Product Environmental Impact
Ingersoll Rand customers now demand products with fewer environmental impacts from initial design to end of life as well as quality and reliability. These demands are central to our product innovation and development processes. Our portfolio most directly affects the environment during the in-use phase of the product’s life cycle, so designing for energy-efficient operation is paramount. But a product’s disposal and recycling characteristics contribute to its overall environmental footprint.
Reducing environmental impacts through the product lifecycle is a key objective in the Ingersoll Rand Product Development Process (IRPDP). Launched early in 2013, the IRPDP applies standard work to the product development life cycle, improving the way we develop and launch new product and service offerings from initial concept to point of sale.
Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) are required for all products passing through the IRPDP. Our teams use an LCA decision tool to determine whether an extensive or streamlined LCA is most appropriate. The streamlined approach is usually selected. Extensive LCAs typically are conducted in response to customer demand or when the product will assist customers in obtaining certifications such as LEED.
Our streamlined and extensive LCAs both cover our product impacts from ideation to end-of-use, including raw materials, manufacturing, and the in-service phase, as well as disassembly, repair, component re-use and product recycling.
All of our extensive LCAs adhere to an Environmental Product Determination (EPD), are third-party certified and published, and are conducted in accordance with ISO 14025. Our most recent EPDs also have been in conformance with EN 15804. Customers in certain Ingersoll Rand markets are beginning to choose our products because of their EPDs, and revenue associated with products that have completed LCAs has grown substantially since 2013.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings, Better Plants Program is working with leading manufacturers to improve energy efficiency in the industrial sector. Participating companies set a specific goal, typically to reduce energy intensity by 25 percent over a 10-year period across all their U.S. operations. Ingersoll Rand met its goal in 2015, improving energy intensity by 26 percent over four years across 36 U.S. facilities.
Product Life Cycle
We have a robust program aimed at identifying the key attributes that make a product environmentally superior throughout its life. We are deploying this knowledge in our innovation and product development processes across the organization to ensure that product lifecycle impacts are considered up front, and that tradeoffs are identified during product design.
The Ingersoll Rand Product Development Process (IRPDP) is designed to minimize sustainability-related risk and capture available customer opportunities related to sustainability. The IRPDP also fosters product design, manufacturing and packaging approaches that minimize the use of natural resources, reduce the use of hazardous materials, and trim product weight.
Another feature of the IRPDP is a Design for Sustainability module, consisting of courseware and a certificate program that enhances participants’ skills in incorporating life cycle-related attributes into their product development work.
In addition, Ingersoll Rand is actively involved with supplier and university research projects aimed at reducing product life cycle impacts. For example, we are working on multiple fronts to reduce the environmental impacts of refrigerant use. These initiatives focus on minimizing product refrigerant leak potential, reducing product refrigerant charge to optimize refrigerant solutions with the lowest resulting greenhouse gas emissions and improving the energy efficiency of these solutions.
In 2008, the team at our Trane facility in Waco, Texas, committed to the goals of zero waste by 2016 and grid neutrality by 2020, as well as a significant reduction in water use. The facility, which manufactures the Ingersoll Rand water source heat pump product portfolio, is well on its way toward achieving these targets.
Retrofitting the new plant HVAC, roofing and lighting systems has reduced electricity use per equivalent unit of production 45 percent. Non-hazardous waste to landfill has been cut 90 percent, and total recycling including scrap metal has increased from 73 to 97 percent. By eliminating process water in manufacturing and upgrading building plumbing and landscaping, the team has reduced water use per equivalent unit of production 65 percent. Waco has a Platinum Certified Green Team whose members championed much of this work to achieve these improvements.
Product End of Use Considerations
End of use considerations are integral to the Ingersoll Rand Product Development Process (IRPDP). The IRPDP includes an aftermarket strategy that focuses on designing for disassembly, repair and reusability of product components, as well as the recycling of remaining materials.
Executing on this aftermarket strategy, we have created end-of-life manuals for seven new products and additional manuals are under development. In addition we have performed recyclability calculations for a number of products with additional calculations planned for the near future. Our goals are to perform a product footprint study on 100 percent of the new products we introduce and evaluate 100 percent of these same products for end-of-life considerations.
Multiple Ingersoll Rand businesses have implemented product end-of-life programs. Club Car, for example, uses recyclable plastics in its cosmetic body panels and manufactures frames and chassis from easily recycled aluminum. Club Car also leverages its dealer network and end-of-life vehicle management team to facilitate vehicle returns from customers for remanufacturing. Approximately 23 percent of Club Car’s business currently consists of remanufactured golf cars that have moved on to a second life.
In our Compression Technologies and Services (CTS) business, customers often keep their air compressors in service until end of product life. As a result, remanufacturing is an important aspect of our sustainability philosophy. Providing the market with remanufactured equipment allows us to better meet customer needs while reducing the environmental footprint of our business. Our Material Handling business offers customers a trade-in incentive program that provides a 20 percent discount off the price of a new winch or hoist component. In our Residential HVAC business, we recycle all products we test in our labs or scrap for any reason.
Together, these initiatives have significantly increased the percentage of our total revenues represented by products that are disassembled, re-manufactured, reused or recycled.
American businesses spend more than $24 billion (USD) annually on energy costs in commercial buildings. We believe every one of these buildings has the potential to be better. Trane Building Advantage™, a portfolio of energy services and solutions introduced by Trane® in 2015, uses data and analytics to guide owners in maximizing building efficiency and operating at peak performance. The portfolio aligns with the core attributes of the Trane brand, but remains distinct from our traditional service, parts and equipment businesses and includes:
- Building Controls and Automation. From sensors to industry-leading building automation systems, Trane Tracer® controls are built on a platform that supports open standards so they can be integrated with existing equipment, regardless of brand.
- Energy Management Systems and Services. Trane Intelligent Services include monitoring, analysis, alerts, reporting, tracking and data visualization. A team of experienced Trane building professionals transforms this information into insights for performance improvement.
- Energy Contracting. As an accredited Energy Services Company (ESCO), Trane designs and implements a range of energy savings projects. These include retrofitting existing systems, energy conservation improvements, energy infrastructure outsourcing, power generation, and energy supply and risk management solutions.
- Renewable Energy and Power Solutions. Trane advises and assists building owners in transitioning their current grid systems to autonomous operation, in fulfilling regulatory, marketing, or contractual obligations for sustainability, and in meeting regulatory standards for energy conservation.
- Energy Procurement and Management Services. Trane’s energy supply expertise helps building owners secure competitive pricing and contract terms from electricity and natural gas suppliers, while delivering unsurpassed market intelligence and customer service.