Managing Environmental Performance
In keeping with our decentralized culture, ITW divisions are directly responsible for managing their own performance and implementing the most impactful 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. CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) is an independent, nonprofit organization working to encourage the disclosure of global emissions and water usage by businesses and cities. In 2017, ITW continued its voluntary participation in CDP’s investor and water questionnaires. 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. Going forward, we will also make public the data disclosed to CDP.
- Implementing policies that guide our activity. Each ITW division is responsible for complying with the ITW Environmental and Safety Policy and the ITW 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 we are proud of our facilities that have taken the step to become certified. For example, at the end of 2017, 68 sites, accounting for approximately 18 percent of ITW’s sites globally, had ISO 14001 certification for environmental management.
Read more about our environmental management in Governance & Ethics.
Reducing Our Environmental Impact
At the division level, we continuously examine ways we can lessen our negative impacts on the environment. For example, the ITW Engineered Fasteners & Components division that serves the automotive industry installed variable frequency drives on its injection molding equipment to reduce overall energy use. From this single improvement, the business estimates an annual savings of 446,021 kilowatt hours, or the equivalent annual energy usage of 41 U.S. homes.
In our ITW Ground Support Equipment division, the business developed a battery-powered ground power unit to replace its diesel-based unit, which is estimated to reduce CO2 emissions by 90 percent and NOx emissions by 95 percent, compared with a T3 engine. Learn more here.
Reporting Our 2017 Environmental Impact
We track our impact on the environment in a number of areas, and we use this data to work toward continuous improvement. In addition, this data will be reviewed and certified by a reputable third party as part of ITW’s ongoing commitment to transparency in its disclosures.