As a global organization with more than 300,000 products, and employing 23,000 people across more than 65 countries, we understand how important it is to commit to managing our environmental impact and to extend that commitment throughout our entire value chain.
A true commitment to environmental goals means constantly assessing and reassessing our progress. To measure environmental performance and improvements, we use an array of tools — from the ISO14001 environmental management and ISO50001 energy management frameworks to site-level monthly data collection and KPI analysis.
Dynamic dashboards offer near real-time snapshots of greenhouse gas emissions, energy and water use, and waste generation. These dashboards inform site-level and business-level performance scorecards, which are reviewed monthly by our Operations Leadership Team to help drive improvement in these areas — amongst others — both from the bottom-up and top-down.
By leveraging these tools, we're able to make practical, data-driven decisions regarding our investment areas and focus on projects, resulting in a significant improvement.
Under our flagship Energy and Water Efficiency program, we bring all our energy and water reduction activities and on-site renewables for existing buildings under one roof. This fosters the sharing of best practices across business sectors and facilities worldwide — which helps drive a continuous improvement culture. Under this program, more than 40 individuals have been trained as energy auditors to advance our in-house project identification capabilities – ensuring that we have the expertise to deliver on our commitments.
With water scarcity affecting more and more regions worldwide, responsible water management is of key importance to us, especially as we too depend on water to manufacture our products. We take a systematic approach to analyzing our water use data, utilizing tools such as the Water Risk Filter of the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) and the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas of the World Resources Institute (WRI). These instruments help us determine whether a site is located in a water-stressed area, a situation that develops when more water is withdrawn than is renewed. In addition, all sites over 70,000 cubic meters in size must develop a water management plan. To boost our water efficiency, we have created a Water Intensity Score that reflects the amount of water withdrawn at a given site relative to the local availability of water and the number of working hours.
Each year, we allocate up to €10 million across our global businesses to fund the Energy & Water Efficiency Program. Since 2012, we've supported more than 450 projects enterprise-wide — including a state-of-the-art Biomass Central Heat Plant in Jaffrey, New Hampshire, which offsets the annual consumption of more than 400,000 gallons of oil using renewable feedstocks.
Figure 1.Edison in Action
As we advance our sustainability strategy, we are focusing on expanding our renewable energy portfolio both on and off-site. In 2021, we announced our first Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (VPPA) for 68MW of new renewable energy capacity in the United States. This project will produce enough electricity to match 100% of our US electricity consumption with clean wind power while applying the concept of additionality to our renewable energy strategy. In addition, we are actively evaluating the European markets as we work towards our renewable energy goals.
We are focused on creating more transparency on our Scope 3 emissions. Going forward, we will be including all Scope 3 categories in our emissions inventory. We are currently setting up and validating processes to calculate Scope 3 emissions more precisely and identifying decarbonization levers we can pursue.
With best-in-class waste management practices — customized recycling programs, beneficial reuse, and other solutions — we’re bringing sustainability into manufacturing. We firmly believe in prevention, recovery, and recycling. We make a concerted effort to prevent waste generation by developing new production processes that lead to less waste. Our recycling efforts allow us to recover valuable raw materials which can be transformed into new products, thereby supporting a circular economy, and we seek options for beneficial reuse of materials where possible. To measure our waste and recycling performance, we developed our Waste Score, an indicator that helps us identify areas for improvement and is aligned with reducing landfills and incineration while increasing recycling and waste avoidance.
We continuously work to optimize our processes in order to minimize residues in wastewater as we work towards going beyond regulatory requirements and achieving our wastewater goal.
As our business grows, new buildings are added to support our manufacturing efforts. We look for opportunities to integrate sustainable building design into new construction projects to minimize their lifecycle impact. An example of this can be seen at our Bangalore India LEED Gold facility.
Bangalore, India: LEED® Gold
As our sustainability strategy evolves, we’re looking at ways to improve integration of sustainability principles into CapEx decisions, and have started an effort to define a global green building standard for new construction and large renovation projects
We encourage employees to live sustainably through all aspects of their lives and offer programs to encourage that lifestyle. In the U.S., we offer incentives to employees who install a solar photovoltaic or solar hot water system, conduct a home energy audit, or purchase or lease a hybrid or electric vehicle. In addition, many of our facilities throughout the world offer electric vehicle charging, most at no cost to the employee.