Improving our Environmental Performance on an Ongoing Basis
ITW partners with ERM-Environmental Resources Management Limited, a highly recognized international environmental and safety consulting firm, to systematically audit environmental and safety risk at its facilities. An audit schedule is established annually and the schedule considers the risk profile of the unit, any recent incidents, as well as time since
True to our decentralized culture, we follow a division-led approach for managing and improving environmental performance. With support from ITW’s senior management, each division is directly responsible for implementing the most impactful environmental performance improvement opportunities for their unique operations. As we evaluate and strive to improve our environmental performance, we take a three-pronged approach:
- Auditing our facilities to drive continuous improvement. ITW’s annual environmental, health and safety compliance audits help ensure that the company’s facilities meet regulatory requirements and reinforce ITW’s commitment to safeguarding the environment. The audits also highlight the ways ITW businesses go above and beyond baseline compliance to reduce the company’s impact on the environment and preserve natural resources.
- Reporting voluntarily to organizations such as CDP. We voluntarily participate in a number of surveys related to our environmental performance. For example, ITW continued its voluntary participation in CDP’s climate change and water questionnaires in 2018, and in 2018 we made these submissions public to increase our transparency in reporting. As a result, we have continued to increase our understanding of the effects of carbon emissions and water withdrawals, which are being used to inform ITW’s strategy for reducing environmental impact. View our survey responses here.
- Implementing policies that guide our activity. Each ITW division is responsible for complying with the ITW Environmental & Sustainability Policy. Everyone in the organization has a responsibility to preserve and protect the environment, conduct operations in a safe manner and recognize the potential impacts of our operations.
In addition, many of our businesses pursue third-party certifications as part of ITW’s ongoing drive for overall operational excellence. The well-respected International Organization for Standardization (ISO) develops standards and criteria for effective environmental management systems, and many of our facilities have taken the step to become certified. At the end of 2018, 87 sites, accounting for approximately 20 percent of ITW’s manufacturing sites globally, had ISO 14001 certification for environmental management.
Read more about our environmental management in Governance & Ethics.
Reducing Our Environmental Impact
Across ITW businesses, we continuously examine ways to improve our environmental performance. For example:
- At our Magnaflux China facility, isopropyl alcohol (IPA) is used to clean equipment, which generates roughly three metric tons of waste per year. To address this issue, the business developed a process to recycle the IPA, eliminating the waste of the operation.
- Headquartered in Enkenbach, Germany, ITW’s Automotive Engineered Fasteners & Components team implemented a series of enhancements to improve the energy efficiency of their operation, resulting in a reduction of energy costs for this operation by up to 85 percent, as well as reduced CO2 emissions. Learn more here.
In addition to these activities, ITW is investing in solar installations in Frankfort, Illinois, which will help ITW reduce its greenhouse gas emissions as these are put into service, expected in 2019. We look forward to sharing more about this project in our next CSR report.
Our 2018 Environmental Impact
We track our impact on the environment in a number of areas, and we use this data to work toward continuous improvement. Our data is reviewed and verified by a third party to ensure transparency in our disclosures. As shown below, we are pleased to have achieved a 6.5 percent greenhouse gas emissions intensity reduction in 2018 versus our 2017 baseline year, based on our third-party verified data. Additionally, as part of our commitment to improving our environmental performance, we will set a greenhouse gas emissions intensity reduction target for the Company in 2019. View our greenhouse gas emissions verification statement here.