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Our commitment to global environmental sustainability includes partnering with our customers in innovating environmentally-responsible solutions.

Developing Responsible Solutions through Customer-Back Innovation

Clean Tech Products Chart

Customer-back innovation, a component of the ITW Business Model, guides our approach to innovation and starts with our customers’ pain points. Our customers are often challenged with environmental issues, including those related to climate change risk management, such as how to reduce energy use or emissions.

ITW is proud to provide more than $3.8 billion of products that support overall eco-efficiency and in turn help our customers reduce the environmental impact of their own products. Clean-tech products represent approximately 27 percent of ITW’s overall revenue, an increase of 4 percentage points from last year’s CSR report. 

A Focus on Product Safety as We Innovate Solutions Responsibly

ITW’s customer-back innovation process also incorporates product safety:

  • Identify the key customer problem and determine the business value of solving it. This step includes considering safety impacts related to the customer issue and possible solutions.
  • Explore differentiated alternatives and select the best product/service approach. This step includes the start of our Design Failure Mode Effects Analysis (DFMEA) process, which considers safety implications, and mitigation strategies for identified risks, of our proposed offerings.
  • Engineer the product/service. The DFMEA identification of possible product safety issues and their mitigation is typically concluded by the end of this step. 
  • Build the capability to manufacture, support and sell the product/service to customers. This step includes the consideration of effective control plans to ensure manufactured products are high-quality and safe.

Life Cycle and Durability of Products

ITW has a long history of innovation, with a broad portfolio of approximately 18,000 granted and pending patents. In delivering customer-driven solutions, the life cycle and durability of a product is a key consideration. Many of our products are designed to have a long life cycle, and we are proud of the proven durability and reliability our products offer our customers. As described above, ITW’s various divisions consider the long term needs of products and conduct appropriate DFMEA and Process Failure Mode Effects Analysis to enhance product safety, reliability and durability.