Climate change is a very real threat to life as we know it. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is the key to avoiding the worst impact of climate change. The business world can play a key part in reducing emissions. That’s something Ingersoll Rand, an Irish global diversified industrial company, knows all about.
It’s clear that Ingersoll Rand takes climate change seriously. Last year, the company went public with its commitment to reduce the greenhouse gas footprint of its operations by 35 percent by 2020.
Ingersoll Rand made other commitments as well, reducing the greenhouse gas refrigerant footprint of its products by 50 percent by 2020. The company also committed to switching to alternatives with less impact on the climate across its product portfolio by 2030 and investing $500 million in product-related research and development over the next five years.
Ingersoll Rand announced its climate change commitments last September at the 2014 CGI Annual Meeting and United Nations Climate Summit. The commitments, which involve all functions at its operations in over 60 countries, will help the company avoid the amount of carbon dioxide emissions equal to the energy it takes to power almost two million homes for one year. That’s a lot of carbon that will not be released into the atmosphere thanks to one company.
The company is already making progress toward its climate change commitments, as its recently released eighth annual sustainability supplement revealed. Last year, it reduced its GHG emissions by 5.7 percent. From 2010 to 2014, it reduced absolute GHG emissions by 28 percent.
The sustainability supplement highlights steps that the company is taking to make progress. One of those steps is being taken by subsidiary Thermo King, based in Bloomington, Minneapolis which offered transport customers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa a choice on how and when to reduce their greenhouse gas footprints. The plan includes a new line of trailer and self-powered truck units that are energy efficient and the use of a next-generation refrigerant that is much more environmentally friendly.
Down in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Ingersoll Rand’s residential HVAC manufacturing facility upgraded its lighting system to reduce its carbon footprint while reducing energy costs. The plant replaced existing lighting with fluorescent fixtures, which are more energy efficient. The upgrades resulted in an over $210,000 energy rebate, the largest one issued by a utility company in Arkansas. In other words, being environmentally friendly and caring about climate change saves money.
Why does Ingersoll Rand care so much about climate change? The answer lies in a statement made in its sustainability supplement: “We believe that making responsible use of Earth’s limited resources and reducing our GHG emissions is integral to achieving operational excellence.”
Yes, indeed. Reducing GHG emissions should be an integral part of any company’s bottom line--the triple bottom line.
Image credit: Flickr/DieselDemon
Gina-Marie is a freelance writer and journalist armed with a degree in journalism, and a passion for social justice, including the environment and sustainability. She writes for various websites, and has made the 75+ Environmentalists to Follow list by Mashable.com.