally and across all business areas. The CEO and CHRO convene meetings with senior company leadership and the Board of Directors to review top enterprise talent. The Company continues to provide opportunities for the Company's internal employees to grow their careers, with over half of open management positions filled internally during fiscal year 2020.

The Company provides technical and leadership training to employees, customers and suppliers who work for or with the Company’s products and services. Training is provided in a number of formats to accommodate the learner’s style and pace, location, and technological knowledge and access. In fiscal year 2020, the Company offered more than 3,000 courses to all audiences. In addition, the Company’s focus on employee development has been structured over the last several years through programs designed to imbed essential skills that are aligned to the Company’s culture. All managers are accountable to introduce and teach a new skill or toolset each month to their teams. In fiscal year 2020, approximately 1.37 million learning activities were completed by approximately 83,000 currently active employees.

Refer to "Impact of COVID-19 pandemic" included in Item 7, "Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" for information on Human Capital Management actions taken by the Company in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Seasonal Factors

Certain of the Company's sales are seasonal as the demand for residential air conditioning equipment generally increases in the summer months. This seasonality is mitigated by the other products and services provided by the Company that have no material seasonal effect.

Research and Development Expenditures

Refer to Note 1, "Summary of Significant Accounting Policies," of the notes to consolidated financial statements for research and development expenditures.

Available Information

The Company’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), including annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, definitive proxy statements on Schedule 14A, current reports on Form 8-K, and any amendments to those reports filed pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, are made available free of charge through the Investor Relations section of the Company’s Internet website at http://www.johnsoncontrols.com as soon as reasonably practicable after the Company electronically files such material with, or furnishes it to, the SEC. Copies of any materials the Company files with the SEC can also be obtained free of charge through the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov. The Company also makes available, free of charge, its Code of Ethics, Corporate Governance Guidelines, Board of Directors committee charters and other information related to the Company on the Company’s Internet website or in printed
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form upon request. The Company is not including the information contained on the Company’s website as a part of, or incorporating it by reference into, this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

ITEM 1A    RISK FACTORS

Risks Related to Economic and Political Conditions

The COVID-19 pandemic could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

The global outbreak of COVID-19 has severely restricted the level of economic activity around the world and has caused a significant contraction in the global economy. In response to this outbreak, the governments of many countries, states, cities and other geographic regions have taken preventive or protective actions, such as imposing restrictions on travel and business operations. Currently, the effectiveness of economic stabilization efforts and other measures being taken to mitigate the effects of these actions and the spread of COVID-19 remains uncertain.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we and our affiliates, employees, suppliers, customers and others have been and may continue to be restricted or prevented from conducting normal business activities, including as a result of shutdowns, travel restrictions and other actions that may be requested or mandated by governmental authorities. Such actions have prevented, and may in the future prevent us from accessing the facilities of our customers to deliver and install products, provide services and complete maintenance. Although some governments have lifted shutdown orders and similar restrictions, a resurgence in the spread of COVID-19 could cause the reinstitution of such preventive or protective measures. While a substantial portion of our businesses have been classified as essential in jurisdictions in which facility closures have been mandated, some of our facilities have nevertheless been ordered to close, and we can give no assurance that there will not be additional closures in the future or that our businesses will be classified as essential in each of the jurisdictions in which we operate.

The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted, and may continue to impact, our office locations, manufacturing and servicing facilities and distribution centers, as well as those of our third-party vendors, including the effects of facility closures, reductions in operating hours and other social distancing efforts. For example, during portions of fiscal year 2020, we experienced temporary reductions of our manufacturing and operating capacity in India, China and Mexico as a result of government-mandated actions to control the spread of COVID-19. In addition, we have modified our business practices (including employee travel, employee work locations and cancellation of physical participation in meetings, events and conferences), and we may take further actions as may be required by government authorities or that we determine are in the best interests of our employees, customers, partners and suppliers. These modifications to our business practices, including any future actions we take, may cause us to experience increases in costs, reductions in productivity and disruptions to our business routines. Further, we have experienced, and may continue to experience, disruptions or delays in our supply chain as a result of such actions, which have resulted in higher supply chain costs to us in order to maintain the supply of materials and components for our products.

Our management of the impact of COVID-19 has and will continue to require significant investment of time from our management and employees, as well as resources across our global enterprise. The focus on managing and mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 on our business may cause us to divert or delay the application of our resources toward new initiatives or investments, which may adversely impact our future results of operations. In addition, issues relating to the COVID-19 pandemic may result in legal claims or litigation against us.

We may also experience impacts from market downturns and changes in consumer behavior related to pandemic fears as a result of COVID-19. For example, we experienced a decline in demand in our global businesses as a result of the impact of efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. In addition, our customers may choose to delay or abandon projects on which we provide products and/or services. We may also experience adverse impacts on demand and sales volumes from industries that are sensitive to economic downturns and volatility in commodity prices. Further, the COVID-19 pandemic could result in permanent changes in the behaviors of our customers, including the increased prevalence of remote work and a corresponding decline in demand for the construction and maintenance of commercial buildings. Any of these impacts could cause our stock price and the operating performances of our businesses to be adversely affected, which could require us to incur material impairment, restructuring or other charges. For example, in fiscal year 2020, we were required to record an impairment charge of indefinite-lived intangible assets primarily related to our retail business and an impairment of the North America Retail reporting unit's goodwill.

If the COVID-19 pandemic becomes more pronounced in our global markets, experiences a resurgence in markets recovering from the spread of COVID-19, or if another significant natural disaster or pandemic were to occur in the future, our operations in areas impacted by such events could experience further adverse financial impacts due to market changes and other resulting
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events and circumstances. The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic impacts our financial condition will depend on future developments that are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted, including new information that may emerge concerning the severity of COVID-19, the longevity of COVID-19, the impact of COVID-19 on economic activity, the actions to contain its impacts on public health, and the global economy and the speed at which economic activity resumes following the lifting of measures designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The impact of COVID-19 may also exacerbate other risks discussed in Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, any of which could have a material effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Some of the industries in which we operate are cyclical and, accordingly, demand for our products and services could be adversely affected by downturns in these industries.

Much of the demand for installation of HVAC, security products, and fire detection and suppression solutions is driven by commercial and residential construction and industrial facility expansion and maintenance projects. Commercial and residential construction projects are heavily dependent on general economic conditions, localized demand for commercial and residential real estate and availability of credit. Commercial and residential real estate markets are prone to significant fluctuations in supply and demand. In addition, most commercial and residential real estate developers rely heavily on project financing in order to initiate and complete projects. Declines in real estate values could lead to significant reductions in the availability of project financing, even in markets where demand may otherwise be sufficient to support new construction. These factors could in turn temper demand for new HVAC, fire detection and suppression, and security installations.

Levels of industrial capital expenditures for facility expansions and maintenance are dependent on general economic conditions, economic conditions within specific industries we serve, expectations of future market behavior and available financing. Additionally, volatility in commodity prices can negatively affect the level of these activities and can result in postponement of capital spending decisions or the delay or cancellation of existing orders.

The businesses of many of our industrial customers are to varying degrees cyclical and have experienced periodic downturns. During such economic downturns, including the current economic downturn caused by COVID-19, customers in these industries tend to delay major capital projects, including greenfield construction, maintenance projects and upgrades. Additionally, demand for our products and services may be affected by volatility in energy and commodity prices and fluctuating demand forecasts, as our customers may be more conservative in their capital planning, which may reduce demand for our products and services. Although our industrial customers tend to be less dependent on project financing than real estate developers, disruptions in financial markets and banking systems could make credit and capital markets difficult for our customers to access, and could significantly raise the cost of new debt for our customers. Any difficulty in accessing these markets and the increased associated costs can have a negative effect on investment in large capital projects, including necessary maintenance and upgrades, even during periods of favorable end-market conditions.

Many of our customers inside and outside of the industrial and commercial sectors, including governmental and institutional customers, have experienced budgetary constraints as sources of revenue have been negatively impacted by adverse or stagnant economic conditions. These budgetary constraints have in the past and may in the future reduce demand for our products and services among governmental and institutional customers.

Reduced demand for our products and services could result in the delay or cancellation of existing orders or lead to excess capacity, which unfavorably impacts our absorption of fixed costs. This reduced demand may also erode average selling prices in the industries we serve. Any of these results could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Risks associated with our non-U.S. operations could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We have significant operations in a number of countries outside the U.S., some of which are located in emerging markets. Long-term economic uncertainty in some of the regions of the world in which we operate, such as Asia, South America, the Middle East, Europe and emerging markets, could result in the disruption of markets and negatively affect cash flows from our operations to cover our capital needs and debt service requirements.

In addition, as a result of our global presence, a significant portion of our revenues and expenses is denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar. We are therefore subject to non-U.S. currency risks and non-U.S. exchange exposure. While we employ financial instruments to hedge some of our transactional foreign exchange exposure, these activities do not insulate us completely from those exposures. Exchange rates can be volatile and a substantial weakening of foreign currencies against the
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U.S. dollar could reduce our profit margin in various locations outside of the U.S. and adversely impact the comparability of results from period to period.

There are other risks that are inherent in our non-U.S. operations, including the potential for changes in socio-economic conditions, laws and regulations, including anti-trust, import, export, labor and environmental laws, and monetary and fiscal policies; protectionist measures that may prohibit acquisitions or joint ventures, or impact trade volumes; unsettled or unstable political conditions; government-imposed plant or other operational shutdowns; backlash from foreign labor organizations related to our restructuring actions; corruption; natural and man-made disasters, hazards and losses; violence, civil and labor unrest, and possible terrorist attacks.

These and other factors may have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

Risks Related to Government Regulations

Our businesses operate in regulated industries and are subject to a variety of complex and continually changing laws and regulations.

Our operations and employees are subject to various U.S. federal, state and local licensing laws, codes and standards and similar foreign laws, codes, standards and regulations. Changes in laws or regulations could require us to change the way we operate or to utilize resources to maintain compliance, which could increase costs or otherwise disrupt operations. In addition, failure to comply with any applicable laws or regulations could result in substantial fines or revocation of our operating permits and licenses. Competition or other regulatory investigations can continue for several years, be costly to defend and can result in substantial fines. If laws and regulations were to change or if we or our products failed to comply, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.
Due to the international scope of our operations, the system of laws and regulations to which we are subject is complex and includes regulations issued by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security, the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control and various non U.S. governmental agencies, including applicable export controls, anti-trust, customs, currency exchange control and transfer pricing regulations, laws regulating the foreign ownership of assets, and laws governing certain materials that may be in our products. No assurances can be made that we will continue to be found to be operating in compliance with, or be able to detect violations of, any such laws or regulations. For example, existing free trade laws and regulations, such as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or any successor agreement, provide certain beneficial duties and tariffs for qualifying imports and exports, subject to compliance with the applicable classification and other requirements. Changes in laws or policies governing the terms of foreign trade, and in particular increased trade restrictions, tariffs or taxes on imports from countries where we manufacture products or from where we import products or raw materials (either directly or through our suppliers) could have an impact on our competitive position, business and financial results. For example, certain of our businesses have a significant presence in the United Kingdom (the “U.K.”), where the success of the Brexit referendum in 2016 has continued to cause political and economic uncertainty. Although it is unknown what the full terms of the U.K.’s future relationship with the European Union will be, it is possible that the U.K. may be at risk of losing access to free trade agreements for goods and services with the EU and other countries, which may result in increased tariffs on U.K. imports and exports that could have an adverse effect on our profitability.
We cannot predict the nature, scope or effect of future regulatory requirements to which our operations might be subject or the manner in which existing laws might be administered or interpreted.
Global climate change and related regulations could negatively affect our business.
The effects of climate change, such as extreme weather conditions, create financial risks to our business. For example, the demand for our products and services, such as residential air conditioning equipment, may be affected by unseasonable weather conditions. The effects of climate change could also disrupt our operations by impacting the availability and cost of materials needed for manufacturing and could increase insurance and other operating costs. These factors may impact our decisions to construct new facilities or maintain existing facilities in areas most prone to physical climate risks. We could also face indirect financial risks passed through the supply chain and disruptions that could result in increased prices for our products and the resources needed to produce them.

There is a general consensus that greenhouse gas emissions are linked to global climate change, and that these emissions must be reduced dramatically to avert the worst effects of climate change. Increased public awareness and concern regarding global climate change will result in more regional and/or federal requirements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For example, policies are being implemented to curtail the use of high global warming potential refrigerants, increase building energy
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efficiency, and shift away from the combustion of fossil fuels as a heating source. In some cases, these policies may render our existing technology and products noncompliant, particularly within our line of HVAC products and solutions. As a result, we may be required to make increased capital expenditures to improve our product portfolio to meet new regulations and standards. While we have been committed to continuous improvements to our product portfolio to meet and exceed anticipated regulatory standard levels, there can be no assurance that our commitments will be successful, that our products will be accepted by the market, that proposed regulation or deregulation will not have a negative competitive impact or that economic returns will reflect our investments in new product development.

There continues to be a lack of consistent climate legislation, which creates economic and regulatory uncertainty. Such regulatory uncertainty extends to incentives, which if discontinued, could adversely impact the demand for energy efficient buildings, and could increase costs of compliance. These factors may impact the demand for our products, obsolescence of our products and our results of operations.

We are subject to requirements relating to environmental and safety regulations and environmental remediation matters which could adversely affect our business, results of operation and reputation.

We are subject to numerous federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations governing, among other things, solid and hazardous waste storage, treatment and disposal, and remediation of releases of hazardous materials. There are significant capital, operating and other costs associated with compliance with these environmental laws and regulations. Environmental laws and regulations may become more stringent in the future, which could increase costs of compliance or require us to manufacture with alternative technologies and materials. For example, proposed federal and state legislative action concerning the use and clean-up of fire-fighting foam products could negatively impact our fire-fighting business and our results of operations, thereby enhancing the risks to our business described under “Potential liability for environmental contamination could result in substantial costs” below.

Federal, state and local authorities also regulate a variety of matters, including, but not limited to, health, safety laws governing employee injuries, and permitting requirements in addition to the environmental matters discussed above. If we are unable to adequately comply with applicable health and safety regulations and provide our employees with a safe working environment, we may be subject to litigation and regulatory action, in addition to negatively impacting our ability to attract and retain talented employees. New legislation and regulations may require the Company to make material changes to its operations, resulting in significant increases to the cost of production.

We could be adversely affected by violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the U.K. Bribery Act and similar anti-bribery laws around the world.

The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (the "FCPA"), the U.K. Bribery Act and similar anti-bribery laws in other jurisdictions generally prohibit companies and their intermediaries from making improper payments to government officials or other persons for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. Recent years have seen a substantial increase in anti-bribery law enforcement activity, with more frequent and aggressive investigations and enforcement proceedings by both U.S. and non-U.S. regulators, and increases in criminal and civil proceedings brought against companies and individuals. Our policies mandate compliance with these anti-bribery laws. We operate in many parts of the world that are recognized as having governmental and commercial corruption and local customs and practices that can be inconsistent with anti-bribery laws. We cannot assure you that our internal control policies and procedures will always protect us from reckless or criminal acts committed by our employees or third party intermediaries. In the event that we believe or have reason to believe that our employees or agents have or may have violated applicable anti-corruption laws, or if we are subject to allegations of any such violations, we may be required to investigate or have outside counsel investigate the relevant facts and circumstances, which can be expensive and require significant time and attention from senior management. Violations of these laws may result in criminal or civil sanctions, which could disrupt our business and result in a material adverse effect on our reputation, business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. In addition, we could be subject to commercial impacts such as lost revenue from customers who decline to do business with us as a result of such compliance matters, or we could be subject to lawsuits brought by private litigants, each of which could have a material adverse effect on our reputation, business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

We are subject to risks arising from regulations applicable to companies doing business with the U.S. government.

Our customers include many U.S. federal, state and local government authorities. Doing business with the U.S. government and state and local authorities subjects us to unusual risks, including dependence on the level of government spending and compliance with and changes in governmental procurement and security regulations. Agreements relating to the sale of products to government entities may be subject to termination, reduction or modification, either at the convenience of the
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government or for failure to perform under the applicable contract. We are subject to potential government investigations of business practices and compliance with government procurement and security regulations, which can be expensive and burdensome. If we were charged with wrongdoing as a result of an investigation, we could be suspended from bidding on or receiving awards of new government contracts, which could have a material adverse effect on the Company's results of operations. In addition, various U.S. federal and state legislative proposals have been made in the past that would deny governmental contracts to U.S. companies that have moved their corporate location abroad. We are unable to predict the likelihood that, or final form in which, any such proposed legislation might become law, the nature of regulations that may be promulgated under any future legislative enactments, or the effect such enactments and increased regulatory scrutiny may have on our business.

Risks Related to Our Business Operations

Our future growth is dependent upon our ability to develop or acquire new products and technologies that achieve market acceptance with acceptable margins.

Our future success depends on our ability to develop or acquire, manufacture and bring competitive, and increasingly complex, products and services to market quickly and cost-effectively. Our ability to develop or acquire new products, services and technologies requires the investment of significant resources. These acquisitions and development efforts divert resources from other potential investments in our businesses, and they may not lead to the development of new technologies, products or services on a timely basis. Moreover, as we introduce new products, we may be unable to detect and correct defects in the design of a product or in its application to a specified use, which could result in loss of sales or delays in market acceptance. Even after introduction, new or enhanced products may not satisfy customer preferences and product failures may cause customers to reject our products. As a result, these products may not achieve market acceptance and our brand image could suffer. We must also attract, develop and retain individuals with the requisite technical expertise and understanding of customers’ needs to develop new technologies and introduce new products, particularly as we increase investment in our digital solutions businesses and our OpenBlue platform. The laws and regulations applicable to our products, and our customers’ product and service needs, change from time to time, and regulatory changes may render our products and technologies noncompliant. We must also monitor disruptive technologies and business models. In addition, the markets for our products, services and technologies may not develop or grow as we anticipate. The failure of our technology, products or services to gain market acceptance due to more attractive offerings by our competitors, the introduction of new competitors to the market with new or innovative product offerings or the failure to address any of the above factors could significantly reduce our revenues, increase our operating costs or otherwise materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Cybersecurity incidents could disrupt business operations, result in the loss of critical and confidential information, and adversely impact our reputation and results of operations.

We rely upon the capacity, reliability and security of our IT and data security infrastructure and our ability to expand and continually update this infrastructure in response to the changing needs of our business. As we implement new systems or integrate existing systems, they may not perform as expected. We also face the challenge of supporting our older systems and implementing necessary upgrades. In addition, we are increasingly relying on our IT infrastructure to support our operations as we manage the impact of COVID-19, including through initiating remote-work protocols for a substantial number of our employees in regions impacted by the spread of the virus. If we experience a problem with the functioning of an important IT system as a result of the increased burden placed on our IT infrastructure or a security breach of our IT systems, including during system upgrades and/or new system implementations, the resulting disruptions could have an adverse effect on our business.

Global cybersecurity threats and incidents can range from uncoordinated individual attempts to gain unauthorized access to IT systems to sophisticated and targeted measures known as advanced persistent threats, directed at the Company, its products, its customers and/or its third party service providers, including cloud providers. Our customers, including the U.S. government, are increasingly requiring cybersecurity protections and mandating cybersecurity standards in our products, and we may incur additional costs to comply with such demands. While we have experienced, and expect to continue to experience, these types of threats and incidents, none of them to date have been material to the Company. We seek to deploy comprehensive measures to deter, prevent, detect, respond to and mitigate these threats, including identity and access controls, data protection, vulnerability assessments, product software designs which we believe are less susceptible to cyber attacks, continuous monitoring of our IT networks and systems, maintenance of backup and protective systems and the incorporation of cybersecurity design throughout the lifecycle of our products. Despite these efforts, cybersecurity incidents, depending on their nature and scope, could potentially result in the misappropriation, destruction, corruption or unavailability of critical data and confidential or proprietary information (our own or that of third parties) and the disruption of business operations. Cybersecurity incidents aimed at the
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software imbedded in our products could lead to third party claims that our product failures have caused a similar range of damages to our customers, and this risk is enhanced by the increasingly connected nature of our products. The potential consequences of a material cybersecurity incident include financial loss, reputational damage, litigation with third parties, theft of intellectual property, fines levied by the Federal Trade Commission, diminution in the value of our investment in research, development and engineering, and increased cybersecurity protection and remediation costs due to the increasing sophistication and proliferation of threats, which in turn could adversely affect our competitiveness and results of operations.

Data privacy, identity protection, and information security may require significant resources and presents certain risks.

We collect, store, have access to and otherwise process certain confidential or sensitive data, including proprietary business information, personal data or other information that is subject to privacy and security laws, regulations and/or customer-imposed controls. Despite our efforts to protect such data, our business and our products may be vulnerable to material security breaches, theft, misplaced or lost data, programming errors, or errors that could potentially lead to compromising such data, improper use of our products, systems, software solutions or networks, unauthorized access, use, disclosure, modification or destruction of information, defective products, production downtimes and operational disruptions. A significant actual or perceived risk of theft, loss, fraudulent use or misuse of customer, employee or other data, whether by us, our suppliers, channel partners, customers or other third parties, as a result of employee error or malfeasance, or as a result of the imaging, software, security and other products we incorporate into our products, as well as non-compliance with applicable industry standards or our contractual or other legal obligations or privacy and information-security policies regarding such data, could result in costs, fines, litigation or regulatory actions, or could lead customers to select products and services of our competitors. In addition, any such event could harm our reputation, cause unfavorable publicity or otherwise adversely affect certain potential customers’ perception of the security and reliability of our services as well as our credibility and reputation, which could result in lost sales. In addition, we operate in an environment in which there are different and potentially conflicting data privacy laws in effect in the various U.S. states and foreign jurisdictions in which we operate and we must understand and comply with each law and standard in each of these jurisdictions while ensuring the data is secure. For example, proposed regulations restricting the use of biometric security technology could impact the products and solutions offered by our security business. Government enforcement actions can be costly and interrupt the regular operation of our business, and violations of data privacy laws can result in fines, reputational damage and civil lawsuits, any of which may adversely affect our business, reputation and financial statements.

Infringement or expiration of our intellectual property rights, or allegations that we have infringed upon the intellectual property rights of third parties, could negatively affect us.

We rely on a combination of trademarks, trade secrets, patents, copyrights, know-how, confidentiality provisions and licensing arrangements to establish and protect our proprietary rights. We cannot guarantee, however, that the steps we have taken to protect our intellectual property will be adequate to prevent infringement of our rights or misappropriation or theft of our technology, trade secrets or know-how. For example, effective patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret protection may be unavailable or limited in some of the countries in which we operate. In addition, while we generally enter into confidentiality agreements with our employees and third parties to protect our trade secrets, know-how, business strategy and other proprietary information, such confidentiality agreements could be breached or otherwise may not provide meaningful protection for our trade secrets and know-how related to the design, manufacture or operation of our products. We, from time to time, resort to litigation to protect our intellectual property rights. Such proceedings can be burdensome and costly, and we may not prevail. Further, adequate remedies may not be available in the event of an unauthorized use or disclosure of our trade secrets and manufacturing expertise. Finally, for those products in our portfolio that rely on patent protection, once a patent has expired, the product is generally open to competition. Products under patent protection usually generate significantly higher revenues than those not protected by patents. If we fail to successfully enforce our intellectual property rights, our competitive position could suffer, which could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

In addition, we are, from time to time, subject to claims of intellectual property infringement by third parties, including practicing entities and non-practicing entities. Regardless of the merit of such claims, responding to infringement claims can be expensive and time-consuming. The litigation process is subject to inherent uncertainties, and we may not prevail in litigation matters regardless of the merits of our position. Intellectual property lawsuits or claims may become extremely disruptive if the plaintiffs succeed in blocking the trade of our products and services and they may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

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We rely on our global direct installation channel for a significant portion of our revenue. Failure to maintain and grow the installed base resulting from direct channel sales could adversely affect our business.

Unlike many of our competitors, the Company relies on a direct sales channel for a substantial portion of our revenue. The direct channel provides for the installation of fire and security solutions, and HVAC equipment manufactured by the Company. This represents a significant distribution channel for our products, creates a large installed base of our fire and security solutions, and HVAC equipment, and creates opportunities for longer term service and monitoring revenue. If we are unable to maintain or grow this installation business, whether due to changes in economic conditions, a failure to anticipate changing customer needs, a failure to introduce innovative or technologically advanced solutions, or for any other reason, our installation revenue could decline, which could in turn adversely impact our product pull-through and our ability to grow service and monitoring revenue.

A material disruption of our operations, particularly at our monitoring and/or manufacturing facilities, could adversely affect our business.

If our operations, particularly at our monitoring facilities and/or manufacturing facilities, were to be disrupted as a result of significant equipment failures, natural disasters, power outages, fires, explosions, terrorism, sabotage, adverse weather conditions, public health crises, labor disputes or other reasons, we may be unable to effectively respond to alarm signals, fill customer orders and otherwise meet obligations to or demand from our customers, which could adversely affect our financial performance.

Interruptions in production could increase our costs and reduce our sales. Any interruption in production capability could require us to make substantial capital expenditures or purchase alternative material at higher costs to fill customer orders, which could negatively affect our profitability and financial condition. We maintain property damage insurance that we believe to be adequate to provide for reconstruction of facilities and equipment, as well as business interruption insurance to mitigate losses resulting from significant production interruption or shutdown caused by an insured loss. However, any recovery under our insurance policies may not offset the lost sales or increased costs that may be experienced during the disruption of operations, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Our business may be adversely affected by work stoppages, union negotiations, labor disputes and other matters associated with our labor force.

We employ approximately 97,000 people worldwide. Approximately 21% of these employees are covered by collective bargaining agreements or works councils. Although we believe that our relations with the labor unions and works councils that represent our employees are generally good and we have experienced no material strikes or work stoppages recently, no assurances can be made that we will not experience in the future these and other types of conflicts with labor unions, works councils, other groups representing employees or our employees generally, or that any future negotiations with our labor unions will not result in significant increases in our cost of labor. Additionally, a work stoppage at one of our suppliers could materially and adversely affect our operations if an alternative source of supply were not readily available. Stoppages by employees of our customers could also result in reduced demand for our products.

We are exposed to greater risks of liability for employee acts or omissions, or system failure, in our fire and security businesses than may be inherent in other businesses.

If a customer or third party believes that he or she has suffered harm to person or property due to an actual or alleged act or omission of one of our employees or a security or fire system failure, he or she may pursue legal action against us, and the cost of defending the legal action and of any judgment could be substantial. In particular, because many of our products and services are intended to protect lives and real and personal property, we may have greater exposure to litigation risks than businesses that provide other products and services. We could face liability for failure to respond adequately to alarm activations or failure of our fire protection to operate as expected. The nature of the services we provide exposes us to the risks that we may be held liable for employee acts or omissions or system failures. As a result, such employee acts or omissions or system failures could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

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We do not own the right to use the ADT® brand name in the U.S. and Canada.

We own the ADT® brand name in jurisdictions outside of the U.S. and Canada, and The ADT Corporation ("ADT") owns the brand name in the U.S. and Canada. Although we have entered into agreements with ADT designed to protect the value of the ADT® brand, we cannot assure you that actions taken by ADT will not negatively impact the value of the brand outside of the U.S. and Canada. These factors expose us to the risk that the ADT® brand name could suffer reputational damage or devaluation for reasons outside of our control, including ADT's business conduct in the U.S. and Canada. Any of these factors may adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Risks Related to Litigation

Potential liability for environmental contamination could result in substantial costs.

We have projects underway at multiple current and former manufacturing and testing facilities to investigate and remediate environmental contamination resulting from past operations by us or by other businesses that previously owned or used the properties, including our Fire Technology Center and Stanton Street manufacturing facility located in Marinette, Wisconsin. These projects relate to a variety of activities, including arsenic, solvent, oil, metal, lead, perfluorooctane sulfonate ("PFOS"), perfluorooctanoic acid ("PFOA") and/or other per- and polyfluorinated substances ("PFAS") and other hazardous substance contamination cleanup; and structure decontamination and demolition, including asbestos abatement. Because of uncertainties associated with environmental regulation and environmental remediation activities at sites where we may be liable, future expenses that we may incur to remediate identified sites and resolve outstanding litigation could be considerably higher than the current accrued liability on our consolidated statements of financial position, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and cash flows.

In addition, we have been named, along with others, in a number of class action and other lawsuits relating to the use of fire-fighting foam products by the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. military and others for fire suppression purposes and related training exercises. Plaintiffs generally allege that the fire-fighting foam products contain or break down into the chemicals PFOS and PFOA and/or other PFAS compounds and that the use of these products by others at various airbases, airports and other sites resulted in the release of these chemicals into the environment and ultimately into communities’ drinking water supplies neighboring those airports, airbases and other sites. Plaintiffs in these cases generally seek compensatory damages, including damages for alleged personal injuries, medical monitoring, diminution in property values, investigation and remediation costs, and natural resources damages, and also seek punitive damages and injunctive relief to address remediation of the alleged contamination. It is difficult to predict the outcome or ultimate financial exposure, if any, represented by these matters, and there can be no assurance that any such exposure will not be material. Such claims may also negatively affect our reputation. See Note 22, “Commitments and Contingencies,” of the notes to consolidated financial statements for additional information on these matters.

We are party to asbestos-related product litigation that could adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

We and certain of our subsidiaries, along with numerous other third parties, are named as defendants in personal injury lawsuits based on alleged exposure to asbestos containing materials. These cases typically involve product liability claims based primarily on allegations of manufacture, sale or distribution of industrial products that either contained asbestos or were used with asbestos containing components. We cannot predict with certainty the extent to which we will be successful in litigating or otherwise resolving lawsuits in the future and we continue to evaluate different strategies related to asbestos claims filed against us including entity restructuring and judicial relief. Unfavorable rulings, judgments or settlement terms could have a material adverse impact on our business and financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. See Note 22, “Commitments and Contingencies,” of the notes to consolidated financial statements for additional information on these matters.

Risks Relating to Strategic Transactions

We may be unable to successfully execute or effectively integrate acquisitions or joint ventures.

We expect acquisitions of businesses and assets, as well as joint ventures (or other strategic arrangements), to play a role in our future growth. We cannot be certain that we will be able to identify attractive acquisition or joint venture targets, obtain financing for acquisitions on satisfactory terms, successfully acquire identified targets or form joint ventures, or manage the timing of acquisitions with capital obligations across our businesses.

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Acquisitions and investments may involve significant cash expenditures, debt incurrences, equity issuances, operating losses and expenses. Acquisitions involve numerous other risks, including:

the diversion of management attention to integration matters;
difficulties in integrating operations and systems;
challenges in conforming standards, controls, procedures and accounting and other policies, business cultures and
compensation structures;
difficulties in assimilating employees and in attracting and retaining key personnel;
challenges in keeping existing customers and obtaining new customers;
difficulties in achieving anticipated cost savings, synergies, business opportunities and growth prospects;
contingent liabilities (including contingent tax liabilities) that are larger than expected; and
potential unknown liabilities, adverse consequences and unforeseen increased expenses associated with acquired
companies.
    
The goodwill and intangible assets recorded with past acquisitions, including our merger with Tyco, were significant and impairment of such assets could result in a material adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations. Competition for acquisition opportunities in the various industries in which we operate may rise, thereby increasing our costs of making acquisitions or causing us to refrain from making further acquisitions.

Many of these factors are outside of our control, and any one of them could result in increased costs, decreased expected revenues and diversion of management time and energy, which could materially impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Risks associated with joint venture investments may adversely affect our business and financial results.

We have entered into several joint ventures and we may enter into additional joint ventures in the future. Our joint venture partners may at any time have economic, business or legal interests or goals that are inconsistent with our goals or with the goals of the joint venture. In addition, we may compete against our joint venture partners in certain of our other markets. Disagreements with our business partners may impede our ability to maximize the benefits of our partnerships. Our joint venture arrangements may require us, among other matters, to pay certain costs or to make certain capital investments or to seek our joint venture partner’s consent to take certain actions. In addition, our joint venture partners may be unable or unwilling to meet their economic or other obligations under the operative documents, and we may be required to either fulfill those obligations alone to ensure the ongoing success of a joint venture or to dissolve and liquidate a joint venture. These risks could result in a material adverse effect on our business and financial results.

Divestitures of some of our businesses or product lines may materially adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.

We continually evaluate the performance and strategic fit of all of our businesses and may sell businesses or product lines. For example, we completed the spin-off of our Automotive Experience business in October 2016 and sold our Scott Safety business in October 2017. In addition, on April 30, 2019, we sold our Power Solutions business to BCP Acquisitions LLC. Divestitures involve risks, including difficulties in the separation of operations, services, products and personnel, the diversion of management's attention from other business concerns, the disruption of our business, the potential loss of key employees and the retention of uncertain environmental or other contingent liabilities related to the divested business. Some divestitures, like the Power Solutions divestiture, may be dilutive to earnings. In addition, divestitures may result in significant asset impairment charges, including those related to goodwill and other intangible assets, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. We cannot assure you that we will be successful in managing these or any other significant risks that we encounter in divesting a business or product line, and any divestiture we undertake could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows, and may also result in a diversion of management attention, operational difficulties and losses. With respect to the Power Solutions divestiture, there can be no assurance whether the strategic benefits and expected financial impact of the divestiture will be achieved.

Risks Related to Tax Matters

The Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") may not agree that we should be treated as a non-U.S. corporation for U.S. federal tax purposes.

Under current U.S. federal tax law, a corporation is generally considered to be a tax resident in the jurisdiction of its organization or incorporation. Because Johnson Controls International plc is an Irish incorporated entity, it would generally be
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classified as a non-U.S. corporation (and, therefore, a non-U.S. tax resident) under these rules. However, Section 7874 of the Code ("Section 7874") provides an exception to this general rule under which a non-U.S. incorporated entity may, in certain circumstances, be treated as a U.S. corporation for U.S. federal tax purposes.

Under Section 7874, if (1) former Johnson Controls, Inc. shareholders owned (within the meaning of Section 7874) 80% or more (by vote or value) of our ordinary shares after the Merger by reason of holding Johnson Controls, Inc. common stock (such ownership percentage the "Section 7874 ownership percentage"), and (2) our "expanded affiliated group" did not have "substantial business activities" in Ireland ("the substantial business activities test"), we will be treated as a U.S. corporation for U.S. federal tax purposes. If the Section 7874 ownership percentage of the former Johnson Controls, Inc. shareholders after the Merger was less than 80% but at least 60%, and the substantial business activities test was not met, we and our U.S. affiliates (including the U.S. affiliates historically owned by Tyco) may, in some circumstances, be subject to certain adverse U.S. federal income tax rules (which, among other things, could limit their ability to utilize certain U.S. tax attributes to offset U.S. taxable income or gain resulting from certain transactions). The application of these rules could result in significant additional U.S. tax liability and limit our ability to restructure or access cash earned by certain of our non-U.S. subsidiaries, in each case, without incurring substantial U.S. tax liabilities.

Based on the terms of the Merger, the rules for determining share ownership under Section 7874 and certain factual assumptions, we believe that former Johnson Controls, Inc. shareholders owned (within the meaning of Section 7874) less than 60% (by both vote and value) of our ordinary shares after the Merger by reason of holding shares of Johnson Controls, Inc. common stock. Therefore, under current law, we believe that we should not be treated as a U.S. corporation for U.S. federal tax purposes and that Section 7874 should otherwise not apply to us or our affiliates as a result of the Merger.

However, the determination of the Section 7874 ownership percentage is complex and is subject to factual and legal uncertainties. Thus, there can be no assurance that the IRS will agree with the position that we should not be treated as a U.S. corporation for U.S. federal tax purposes or that Section 7874 does not otherwise apply as a result of the Merger.

Regardless of any application of Section 7874, we are treated as an Irish tax resident for Irish tax purposes. Consequently, if we were to be treated as a U.S. corporation for U.S. federal tax purposes under Section 7874, we could be liable for both U.S. and Irish taxes, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Future potential changes to the tax laws could adversely affect us and our U.S. affiliates (including the U.S. affiliates historically owned by Tyco).

Legislative and regulatory action may be taken in the U.S., which, if ultimately enacted, could override tax treaties upon which we rely, or broaden the circumstances under which we would be considered a U.S. resident, each of which could materially and adversely affect our effective tax rate. We cannot predict the outcome of any specific legislative or regulatory proposals and such changes could have a prospective or retroactive application. However, if proposals were enacted that had the effect of disregarding the incorporation in Ireland or limiting Johnson Controls International plc’s ability, as an Irish company, to take advantage of tax treaties with the U.S., we could be subject to increased taxation, potentially significant expense, and/or other adverse tax consequences. Additionally, the U.S. Congress, government agencies in jurisdictions where we and our affiliates do business, and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development have focused on issues related to the taxation of multinational corporations, such as base erosion and profit shifting. It is possible that jurisdictions in which we do business could react to such developments or their own concerns by enacting tax legislation that could adversely affect us or our affiliates. There is uncertainty regarding the tax policies of the jurisdictions where we operate, and if changes are enacted, there could be a resulting increase in our effective tax rate. Additionally, the tax laws of Ireland and other jurisdictions could change in the future, and such changes could cause a material increase in our effective tax rate.

Changes to the U.S. model income tax treaty could adversely affect us.

On February 17, 2016, the U.S. Treasury released a revised U.S. model income tax convention (the "new model"), which is the baseline text used by the U.S. Treasury to negotiate tax treaties. If any or all of the modifications to the model treaty are adopted in the main jurisdictions in which we do business, they could, among other things, cause double taxation, increase audit risk and substantially increase our worldwide tax liability. We cannot predict the outcome of any specific modifications to the model treaty, and we cannot provide assurance that any such modifications will not apply to us.

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Negative or unexpected tax consequences could adversely affect our results of operations.

Adverse changes in the underlying profitability and financial outlook of our operations in several jurisdictions could lead to additional changes in our valuation allowances against deferred tax assets and other tax reserves on our statement of financial position, and the future sale of certain businesses could potentially result in the reversal of outside basis differences that could adversely affect our results of operations and cash flows. Additionally, changes in tax laws in the U.S., Ireland or in other countries where we have significant operations could materially affect deferred tax assets and liabilities on our consolidated statements of financial position and our income tax provision in our consolidated statements of income.

We are also subject to tax audits by governmental authorities. Negative unexpected results from one or more such tax audits could adversely affect our results of operations.

Risks Relating to Our Jurisdiction of Incorporation

Irish law differs from the laws in effect in the U.S. and may afford less protection to holders of our securities.

It may not be possible to enforce court judgments obtained in the U.S. against us in Ireland based on the civil liability provisions of the U.S. federal or state securities laws. In addition, there is some uncertainty as to whether the courts of Ireland would recognize or enforce judgments of U.S. courts obtained against us or our directors or officers based on the civil liabilities provisions of the U.S. federal or state securities laws or hear actions against us or those persons based on those laws. We have been advised that the U.S. currently does not have a treaty with Ireland providing for the reciprocal recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters. Therefore, a final judgment for the payment of money rendered by any U.S. federal or state court based on civil liability, whether or not based solely on U.S. federal or state securities laws, would not automatically be enforceable in Ireland.

A judgment obtained against us will be enforced by the courts of Ireland if the following general requirements are met:

U.S. courts must have had jurisdiction in relation to the particular defendant according to Irish conflict of law rules (the submission to jurisdiction by the defendant would satisfy this rule); and
the judgment must be final and conclusive and the decree must be final and unalterable in the court which pronounces it.

A judgment can be final and conclusive even if it is subject to appeal or even if an appeal is pending. But where the effect of lodging an appeal under the applicable law is to stay execution of the judgment, it is possible that in the meantime the judgment may not be actionable in Ireland. It remains to be determined whether final judgment given in default of appearance is final and conclusive. Irish courts may also refuse to enforce a judgment of the U.S. courts which meets the above requirements for one of the following reasons:

the judgment is not for a definite sum of money;
the judgment was obtained by fraud;
the enforcement of the judgment in Ireland would be contrary to natural or constitutional justice;
the judgment is contrary to Irish public policy or involves certain U.S. laws which will not be enforced in Ireland; or
jurisdiction cannot be obtained by the Irish courts over the judgment debtors in the enforcement proceedings by personal service Ireland or outside Ireland under Order 11 of the Irish Superior Courts Rules.

As an Irish company, Johnson Controls is governed by the Irish Companies Acts, which differ in some material respects from laws generally applicable to U.S. corporations and shareholders, including, among others, differences relating to interested director and officer transactions and shareholder lawsuits. Likewise, the duties of directors and officers of an Irish company generally are owed to the company only. Shareholders of Irish companies generally do not have a personal right of action against directors or officers of the company and may exercise such rights of action on behalf of the company only in limited circumstances. Accordingly, holders of Johnson Controls International plc securities may have more difficulty protecting their interests than would holders of securities of a corporation incorporated in a jurisdiction of the U.S.

Transfers of Johnson Controls ordinary shares may be subject to Irish stamp duty.

For the majority of transfers of Johnson Controls ordinary shares, there is no Irish stamp duty. However, Irish stamp duty is payable for certain share transfers. A transfer of Johnson Controls ordinary shares from a seller who holds shares beneficially (i.e. through the Depository Trust Company ("DTC")) to a buyer who holds the acquired shares beneficially is not subject to Irish stamp duty (unless the transfer involves a change in the nominee that is the record holder of the transferred shares). A
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transfer of Johnson Controls ordinary shares by a seller who holds shares directly (i.e. not through DTC) to any buyer, or by a seller who holds the shares beneficially to a buyer who holds the acquired shares directly, may be subject to Irish stamp duty (currently at the rate of 1% of the price paid or the market value of the shares acquired, if higher) payable by the buyer. A shareholder who directly holds shares may transfer those shares into his or her own broker account to be held through DTC without giving rise to Irish stamp duty provided that the shareholder has confirmed to Johnson Controls transfer agent that there is no change in the ultimate beneficial ownership of the shares as a result of the transfer and, at the time of the transfer, there is no agreement in place for a sale of the shares.

We currently intend to pay, or cause one of our affiliates to pay, stamp duty in connection with share transfers made in the ordinary course of trading by a seller who holds shares directly to a buyer who holds the acquired shares beneficially. In other cases, Johnson Controls may, in its absolute discretion, pay or cause one of its affiliates to pay any stamp duty. Johnson Controls Memorandum and Articles of Association provide that, in the event of any such payment, Johnson Controls (i) may seek reimbursement from the buyer, (ii) may have a lien against the Johnson Controls ordinary shares acquired by such buyer and any dividends paid on such shares and (iii) may set-off the amount of the stamp duty against future dividends on such shares. Parties to a share transfer may assume that any stamp duty arising in respect of a transaction in Johnson Controls ordinary shares has been paid unless one or both of such parties is otherwise notified by Johnson Controls.

Dividends paid by us may be subject to Irish dividend withholding tax.

In certain circumstances, as an Irish tax resident company, we will be required to deduct Irish dividend withholding tax (currently at the rate of 20%) from dividends paid to our shareholders. Shareholders that are residents in the U.S., European Union countries (other than Ireland) or other countries with which Ireland has signed a tax treaty (whether the treaty has been ratified or not) generally should not be subject to Irish withholding tax so long as the shareholder has provided its broker, for onward transmission to our qualifying intermediary or other designated agent (in the case of shares held beneficially), or us or our transfer agent (in the case of shares held directly), with all the necessary documentation by the appropriate due date prior to payment of the dividend. However, some shareholders may be subject to withholding tax, which could adversely affect the price of our ordinary shares.

Dividends received by you could be subject to Irish income tax.

Dividends paid in respect of Johnson Controls ordinary shares generally are not subject to Irish income tax where the beneficial owner of these dividends is exempt from dividend withholding tax, unless the beneficial owner of the dividend has some connection with Ireland other than his or her shareholding in Johnson Controls.

Johnson Controls shareholders who receive their dividends subject to Irish dividend withholding tax generally will have no further liability to Irish income tax on the dividend unless the beneficial owner of the dividend has some connection with Ireland other than his or her shareholding in Johnson Controls.

General Risk Factors

General economic, political, credit and capital market conditions could adversely affect our financial performance, our ability to grow or sustain our businesses and our ability to access the capital markets.

We compete around the world in various geographic regions and product markets. Global economic and political conditions affect each of our primary businesses and the businesses of our customers and suppliers. Any future financial distress or disruption in the industries and/or markets where we compete could negatively affect our revenues and financial performance in future periods, result in future restructuring charges, and adversely impact our ability to grow or sustain our businesses. Further, negative economic conditions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in one or more countries or regions in which we operate could require changes to funding certain of our strategic growth investments.

The capital and credit markets provide us with liquidity to operate and grow our businesses beyond the liquidity that operating cash flows provide. A worldwide economic downturn and/or disruption of the credit markets, including the economic downturn and capital market volatility caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, could reduce our access to capital necessary for our operations and executing our strategic plan. If our access to capital were to become significantly constrained, or if costs of capital increased significantly due to lowered credit ratings, prevailing industry conditions, the volatility of the capital markets or other factors; then our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows could be adversely affected.

If we are unable to adequately react to negative economic impacts that decrease demand for our products and services and/or negative movements in capital markets our results of operations, financial condition or liquidity could be adversely affected.
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The potential insolvency or financial distress of third parties could adversely impact our business and results of operations.

We are exposed to the risk that third parties to various arrangements who owe us money or goods and services, or who purchase goods and services from us, will not be able to perform their obligations or continue to place orders due to insolvency or financial distress. Notably, the global COVID-19 pandemic has created heightened risk that third parties may be unable to perform their obligations or suffer financial distress due to the global economic impact of the pandemic and the regulatory measures that have been enacted by governments to contain the spread of the virus, however, we are unable predict the impact that COVID-19 will have on any of our customers, suppliers, vendors, and other business partners, and each of their financial conditions or their ability to perform their obligations. If third parties fail to perform their obligations under arrangements with us, we may be forced to replace the underlying commitment at current or above market prices or on other terms that are less favorable to us. In such events, we may incur losses, or our results of operations, financial condition or liquidity could otherwise be adversely affected.

Legal proceedings in which we are, or may be, a party may adversely affect us.

We are currently, and may in the future, become subject to legal proceedings and commercial or contractual disputes. These are typically claims that arise in the normal course of business including, without limitation, commercial or contractual disputes with our suppliers or customers, intellectual property matters, third party liability, including product liability claims, and employment claims.

Our business success depends on attracting and retaining qualified personnel.

Our ability to sustain and grow our business requires us to hire, retain and develop a highly skilled and diverse management team and workforce. Failure to ensure that we have the leadership capacity with the necessary skill set and experience could impede our ability to deliver our growth objectives, execute our strategic plan and effectively transition our leadership. Organizational and reporting changes resulting from any future leadership transition or corporate initiatives could result in increased turnover. Additionally, any unplanned turnover or inability to attract and retain key employees could have a negative effect on our results of operations.

Volatility in commodity prices may adversely affect our results of operations.

Increases in commodity costs can negatively impact the profitability of orders in backlog as prices on such orders are typically fixed; therefore, in the short-term, our ability to adjust for changes in certain commodity prices is limited. In these cases, if we are not able to recover commodity cost increases through price increases to our customers on new orders, then such increases will have an adverse effect on our results of operations. In cases where commodity price risk cannot be naturally offset or hedged through supply based fixed-price contracts, we use commodity hedge contracts to minimize overall price risk associated with our anticipated commodity purchases. Unfavorability in our hedging programs during a period of declining commodity prices could result in lower margins as we reduce prices to match the market on a fixed commodity cost level. Additionally, to the extent we do not or are unable to hedge certain commodities and the commodity prices substantially increase, such increases will have an adverse effect on our results of operations.

Risks related to our defined benefit retirement plans may adversely impact our results of operations and cash flow.

Significant changes in actual investment return on defined benefit plan assets, discount rates, mortality assumptions and other factors could adversely affect our results of operations and the amounts of contributions we must make to our defined benefit plans in future periods. Because we mark-to-market our defined benefit plan assets and liabilities on an annual basis, large non-cash gains or losses could be recorded in the fourth quarter of each fiscal year or when a remeasurement event occurs. Generally accepted accounting principles in the U.S. require that we calculate income or expense for the plans using actuarial valuations. These valuations reflect assumptions about financial markets and interest rates, which may change based on economic conditions. Funding requirements for our defined benefit plans are dependent upon, among other factors, interest rates, underlying asset returns and the impact of legislative or regulatory changes related to defined benefit funding obligations. For a discussion regarding the significant assumptions used to determine net periodic benefit cost, refer to "Critical Accounting Estimates and Policies" included in Item 7, "Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations."

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A downgrade in the ratings of our debt could restrict our ability to access the debt capital markets and increase our interest costs.

Unfavorable changes in the ratings that rating agencies assign to our debt may ultimately negatively impact our access to the debt capital markets and increase the costs we incur to borrow funds. If ratings for our debt fall below investment grade, our access to the debt capital markets would become restricted and the price we pay to issue debt could increase. Historically, we have relied on our ability to issue commercial paper rather than to draw on our credit facility to support our daily operations, which means that a downgrade in our ratings or volatility in the financial markets causing limitations to the debt capital markets could have an adverse effect on our business or our ability to meet our liquidity needs.

Additionally, several of our credit agreements generally include an increase in interest rates if the ratings for our debt are downgraded. Further, an increase in the level of our indebtedness may increase our vulnerability to adverse general economic and industry conditions and may affect our ability to obtain additional financing.

A variety of other factors could adversely affect the results of operations of our business.

Any of the following could materially and adversely impact the results of operations of our business: loss of, changes in, or failure to perform under guaranteed performance contracts with our major customers; cancellation of, or significant delays in, projects in our backlog; delays or difficulties in new product development; our ability to recognize the expected benefits of our restructuring actions, financial instability or market declines of our major component suppliers; the unavailability of raw materials (primarily steel, copper and electronic components) necessary for production of our products; price increases of limited-source components, products and services that we are unable to pass on to the market; unseasonable weather conditions in various parts of the world; changes in energy costs or governmental regulations that would decrease the incentive for customers to update or improve their building control systems; and natural or man-made disasters or losses that impact our ability to deliver products and services to our customers.

ITEM 1B    UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

The Company has no unresolved written comments regarding its periodic or current reports from the staff of the SEC.

ITEM 2    PROPERTIES

The Company has properties in approximately 65 countries throughout the world, with its world headquarters located in Cork, Ireland and its North American operational headquarters located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA. The Company’s wholly- and majority-owned facilities primarily consist of manufacturing, sales and service offices, research and development facilities, monitoring centers, and assembly and/or warehouse centers. At September 30, 2020, these properties totaled approximately 44 million square feet of floor space of which 18 million square feet are owned and 26 million square feet are leased. The Company considers its facilities to be suitable for their current uses and adequate for current needs. The majority of the facilities are operating at normal levels based on capacity. The Company does not anticipate difficulty in renewing existing leases as they expire or in finding alternative facilities.

ITEM 3    LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

Gumm v. Molinaroli, et al.

On August 16, 2016, a putative class action lawsuit, Gumm v. Molinaroli, et al., Case No. 16-cv-1093, was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, naming Johnson Controls, Inc., the individual members of its board of directors at the time of the merger with the Company’s merger subsidiary and certain of its officers, the Company and the Company’s merger subsidiary as defendants. The complaint asserted various causes of action under the federal securities laws, state law and the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, including that the individual defendants allegedly breached their fiduciary duties and unjustly enriched themselves by structuring the merger among the Company, Tyco and the merger subsidiary in a manner that would result in a United States federal income tax realization event for the putative class of certain Johnson Controls, Inc. shareholders and allegedly result in certain benefits to the defendants, as well as related claims regarding alleged misstatements in the proxy statement/prospectus distributed to the Johnson Controls, Inc. shareholders, conversion and breach of contract. The complaint also asserted that Johnson Controls, Inc., the Company and the Company’s merger subsidiary aided and abetted the individual defendants in their breach of fiduciary duties and unjust enrichment. The complaint seeks, among other things, disgorgement of profits and damages. On September 30, 2016, approximately one month after the closing of the merger, plaintiffs filed a preliminary injunction motion seeking, among other items, to compel Johnson Controls, Inc. to make certain intercompany payments that plaintiffs contend will impact the United States federal income tax consequences of the merger to
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the putative class of certain Johnson Controls, Inc. shareholders and to enjoin Johnson Controls, Inc. from reporting to the Internal Revenue Service the capital gains taxes payable by this putative class as a result of the closing of the merger. The court held a hearing on the preliminary injunction motion on January 4, 2017, and on January 25, 2017, the judge denied the plaintiffs' motion. Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on February 15, 2017, and the Company filed a motion to dismiss on April 3, 2017. On October 17, 2019, the court heard oral arguments on the motion to dismiss and took the matter under advisement. Although the Company believes it has substantial defenses to plaintiffs’ claims, it is not able to predict the outcome of this action.

Refer to Note 22, "Commitments and Contingencies," of the notes to consolidated financial statements for discussion of environmental, asbestos, insurable liabilities and other litigation matters, which is incorporated by reference herein and is considered an integral part of Part I, Item 3, "Legal Proceedings."

ITEM 4    MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

Not applicable.

EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF THE REGISTRANT

Pursuant to General Instruction G(3) of Form 10-K, the following list of executive officers of the Company as of November 16, 2020 is included as an unnumbered Item in Part I of this report in lieu of being included in the Company’s Proxy Statement relating to the annual general meeting of shareholders to be held on March 10, 2021.

Tomas Brannemo, 49, has served as Vice President and President, Building Solutions, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America since September 2019. He previously served as Senior Vice President and President, Water Infrastructure and Europe Commercial Team of Xylem Inc., a leading global water technology company. At Xylem, he also served as Senior Vice President and President, Transport and Treatment, from 2017 to 2019 and other roles from 2010 to 2017. Between 2006 and 2010, he held various marketing, sales and engineering positions at Volvo Construction Company.

John Donofrio, 58, has served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the Company since November 15, 2017.  He previously served as Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Mars, Incorporated, a global food manufacturer from October 2013 to November 2017. Before joining Mars in October 2013, Mr. Donofrio was Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary for The Shaw Group Inc., a global engineering and construction company, from October 2009 until February 2013. Prior to joining Shaw, Mr. Donofrio was Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at Visteon Corporation, a global automotive supplier, a position he held from 2005 until October 2009. Mr. Donofrio has been a Director of FARO Technologies, Inc., a designer, developer, manufacturer and marketer of software driven, 3D measurement, imaging and realization systems, since 2008.

Michael J. Ellis, 64, has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Customer & Digital Officer since October 2019.  From May 2018 to October 2019, he served as a Managing Director at Accenture, a global provider of professional services in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. He previously served as Chairman and CEO of ForgeRock, a global digital security software company, from 2012 to 2018. Prior to joining ForgeRock, from 2008 to 2012, he held various senior executive roles at SAP SE, a global provider of enterprise software solutions. Previously, he also served as Chief Executive Officer of Univa, a leading innovator in enterprise-grade workload management and optimization solutions, and as Senior Vice President Business Development at i2 Technologies, a provider of supply chain solutions.

Visal Leng, 50, has served as Vice President and President, Building Solutions, Asia Pacific since September 2018.  He previously served as President Asia Pacific of Baker Hughes, the world’s first and only full stream provider of integrated oilfield products, services and digital solutions, from July 2017 to September 2018.  Prior to the merger of Baker Hughes with General Electric in 2017, he held a number of roles with increasing responsibility in General Electric from his hire in November 1996, including President of its Asia Pacific oil and gas operations from January 2014 to July 2017; and Asia Pacific Regional General Manager from October 2011 to December 2013.

Olivier Leonetti, 55, was elected Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer-Elect in September 2020 and will assume the role of Chief Financial Officer and Principal Financial Officer on the date immediately following the filing of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Prior to joining Johnson Controls, Mr. Leonetti served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Zebra Technologies, a provider of enterprise-level data capture and automatic identification solutions, a position he had held since November 2016. Prior to joining Zebra, Mr. Leonetti was the Executive Vice
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President and Chief Financial Officer of Western Digital, a provider of data infrastructure solutions from 2014 to 2016. Prior to joining Western Digital, Mr. Leonetti served as Vice President of Finance – Global Commercial Organization at Amgen, Inc. from 2011 to 2014. From 1997 to 2011, Mr. Leonetti served in various senior finance positions with increasing responsibility at Dell Inc., including most recently as Vice President of Finance. Prior to joining Dell Inc., Mr. Leonetti served in various worldwide finance capacities with Lex Rac Service plc and the Gillette Company. Mr. Leonetti also serves as a director on the board of Eaton Corporation plc, a provider of power management technologies and services.

Nathan Manning, 44, was elected Vice President and President, Building Solutions, North America in October 2020. He previously served as Vice President and General Manager, Field Operations, from March 2020 to October 2020 and Vice President and General Manager, HVAC and Controls Building Solutions North America, from January 2019 to March 2020. Prior to joining Johnson Controls, he served in various roles at General Electric, a diversified industrial and technology company, where he held the position of General Manager, Operational Excellence for General Electric’s GE Power segment from August 2017 until December 2018 and the position of General Manager, Services of GE Energy Connections, a division of GE Power, from November 2015 until August 2017. Prior to joining General Electric, Mr. Manning served as Vice President, General Manager of Eaton Aerospace, a segment of Eaton Corporation plc, a provider of power management technologies and services, from February 2014 until November 2015. Prior to joining Eaton, Mr. Manning served in a number of roles with increasing responsibility in General Electric from his hire in January 2000, including as President and Chief Executive Officer of Aviage Systems, a joint venture between General Electric and Aviation Industry Corporation of China, from July 2012 until February 2014.

Lynn Minella, 62, has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer since June 2017. Prior to joining Johnson Controls, she served as Group Human Resources Director at BAE Systems Plc from June 2012 to June 2017. Prior to BAE Systems, she was with Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. from 2004 until 2012 where she was the Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Communications. Earlier in her career she also held a variety of human resources roles of increasing responsibility at International Business Machines Corporation.

George R. Oliver, 61, has served as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board since September 2017. He previously served as our President and Chief Operating Officer following the completion of the merger of Johnson Controls and Tyco in September 2016. Prior to that, Mr. Oliver was Tyco's Chief Executive Officer, a position he held since September 2012. He joined Tyco in July 2006, and served as President of a number of operating segments from 2007 through 2011. Before joining Tyco, he served in operational leadership roles of increasing responsibility at several General Electric divisions. Mr. Oliver also serves as a Director on the board of Raytheon Technologies, an aerospace and defense company.

Ganesh Ramaswamy, 52, has served as Vice President and President, Global Services for Johnson Controls since December 2019. From 2015 to 2019, Mr. Ramaswamy served in various executive leadership roles at Danaher Corporation, a diversified manufacturer of life sciences, diagnostics, and industrial products and services, including Senior Vice President, High Growth markets—Beckman Coulter, President, Videojet Technologies, and, most recently, as Danaher Vice President & Group Executive, Marking & Coding. From 2011 to 2015, Mr. Ramaswamy served in various executive roles at Pentax Medical, a provider of endoscopic imaging devices and solutions, including as President of Pentax Medical from 2013 to 2015. Earlier in his career, Mr. Ramaswamy served in various roles of increasing responsibility with the General Electric Company across product development, service operations, and general management.

Brian J. Stief, 64, has served as Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer since November 2019. He also serves as the Company's Principal Financial Officer. He was elected Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer following the completion of the Merger in September 2016 and served in that role until November 2019. Prior to the Merger, he was elected Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Johnson Controls, Inc. in September 2014. He previously served Johnson Controls, Inc. as Vice President and Corporate Controller from 2010 to 2014. Prior to joining Johnson Controls, Inc. in 2010, Mr. Stief was a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (an audit and assurance, tax and consulting services provider), which he joined in 1979 and in which he became partner in 1989. As previously disclosed, Mr. Leonetti will succeed Mr. Stief as the Company’s Chief Financial Officer and Principal Financial Officer on the date immediately following the filing of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Robert VanHimbergen, 44, has served as Vice President and Corporate Controller since December 2017. Mr. VanHimbergen joined Johnson Controls in 2007 as the Corporate Director of Global Accounting and has held various Corporate and Power Solutions positions of increasing responsibility. His most recent position was serving as the Chief
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Financial Officer of Yanfeng Automotive Interiors, an Adient joint venture, formed in 2015. Mr. VanHimbergen began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers in 1998. 

Jeff M. Williams, 59, has served as Vice President and President, Global Products, Building Technologies and Solutions since July 2019. He previously served as Vice President and President, Building Solutions, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America from March 2017 to July 2019. Prior thereto, he served as Vice President - Enterprise Operations - Engineering and Supply Chain from January 2015 through the Merger to March 2017.  With respect to roles at Johnson Controls, Inc., he served as Vice President, Program Management Office from 2015 to 2016, as Group Vice President and General Manager Global Seating & Supply Chain from 2013 to 2014, and as Group Vice President and General Manager Customer Group Americas from 2010 to 2012. Mr. Williams joined Johnson Controls, Inc. in 1984.

There are no family relationships, as defined by the instructions to this item, among the Company’s executive officers.

PART II

ITEM 5    MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

The shares of the Company’s ordinary shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "JCI."
Number of Record Holders
Title of Classas of October 31, 2020
Ordinary Shares, $0.01 par value33,602

In March 2019, the Company's Board of Directors approved an $8.5 billion increase to its existing share repurchase authorization, subject to the completion of the previously announced sale of the Company's Power Solutions business, which closed on April 30, 2019. The share repurchase program does not have an expiration date and may be amended or terminated by the Board of Directors at any time without prior notice. During fiscal year 2020, the Company repurchased approximately $2.2 billion of its ordinary shares on an open market. As of September 30, 2020, approximately $2.4 billion remains available under the share repurchase program.

The following table presents information regarding the repurchase of the Company’s ordinary shares by the Company as part of the publicly announced program during the three months ended September 30, 2020.
PeriodTotal Number of Shares PurchasedAverage Price Paid per ShareTotal Number of Shares Purchased as Part of the Publicly Announced ProgramApproximate Dollar Value of Shares that May Yet be Purchased under the Programs
7/1/20 - 7/31/20
Purchases by Company7,582,369 $35.74 7,582,369 $2,827,957,020 
8/1/20 - 8/31/20
Purchases by Company4,606,669 39.62 4,606,669 2,645,430,057 
9/1/20 - 9/30/20
Purchases by Company6,824,919 41.54 6,824,919 2,361,931,131 

During the three months ended September 30, 2020, acquisitions of shares by the Company from certain employees in order to satisfy employee tax withholding requirements in connection with the vesting of restricted shares were not material.

Equity compensation plan information is incorporated by reference from Part III, Item 12, "Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters," of this document and should be considered an integral part of this Item 5.
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The following information in Item 5 is not deemed to be "soliciting material" or to be "filed" with the SEC or subject to Regulation 14A or 14C under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") or to the liabilities of Section 18 of the Exchange Act, and will not be deemed to be incorporated by reference into any filing under the Securities Act of 1933 or the Exchange Act, except to the extent the Company specifically incorporates it by reference into such a filing.

The line graph below compares the cumulative total shareholder return on the Company's ordinary shares with the cumulative total return of companies on the Standard & Poor’s ("S&P’s") 500 Stock Index and the companies on the S&P 500 Industrials Index. This graph assumes the investment of $100 on September 30, 2015 and the reinvestment of all dividends since that date.
jci-20200930_g1.gif




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ITEM 6    SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

The following selected financial data reflects the results of operations, financial position data and ordinary share information for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2016 through September 30, 2020 (dollars in millions, except per share data).
 Year ended September 30,
 20202019201820172016
OPERATING RESULTS
Net sales$22,317 $23,968 $23,400 $22,835 $14,184 
Segment EBITA (1)2,948 3,041 3,138 2,831 1,427 
Income (loss) from continuing operations attributable to Johnson Controls (6)
631 1,100 1,175 672 (10)
Net income (loss) attributable to Johnson Controls
631 5,674 2,162 1,611 (868)
Earnings (loss) per share from continuing operations (6)
Basic
$0.84 $1.26 $1.27 $0.72 $(0.01)
Diluted
0.84 1.26 1.26 0.71 (0.01)
Return on average shareholders’ equity attributable to Johnson Controls (2) (6)
%%%%— %
Capital expenditures$443 $586 $645 $760 $491 
Depreciation and amortization822 825 824 919 382 
Number of employees97,000 104,000 122,000 121,000 209,000 
FINANCIAL POSITION
Working capital (as defined) (3)$147 $975 $471 $449 $(619)
Total assets40,815 42,287 48,797 51,884 63,179 
Long-term debt7,526 6,708 9,623 11,885 10,966 
Total debt7,819 7,219 10,930 13,465 12,636 
Shareholders' equity attributable to Johnson Controls
17,447 19,766 21,164 20,447 24,118 
Total debt to capitalization (4)31 %27 %34 %40 %34 %
Net book value per share (5)$24.03 $25.42 $22.88 $22.03 $25.77 
ORDINARY SHARE INFORMATION
Dividends per share$1.04 $1.04