Environmental-Responsibility Environmental-Responsibility-Mobile
We are committed to operating our business in a way that demonstrates our dedication to global environmental sustainability. This commitment is reflected in the following priorities:
  • Improving our environmental performance on an ongoing basis;
  • Working with suppliers who operate with similar dedication to global environmental sustainability; and
  • Partnering with our customers in innovating solutions that address their needs for environmentally responsible products.

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 last audit. Our goal is to audit the “80” of our facilities annually based on these criteria. Once the audits have been completed, any identified issues are addressed and tracked using a defined process. Summary reports of the audits are provided to executive management reinforcing our overall commitment to environmental improvement and safety.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Environmental Footprint

Disclosing Our Responsible Journey

ITW is a responsible emitter and operates below any permitted levels of toxic chemical emissions. In compliance with SARA Title III Section 313 regulations in the U.S., a total of 59 affected ITW facilities annually file either Form A or R reports as required. ITW also evaluates its reported emissions to identify reduction opportunities.

Total Energy1,4
  • Direct energy in MWh
  • Indirect energy in MWh

Energy Intensity3,4,5
  • Energy intensity (MWh/$MM operating revenue)

Total Emissions(metric tons CO2e)2,4
  • Direct emissions in metric ton CO2e
  • Indirect emissions in metric ton CO2e

Emissions Intensity3,4,5
  • Emissions intensity (metric tons CO2e/$MM operating revenue)

Total Water Withdrawn
  • Purchased water withdrawal in thousands of U.S. gallons
  • Non-purchased water withdrawal in thousands of U.S. gallons

Water Intensity3,5
  • Water intensity (U.S. gallons/ $thousand operating revenue)

Total Solid Waste
  • Hazardous & special industrial waste in U.S. tons
  • Non-hazardous waste in U.S. tons

Total Recycled Material
  • Amount of recycled materials in U.S. tons

Governmental Environmental Inspections6
  • Number of inspections

Governmental Environmental Inspections’ Resulting in Fines6
  • Fines in U.S. dollars

1Includes electricity, natural gas, heating/fuel oil, diesel, gasoline and propane.

2Emissions from the combustion of natural gas, H/F Oil, LPG, diesel, gasoline and foam blowing agents.

3Only operating revenue from participating divisions was included in the calculation of intensity indicators.

4As part of the 2018 third-party verification process, 2017 baseline data has been adjusted to include energy and emissions from additional business locations and emissions from foam filling operations. Adjustments were not made to 2016 data, since that data is not third-party audited baseline year data. Our previous year-over-year comparison between 2016 and 2017 data, as reported in our 2017 CSR report, which showed a reduction in energy and emissions intensity, is still relevant for the comparison of the same population of facilities for both years.

52017 revenue adjusted to include additional businesses.

62017 government environmental inspections and 2017 government environmental inspections’ resulting fines, as reported in our 2017 CSR report, have been updated in this report.

The reporting period for ITW’s environmental, health and safety data is January 1 – December 31, 2018. The reporting boundary includes companies over which ITW has operational control. The reporting boundary does not include joint ventures. The environmental data excludes leased non-manufacturing facilities.