Environment, Health & Safety

We continuously work to implement leading environmental, health and safety practices to safeguard our workforce; increase the efficiency; profitability and resiliency of our facilities; and reduce our regulatory compliance risks. Over the past 20 years, we have reduced workplace injuries by 90 percent. We have also significantly reduced the need for employees to routinely require hearing or respiratory protection as part of their workday.1

2020 EH&S Goals and Progress to Date


Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

In 2006, UTC established absolute greenhouse gas emission (GHG) reduction goals, succeeding energy-efficiency goals first formalized in 1997. In addition to reducing our impact on the global climate, we’ve demonstrated that our more efficient use of energy and reduced GHG emissions provide significant economic benefits. We are targeting a 15 percent reduction in GHG emissions by 2020. This goal is a continuation of the 3 percent annual reduction target in place since 2006 and keeps UTC on a path consistent with the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) target of 80 percent lower GHG emissions by 2050.

Eliminate Use of Chlorinated and Brominated Solvents

UTC surpassed its 2015 air chemical emissions reduction target of 68 percent, reducing the use of more than 70 targeted chemicals between 2006 and 2015. Our progress in this area resulted in a revised approach for 2020, as we will now focus on a smaller number of chemicals that present significant potential health and environmental risks. For example, our 2020 goal targets air emissions from the use of eight specific chlorinated or brominated solvent chemicals if used above a level greater than 100 pounds per year. The 100-pound annual threshold allows the use of small quantities of solvents as included in mixed chemical formulations.

Increase Waste Recycling Rate

With more than 250 manufacturing facilities worldwide, UTC generates almost 300 million pounds of industrial process waste annually. Waste reduction has been a long-standing UTC goal, and in 2006 we began focusing on reducing the amount of waste that was not being recycled. Our programs resulted in a 2015 recycling rate of 71 percent. Peer benchmark studies of best-in-class industrial waste management recycling programs have led us to conclude that we can do even more, and for 2020 UTC has established a waste recycling rate goal of 90 percent.

Reduce Hazardous Waste Generation

Reduction of UTC hazardous waste generation in the United States was one of four goals included in our first EH&S goals established in 1991. Our focus then was on reducing regulatory compliance risk. Since 1991, our focus has broadened, as pound for pound, hazardous waste presents a greater potential risk to the environment, human health, operating costs and UTC regulatory compliance than any other UTC industrial process waste stream. For 2020, we have committed to a 10 percent reduction from 2015 levels in the amount of hazardous waste we generate.

Reduce Water Consumption

UTC is committed to best-in-class water management. Our 2020 goal of a 25 percent reduction, compared to a 2015 baseline, continues a water stewardship program that we started in 1997. Reducing our water use decreases our potential for business disruption due to water shortages, our regulatory compliance risk in jurisdictions struggling to provide a reliable and high-quality water supply, and our costs and competition for water resources in the communities in which we operate.

Implement Water Best Management Practices

For 2020, UTC introduced a new goal targeting the implementation of water best management practices (BMPs) at our manufacturing sites, consistent with the water availability risks at each location. The target is for all UTC sites to have a water balance and leak detection program, regardless of size or local water availability. UTC classifies large sites as those that use more than 1 million gallons per year, and small sites as those using less than 1 million gallons per year. Depending on the size of the site and its water scarcity category,2 the goal is for each site to implement up to eight additional BMPs. UTC has seen the benefit of these practices where they are already deployed at our sites and is confident that requiring their further adoption – in balance with local risk – will help our sites meet their water use targets and be responsible stewards of their communities’ water resources.

Reduce Workers’ Exposure to Hazardous Substances

We have already made significant strides in reducing employee exposure to chemicals that would require the use of a respirator eight hours per day under regular working conditions. Our 2020 hazardous substance goal builds on this momentum and aims to further reduce potential employee exposures to chemicals that are carcinogens, reproductive toxins and endocrine disruptors (CREs). The goal is for UTC sites to reduce hazardous substance exposure to less than 50 percent of the Occupational Exposure Level, or the Qualitative Exposure Assessment score to Moderate or below, with the preference being to eliminate the use of the CRE substance altogether.3

Reduce Ergonomic Risk

Reducing ergonomic risk lays the groundwork for further reductions in work-related injuries. This goal is an extension of UTC’s long-standing focus on the health and safety of our employees, and targets by 2020 a 50 percent reduction in the ergonomic risk of tasks assessed by internal or third-party risk assessors as high and medium risk.

Increase Implementation of Level 1 Mistake Proofing Safety Controls

This goal targets the implementation of controls to avoid fatal, serious or lost day incidents, and includes actions such as hazard isolation, chemical substitution and task redesign. The goal establishes a three-fold increase in the use of Level I mistake proofing as a risk mitigation practice, as compared to the level of use in 2015. Level I mistake proofing is a corrective action designed to prevent similar incidents from recurring.

EH&S Compliance Goals

  • 0 enforcement actions for non-compliance
  • 100 percent inspections without enforcement actions
  • 100 percent annual permit and program evaluations
  • 100 percent passing compliance/assurance scores
Environment, Health & Safety, Infographics, Sustainability at UTC