Interview (Scott Tew)

Scott Tew,
Executive Director of Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability at Ingersoll Rand

“What does Sustainability mean for Ingersoll Rand?”

At Ingersoll Rand, and for our strategic climate brands, Thermo King and Trane, sustainability is at the very foundation of our business. It plays a significant role in our strategy and culture and involves widespread commitment and engagement from all levels of the organization, starting with the C-suite and our leadership team

We integrate sustainability into the structure of how we help our customers succeed and how we run our operations. From the efficiency of our buildings and transportation to our progress in managing energy, water, and waste, we continue to find ways to reduce the company's impact on the environment and embed sustainability throughout our businesses.

Around the world, we are experiencing unprecedented social and environmental demands, which require leading companies like ours to take bigger and bolder actions. In May, we announced our 2030 Sustainability Commitments which are designed around supply chain and operations, world-leading products, systems and services, and enhancing the quality of life of communities around us. The commitment challenges us to further address pressing global issues like climate change and urbanization and to innovate solutions that reduce energy dependence and emissions and preserve food, water, and other natural resources.

“What is Ingersoll Rand's climate commitments and how is Ingersoll Rand working to achieve these goals?”

In 2014, we established long-term sustainability targets to address climate change and issues surrounding our environment and society, including the company’s operational footprint and how we design and manufacture products. Ingersoll Rand committed to significantly increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from our HVAC and transport refrigeration products and all of our operations by 2030. Our Climate Commitment includes:

50 percent reduction in GHG refrigerant footprint of our products by 2020 and lower-GWP alternatives across our portfolio by 2030;

$500 million investment in product-related research and development to fund long-term GHG reduction

35 percent reduction in the greenhouse gas footprint of our operations by 2020

We have worked hard to deliver on the climate commitment and thus far have: -

Avoided 21 million metric tons of our customers’ CO2e, which is the equivalent of avoiding 3.7 coal-fired power plants

Reduced our operational emissions by 45 percent, which achieved our Climate Commitment for operations two years early

Reduced energy intensity by 22 percent

As mentioned earlier, we announced our 2030 sustainability commitment which will continue the positive momentum and progress These commitments are designed to meet the challenge of climate change, provide world-class systems and service performance for buildings, homes, transportation, and industrial customers, and improve the quality of life for the people and communities where we operate and serve. They align to the time horizon of the United Nations Sustainability Goals and include ambitious goals as below:

Scale technology, innovation, and sustainability strategies to enable more efficient customer solutions. This includes reducing the customer carbon footprint by one gigaton CO2e – equivalent to the annual emissions of Italy, France, and the United Kingdom combined.

Transform our supply chain and operations to have a restorative impact on the environment including achieving carbon-neutral operations, zero waste to landfill and a 10% absolute reduction in energy consumption, and giving back more water than we use in water-stressed areas.

Increase opportunity for all, strengthening economic mobility and bolstering the quality of life of our people and those in the communities where we operate and serve. This includes achieving gender parity in leadership roles and a workforce reflective of our community populations, maintaining livable market-competitive wages and progressive benefits; and broadening community access to well-being services including food/nutrition, housing and shelter, transportation, education, and climate comfort.

“How important a role can innovation play in achieving sustainability?”

Innovation is critical to achieving a more sustainable world.

From a business standpoint, we define innovation excellence as the ability to rapidly transform creative ideas into commercially viable product and service offerings while optimizing selection and development. Finding new ways to meet the market’s future needs for reliable, energy-efficient solutions is critical to driving our organic revenue growth.

Investing in our associates and creating a culture where they feel engaged and included is key to unleashing the power of their innovation and creativity, and to deliver results that are needed to make lasting change.

We strive for continual innovation in our products, services, and processes, and in the value, we provide to our customers, employees and the communities we serve. We embrace sustainability as a catalyst for business growth and innovation. Our Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability (CEES) works collaboratively with our climate and industrial businesses to address global issues that impact energy, food, and water by providing sustainable solutions, product stewardship and supporting initiatives that deliver results. Further, our global Engineering and Technology Centres around the world are strategic hubs for global innovation and technical excellence within the company.

Recently, the company was awarded the World Environment Center’s (WEC) 35th annual Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development in recognition of our innovation and sustainability strategies as well as the progress we have made since we announced our 2020 sustainability targets in 2014.
We will continue our positive momentum and remain at the forefront of innovation and sustainability as we work towards achieving our 2030 sustainability targets.

“What are your thoughts on the Indian government's push towards climate change and sustainability?”

Climate change is one of the most critical challenges the world is facing today. The Indian government has shown signs of a proactive engagement on climate change issues as mandated in the United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Indian government has also taken many clean and green development initiatives at both the state and national level and has contributed to the adaptation and mitigation of climate change. New policies and initiatives in various sectors like e-mobility, green transportation, renewable energy, waste management, afforestation, water, etc. have been introduced to minimize the impact of climate change.

Some of the key initiatives of the Government of India include the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), National Adaptation Fund on Climate Change (NAFCC), Climate Change Action Programme (CCAP) and State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC). The ambitious goal of generating 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022, smart cities, electric vehicles, energy efficiency initiatives, leapfrogging from Bharat Stage -IV to Bharat Stage-VI emission norms by April 2020, etc. have been undertaken proactively to minimize the impact of climate change.

We acknowledge the challenge of climate change and the recent moves and reforms introduced by the Indian government indicates that future growth will be cleaner and greener. It provides a framework, which encapsulates preserving the environment and unlocking the true potential of businesses. However, creating and implementing a cohesive national climate plan cannot be achieved by the government alone. It requires creating partnerships – with government and industries working in tandem to fulfill the Paris Agreement commitments. Businesses need to commit themselves to the future by investing in the next generation of climate-friendly solutions.

“How, according to you, are the global companies reacting to the call of climate change?”

Climate change has taken center stage globally. The urgency for global climate action cannot be overemphasized. Last year’s annual meeting of the Montreal Protocol witnessed a strong consensus among the participating countries to end the use of ozone-depleting substances to minimize global warming. For this, companies are integrating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into their corporate strategies to create a winning proposition for all key stakeholders as well as ensuring that their operations can build long-term values and also impact global challenges. It is amply clear now that only those who are successful in merging sustainability into their business will be in a position to look at a successful future. And many global companies have been at the forefront of driving sustainable strategies.

Sustainability is our greater purpose that allows us to make a positive impact on people, our communities and the planet. We have had many accomplishments and learnings along our sustainability journey, and are on track to achieve our 2020 targets by the end of the year.

We have significantly reduced our greenhouse gas footprint and that of our customers through innovation and operational excellence. And we have continued to build a diverse, winning culture for our people while addressing societal issues in our communities.

Yet, there is more for us to do and we believe that collaboration with other NGOs and companies is key to making a greater and measurable impact.

Interview 29/07/2019 by Moulin
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