An inside look at the industry’s collective progress and shared vision for a sustainable U.S. tire manufacturing industry.
At Whirlpool Corporation, we are committed to being a responsible corporate citizen, both because it’s the right thing to do and because it’s good for business. This year, we furthered our commitment by taking a number of steps to minimize our impact on the environment while also supporting our employees and the communities in which we live and work.
As we advance our global sustainability strategy for the 10th year in a row, we remain a company that prides itself on making positive change to affect people’s lives in meaningful ways. We are committed to going above and beyond the expectations, targets and reports, by making our products in plants that are more efficient and in sourcing materials and energy in ways that make a significant difference in lowering not just our carbon footprint, but also positively impacting our consumers and communities in which they live.
Our focus on conserving our planet’s resources continued this year. We met our 2020 goals for energy and water usage three years early and have set new sustainability goals, which exceed the original U.S. commitments to the Paris climate accord. We also expanded our use of on-site renewable energy, including our wind turbine program in Ohio and solar program in India. We are proud to be one of the largest on-site users of wind energy in the United States. Furthermore, we are committed to manufacturing more water and energy-efficient, high-performing products, helping consumers save money while lessening their impact on the environment.
We will continue to take a science-based approach to setting absolute environmental targets from the 2005 baseline. We invest in on-site renewables, achieving emission reductions and lowering costs and creating more resilient plants. We have achieved zero manufacturing waste to landfill in plants in multiple regions. In products, we continue to deliver valuable efficiency while improving the core performance our consumers expect. We are driving sustainability into how we design, build, distribute, sell and care for our products in their use and at the end of their life.
A version of this blog was found in the Whirlpool Corporation 2017 Sustainability Report. To view the full report, click here.
At the Volvo Group, we are committed to sustainability. It is our ambition to be part of the solution to improving how our products and operations impact the environment. We follow the triple bottom line—People, Planet, Profit—framework to ensure we “walk the talk” when it comes to our core value of “environmental care.” Practically, this means that we focus our efforts strategically in three key areas:
Production: Energy-Efficient, Renewable, Landfill-Free
Three of our largest operations, which make up greater than 85 percent of the energy footprint among our facilities in the U.S., are certified (Platinum) ISO 50001 Energy Management System/Superior Energy Performance. Through these programs and our participation in the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Buildings, Better Plants initiative, we’ve reduced energy consumption at our factories by 25 percent, five years ahead of our original target. We’re now more than halfway to achieving our new goal of 25 percent more in energy savings by 2024.
And while actions like these at the site and corporate level have a large impact, many new energy-saving ideas actually come from our employees. The Volvo Group partners with the DOE to conduct energy “treasure hunts,” in which employee teams observe their facilities during idle or partially idle periods (e.g., weekends, evenings) to identify energy waste. Events in 2017 at Volvo Group truck manufacturing plants in Virginia and Pennsylvania identified approximately $700,000 in low-cost or no-cost energy-efficiency opportunities. An additional treasure hunt at our bus service center in New Jersey uncovered $12,000 in potential savings opportunities, which was equivalent to 34 percent of the utility expenditures.
Renewable energy is also playing a part in our commitment to environmental sustainability. For example, the Volvo Group partnered with ConEdison Solutions and Entropy Solar Integrators to design and install a parking lot solar canopy—among the largest on the U.S. East Coast—at our Hagerstown, Maryland, powertrain manufacturing facility. Covering the plant’s entire north parking lot, the 5,000-panel solar canopy produces 1.3 megawatts of electricity, which is delivered to the facility to help offset the plant’s electrical demand. Because solar panels emit zero emissions, energy produced by the solar canopy is equivalent to eliminating the annual greenhouse gas emissions of 236 average passenger vehicles.
We created the Volvo Energy Network of North America (VENNA), a network of individuals who drive energy-efficiency and the transition toward renewable energy use and carbon neutrality throughout our North American operations. Through VENNA, we implemented a “learning by doing” model, which allows us to share best practices with plants within the Volvo Group in North America.
Partnerships: Taking a Leading Role
The Volvo Group stays connected to the global conversation about environmental sustainability through participation in a number of voluntary governmental and nongovernmental programs. In addition to DOE programs, we also take part in the World Wildlife Fund Climate Savers program and the Environmental Defense Fund Climate Corps Program. Mack Trucks, part of the Volvo Group, recently teamed up with The Nature Conservancy to bring awareness for land and water conservation to employees.
Products: Driving Prosperity Through Transportation
The Volvo Group has a mission of driving prosperity through transport solutions, and environmental sustainability is a key part of that. We participate in a number of programs and partnerships that enable us to develop and test sustainable solutions.
Most recently, the California Air Resources Board announced a grant award of more than $44 million to the South Coast Air Quality Management District and Volvo to develop all-electric truck demonstrators in California with commercialization planned in 2020. The Volvo LIGHTS (Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions) project includes 16 partners and is a truly transformative freight facility project that will realize commercialization and market penetration of heavy-duty battery electric vehicles in California and throughout North America. In addition to all electric trucks, the project will integrate non-truck battery-electric equipment, nonproprietary chargers and solar energy production equipment to facilitate zero emissions freight movement.
Through our participation in the DOE SuperTruck program, we have also developed technologies to improve the energy efficiency of our vehicles that are currently on the market. We’re participating in SuperTruck II, developing next-generation technologies to increase the efficiency of our vehicles.
We offer alternative fuel options for many of our vehicles, and several Volvo and Mack models have recently been approved for the California Air Resources Board Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project.
By Dawn Fenton, Volvo’s Director of Sustainability and Government Affairs and Rick Robinson,Volvo’s Director, Health Safety & Environment
“Too much food is being wasted, and Waste Management is committing to sustainability by figuring out how to get more value out of the leftovers.”
As a leader in the beverage industry, water stewardship is vital to our business. Water is the first ingredient in most of our drinks, central to our manufacturing process and necessary to grow the agricultural ingredients on which we rely. Safe, accessible water is also essential to the health of people, communities, ecosystems and economies.
The Coca-Cola Company is keeping our sustainability promise with our water stewardship efforts, focusing on the areas where we can have the greatest impact:
(1) Replenishing water we use in our finished beverages across communities and watersheds
(2) Improving water-use efficiency and reuse in our bottling plants
(3) Helping manage water resources in our agricultural ingredient supply chain
Since 2015, The Coca-Cola Company has replenished 100 percent of the water we use in our beverages, returning it to nature and communities.
We are giving every drop of water we use in our beverages back to communities and nature, including America’s most critical watersheds. We support more than 60 water replenishment projects in 100 communities across the United States.
We continue to replenish 100 percent of the water used in our finished beverages back to communities and nature, a goal we first met in 2015. We were the first Fortune 500 company to do so and actually met our goal five years early. We strive to do so every year.
Projects implemented by the end of 2017 are replenishing an estimated 248 billion liters per year through community and watershed projects globally, as estimated with the help of our many reputable partner organizations using peer-reviewed scientific and technical methods.
By 2020, we aim to reduce our water-use ratio while growing volume in our bottling plants, with a target to improve water efficiency by 25 percent over 2010 levels.
We’ve reduced the water used in our products by 12 percent in the United States since 2005, saving more than 30 billion liters of water in Coca-Cola system facilities.
Water in Agriculture
Agriculture uses about 70 percent of all freshwater resources. As part of our water stewardship and replenish work, we continue to increase support of projects that aim to improve the productive use of water, especially in areas at high risk of water stress or pollution.
We are working with our global partner, the World Wildlife Foundation, to advance the work on valuing nature and to make it practical to help farming communities establish which sustainable farming practices provide the highest benefit for protecting watersheds.
Within our supply chains, our suppliers play an important role in addressing water risks of their farmers. Good water management practices, such as water-use assessments and water efficiency measures at the farm level, are an essential part of our Supplier Guiding Principles.
Bruce Karas is the vice president of environment and sustainability at Coca-Cola North America.
“One of our environmental sustainability focus areas revolves around reducing our energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.”