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GHG & emissions reduction

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions reflects our vision

At Eaton, our vision is to improve the quality of life and the environment through the use of our power management technologies and services. And we live this vision by being active stewards of our environment, whether it's minimizing our own footprint through the impact of our operations, or innovating solutions that drive sustainable growth by more efficiently using the world's resources.

Measuring and reporting on progress

When we say “we make what matters work,” that means we’re also helping to make a healthy planet work. Between publishing our first Sustainability Report in 2006 and the end of 2015, Eaton reduced greenhouse gases generated by our operations from 1,082,000 metric tons to 807,000, meeting our goal of a 25 percent reduction. In 2017, we will announce a new set of long-term goals that support our aspiration of being active stewards of the environment, encompassing both our operational footprint and the positive impact of our products in use.

We continue to set annual improvement goals for GHG reduction. Throughout our facilities we completed 63 energy reduction projects in 2016 that have resulted in reducing a cumulative 3,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases during the year. These projects included lighting and machine efficiency upgrades, manufacturing process optimization, heating recovery and other efforts.

We value disclosure of our risks, opportunities and progress. Since 2006, we have reported our GHG emissions to CDP, an international nonprofit environmental reporting organization. Learn more about our CDP responses.

Eaton EHS management — continuous improvement for environment, health and safety

EHS policy

Eaton is committed to minimizing the environmental impact of our operations and products wherever we do business, and to continuously improve in our Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) performance. It is the responsibility of every employee to meet this EHS policy.

To that end, Eaton applies a standard group of practices worldwide for ethics, energy and water consumption, waste generation, product quality, employee safety and more. We specifically direct our EHS efforts in the following areas:

  • EHS Management System: Eaton is guided by MESH (Management of Environment, Safety, Security and Health), a globally deployed, unified system which consolidates existing programs into one integrated management system. All Eaton facilities worldwide work toward consistent goals, applying the same metrics, setting targets for improvement and identifying and sharing best practices. Most importantly, MESH elevates EHS from a series of isolated activities to a responsibility shared by all Eaton employees. MESH is also designed to conform with international standards such as ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001/ISO 45001.
  • Environmental Sustainability: We commit to minimize our emissions to air, water and land resulting from our operations. Eaton's Senior Leadership Council drives our sustainability strategy, optimizes our resources and ensures that we are focusing on the environmental risks and opportunities that are most important to our customers, investors, communities and employees. We establish goals for reducing our environmental impact and measure, review and report our progress to the public.

    Eaton supports collective actions that will lead to the worldwide reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to address the risks of climate change. Using guidelines established by the Global Reporting Initiative, we set annual targets for reduction of our worldwide energy consumption and carbon emissions. Progress is audited by a third party and reported to the public.
  • Health, Safety and Security: Working safely is a condition of employment at Eaton. Our goal is to provide a secure and safe work environment for all of our employees, contractors and visitors. Eaton commits to meet or exceed regulatory and company requirements consistent with Eaton’s policies on Ethics and Compliance. We work to create a “zero incident safety culture” and to continuously improve our health and safety performance through the implementation of MESH. Safety rules apply to all third parties performing activities at Eaton locations including suppliers, contingent workers, contractors, vendors, visitors and all other non-Eaton employees.
  • Business Integration: We integrate EHS into all phases of the Eaton Business System (EBS), which provides Eaton’s foundation for a high-performance culture through an integrated operating system. EBS encompasses the core values, policies and processes used to conduct business and continually measure, assess and improve performance. EHS excellence is integral to all of our business strategies and we consider stakeholder expectations in our decision-making process.
  • Compliance: We commit to meet or exceed regulatory and company requirements consistent with Eaton’s Policies on Ethics and Compliance. We work to create a “zero incident mindset” and to continuously improve our performance through the implementation of MESH. 
  • Sustainable Products: Our businesses are committed to creating innovative products and processes that help customers, suppliers and consumers improve their energy efficiency, reduce emissions and protect health and safety. We commit to continuous improvement through various programs, including Design for Environment (DfE) and Lifecycle Assessment (LCA), scientific processes that both identify a product’s environmental aspects and potential impacts throughout its life cycle.
  • Stakeholders: Eaton is committed to stakeholder engagement as a key part of our sustainability efforts. Having regular and open dialogue with our employees, investors, customers, suppliers, governments, local communities and others allows us to gain a common understanding of issues that are important and work together to achieve our highest level of environmental and safety performance.
  • Supply Chain: Eaton recognizes the significance of the supply chain in our own sustainability performance, and strategically engages with suppliers on important issues such as managing emissions, improving safety, and increasing efficiency. Our governance processes further ensure our suppliers are held to our same values regarding ethical behavior, compliance, environmental responsibility and footprint reduction.
  • Transparency: Increasing the transparency of our EHS performance makes Eaton a stronger, more sustainable company. We are committed to measure, review and report our performance to the public in our company Annual Report/Sustainability Report, on our Eaton.com web site, and by working with organizations that collect and disseminate EHS and other sustainability data to the public.
  • Community: We are committed to making power management products and solutions in safe workplaces that are environmentally responsible. We participate in — and contribute to — local and government initiatives around the world that improve the quality of life in communities where we live and work.
  • Employees: We commit to raise awareness, encourage involvement and provide appropriate training and education for all employees regarding EHS issues, programs and performance.
  • Emergency Preparedness/Contingency Planning: Eaton’s MESH program provides processes to identify key EHS risks and impacts, develop operational controls, and prepare emergency response and contingency plans. Eaton facilities provide planning, equipment and training for on-site incidents and our employees work with local community safety units to prepare for combined response.

The Eaton Senior Vice President of Environment, Health and Safety is responsible for implementing the EHS policy. The Eaton Board of Directors Governance Committee has oversight regarding significant public policy with respect to our relationships with shareholders, employees, customers, competitors, suppliers and the communities in which we operate. These issues include EHS concerns as outlined in the Eaton EHS policy.

Governance

Governance map Eaton is proud to have strong internal processes and controls for managing our sustainability performance. Many of these controls connect individuals and teams across our company and include management at each level of the organization.

Explore this interactive visual map, which shows how we manage environmental, health and safety issues at Eaton.

Verification

EarthCon Consultants, Inc. conducts an independent verification analysis using ISO 14064-3 standards for Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions at all global manufacturing facilities. The verification analyses of Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions were performed with a "reasonable" level of assurance. Scope 3 analysis was conducted with a "limited" level of assurance.

  • Scope 1 – Direct emissions from sources owned or controlled by the company
  • Scope 2 – Indirect emissions from goods or resources with potential GHG emissions (mostly from purchase of electricity)
  • Scope 3 – Indirect emissions from other non-owned or controlled emissions, e.g. leased cars, commercial airline travel

Relevant information