Eaton is committed to being a global leader in protecting the environment, our people and our communities through four key initiatives:
- Continuous improvement in our environmental, health and safety (EHS) performance worldwide, including the reduction of GHG emissions
- Increased transparency of our efforts through public reporting of key data.
- Operating sustainable businesses.
- Making Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) a value-added process for all stakeholders.
Managing Environment, Safety, Security, and Health (MESH) program
For environmental and safety issues planning, Eaton has developed a program called MESH (Managing Environment, Safety and Health), a globally deployed, unified system designed to take Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) to world-class performance. MESH consolidates existing programs into one integrated management system. All Eaton facilities worldwide are now working toward consistent goals, applying the same metrics, setting targets for improvement and identifying and sharing best practices. Most importantly, MESH has elevated EHS from a series of isolated activities to a responsibility shared by all Eaton employees.
MESH combines the following EHS programs and processes into a single unified system:
- ISO 14001
- OHSAS 18001
- OSHA VPP
- Regulatory compliance
- Internal Eaton directives
MESH was first introduced in 2005 and has been successful in raising EHS awareness throughout the corporation and improving EHS compliance and key metrics. MESH is continually being evaluated and improved. In 2006-07, Eaton teams interviewed dozens of EHS and operations professionals to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the program. This critical feedback, combined with feedback from our ISO 14001 registrar, ERM-CVS, was used to develop the next generation of MESH. In 2008, the new program was field validated and deployed in mid-2009.
MESH consists of three components: Process & Compliance, Culture and Results. Process & Compliance establishes requirements in 10 distinct EHS categories and drives regulatory compliance at the facility level. Culture relates to how well each facility demonstrates EHS engagement at all levels. The Results component focuses on achieving established EHS performance metrics. Clear targets, objectives and performance goals are established for each component. Eaton facilities undergo a corporate MESH assessment every three years, but also conduct self-assessments each year to keep track of performance.
Eaton’s Lean Six Sigma program
Eaton sets its waste goals based on pollution prevention. Eaton's Lean Six Sigma (ELSS) merges two distinct product and business process improvement programs into one, maximizing the strengths of each with an integrated methodology. Lean and Six Sigma practices were initially developed to reduce waste and eliminate process variation in manufacturing. As part of the waste elimination process engineers now consider energy and water consumption as well as safety considerations. Today, these tools are successfully applied to a variety of settings, including the office environment, product development and product delivery.
Putting It All Together
Eaton’s facilities are reporting significant EHS improvements using MESH and ELSS:
- By installing energy-efficient fluorescent lighting, our aerospace plant in Euclid, Ohio, will reduce GHG emissions by more than 1,600 metric tons annually and save more than $150,000 a year.
- Through a combination of efforts—including the installation of Eaton adjustable-frequency drives on injection molding machines—our electrical component plant in Las Piedras, Puerto Rico, projects an annual reduction in energy consumption of 3.1 million kilowatt-hours per year, reducing CO2 emissions by 1,800 tons annually.
- In 2010, our electrical manufacturing facility in Milton, Ontario, Canada, diverted 530 metric tons, or 97 percent, of its waste from the landfill.
- In Guaratinguetá, Brazil, our hydraulics plant invested in a new wastewater pump station, which it shares with 110 homes in its community, to keep local water supplies clean.
- Our manufacturing plants in North America have been upgrading their facilities with energy-saving, better-quality lighting. In 2010, 14 plants completed re-lamping projects which reduced GHG emissions by about 10,189 metric tons.
- Our Asia Pacific headquarters in Shanghai earned LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification by the US Green Building Council in 2010, making it the largest LEED-certified commercial interior project in China at the time of the award. The building features a variety of energy efficiencies, including building fabric, HVAC, lighting, motors, controls, etc.
- We’ve designed our new global headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio, to be a model for sustainability, embracing energy-efficient technologies and creating an environment that will promote employee interaction, learning and wellness.
- Eaton designed and built two new identical “state-of-the-art” data centers in Simpsonville, Kentucky that will support the company’s growing data processing needs while conserving energy and water.The final design incorporates many of Eaton’s own products in the areas of power distribution, power quality, power management and airflow management.