Environment, Health & Safety

EH&S Goals and Performance

Every five years we establish quantifiable environmental and safety goals. Developed in collaboration with our business units and reviewed and approved by senior management and our Board of Directors, our goals are focused on areas where we can make meaningful improvements and inspire our employees to build on our more than 20-year EH&S legacy. Our goals measure progress in absolute terms against a baseline year and are not adjusted for organic increases or decreases in production.1

2020 EH&S Goals and Progress to Date


Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Our commitment to reduce energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is informed by climate change science, the regulatory landscape and our experience in implementing targeted programs across our global manufacturing facilities. Since 2006, we have set an annual expectation that our operations achieve a 3 percent absolute reduction in their GHG emissions. This goal is consistent with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) guidance on the annual GHG emissions reductions necessary to limit average global atmospheric temperature increases to a maximum of 2°C by 2100. Based on our experience and organizational footprint, efficiency improvements in United Technologies’ use of energy represent the greatest opportunity for us to reduce our GHG emissions. Since 2010, we have invested $150 million in over 1,200 energy efficiency and GHG reduction projects. This has led to an avoidance of 165,000 metric tons of CO2e from operations.

Case Study: Pratt & Whitney Springdale, Arkansas

Pratt & Whitney’s facility in Springdale, Arkansas, is a center of excellence, offering a broad range of innovative engine case repairs. Springdale’s cross-functional Pollution Prevention Team is committed to achieving and exceeding UTC’s 2020 Sustainability Goals and reducing the facility’s carbon footprint.

The operations and facilities departments used monitors to collect data, which provided a foundation for understanding the facility’s overall energy usage. Ultimately, the team determined that installing variable frequency drives (VFDs) on plasma dust collectors would slow down the motor of the dust collectors to meet demand and frequency, optimizing consumption only when needed.

The analysis resulted in annual savings of over 361,000 kWh — the equivalent of $25,200 in cost savings and a 6.3 percent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions.

“We believed there were additional greenhouse gas opportunities; however, we did not have quantifiable data to support the project initially. We leveraged a variety of continuous improvement tools and were able to demonstrate the potential benefits,” explained Brad Rekus, Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) manager.

Internal expertise, local partners and leveraging local utility incentives were key to making these investments viable energy-saving solutions and a source of immediate cost savings for the facility.

Eliminate Use of Chlorinated and Brominated Solvents

Between 2006 and 2015 we reduced our use of more than 75 targeted chemicals, including volatile organic compounds, by 70 percent or more. In 2015, we set a 2020 goal to focus on a handful of the original chemicals that still remained in use, and that represented a significant risk to worker safety and air emissions stewardship. Our 2020 goal targets the elimination of air emissions from the use of eight specific chlorinated or brominated solvent chemicals if used above a level greater than 100 pounds per year.

Reduce Water Consumption

Like other companies, United Technologies faces increasing global water supply risks due to localized and recurrent drought, competition for water in water-constrained watersheds, climate change and municipal infrastructure limitations. Reducing our water use decreases the potential for business disruption while helping to protect scarce resources. Shortages can be brought on by unplanned weather-related issues, excessive cost and competition for limited community water supplies or regulatory restrictions that restrict access in water-vulnerable jurisdictions. Our 2020 goal commits us to reduce our water use by 25 percent, compared to 2015 baseline levels. We report on our water risk management and conservation program progress annually through the CDP.

Case Study: Collins Aerospace Santa Fe Springs, California

As part of its continued focus on reducing water consumption, Collins Aerospace opened its first U.S.-based water reclamation initiative at its manufacturing facility in Santa Fe Springs, California, in March 2018. The project will increase water savings by 25 million gallons at the site, adding substantially to the nearly 10 million gallons of water saved on the premises since 2013.

Collins Aerospace has been working with the state of California and the local municipal water district for nearly three years in the planning, design and construction of the initiative. The water reclamation project will flow site-generated industrial wastewater to a city treatment facility, which will return the treated water to the Santa Fe Springs facility for industrial use. The water will be distributed through a separate connection with no impact to sanitary or drinking water at the location or in the surrounding community.

The Santa Fe Springs facility manufactures state-of-the-art carbon friction material utilized in civil and military aircraft brakes. The reclaimed water will support site operations.

As a longstanding local business, Collins Aerospace has been committed to helping reduce the burden of drinking water usage in California, while also maintaining a pathway to continue business growth in the community. Since 2013, the seven California-based Collins Aerospace facilities have reduced water usage by 65 million gallons through high-profile initiatives, including water recycling, xeriscaping and low-flow fixtures, while eliminating leaks and overflow. These actions have contributed to the 313 million gallons of water saved across Collins Aerospace locations since 2013.

“By moving to reclaimed water, we will now be using the same system that many local municipalities use for public irrigation and landscaping,” said Diego Torres, Director of Operations at Collins Aerospace. “As a large industrial consumer, it’s great to know we are now able to preserve 25 million gallons of water for the region’s drinking water supply each year.”

Implement Water Best Management Practices

For 2020, we also introduced a new goal targeting the implementation of water best management practices (BMPs) at our manufacturing facilities, including a water balance and leak detection program. We established site-specific goals that align with a site’s size and its water scarcity category and that require the implementation of up to eight additional BMPs.

Reduce Hazardous Waste Generation

Hazardous waste represents less than 10 percent of our total waste volume and poses the greatest potential risk to the environment. The risks also extend to the required regulatory compliance and the overall cost of managing waste reduction. To ensure the appropriate focus, our 2020 goal requires each business unit, regardless of its growth, to reduce its generation of hazardous waste by 2 percent per year when compared to our 2015 baseline level.

Case Study: Carrier Malaysia

In 2016, Carrier Malaysia began implementing changes throughout its facility and saw impressive results, ranging from enhanced environmental health and cost savings to improvements in employee productivity.

In an effort to reduce water usage, Carrier Malaysia’s Selangor facility added a zero-wastewater reverse osmosis component for coil rinsing purposes — a major activity in the production process. As a result, the facility’s water usage was cut by almost 420,000 gallons.

In addition to implementing water management best practices, the plant also installed waste treatment systems. Compared to its 2015 baseline, the factory reduced its hazardous waste generation by 37 percent. Meanwhile, 90 percent of its no -hazardous waste was treated to become recycled industrial waste.

Physical changes to the infrastructure have helped reduce the plant’s greenhouse gas emissions. By replacing 400-watt metal halide lightbulbs with LEDs, the factory reduced its energy usage by almost $20,000 per month and its greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent overall. The LEDs produce less heat and are easier on employees’ eyes, resulting in an improved employee experience.

These changes required staff at various levels and functions to work together toward sustained improvements that are helping to meet UTC’s 2020 Sustainability Goals.

Increase Waste Recycling Rate

More than 90 percent of the waste we generate each year is non-hazardous and includes commodities such as metal, wood, paper and glass. Our 2020 goal aims for 90 percent recycling of industrial waste across our factories and operations. This goal is the latest iteration of our historic commitment to recycling, which was first quantified in a formal target in 2006.

Case Study: Collins Aerospace GOALZERO

Pallets, plastics and cardboard have helped put food on more than 10,000 plates thanks to a partnership between Colorado Springs IAPS and GOALZERO Recycling, a local recycling-for-food initiative.

Here’s how it works: Collins Aerospace employees collect wooden pallets, cardboard and plastic shrink wrap on-site and give the materials to GOALZERO. GOALZERO then sells the materials to recycling buyers. GOALZERO is a division of Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado, which uses the money to buy meals for Colorado citizens in need. Every dollar raised provides eight meals to soup kitchens, food pantries, emergency food assistance groups, children or elderly people that need a little extra help.

“We look forward to expanding our recycling program with GOALZERO to include office paper and aluminum cans in the near future. The Colorado Springs IAPS facility is living up to the reputation of caring for our community,” says Anthony Greaton, Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) manager.

With approximately 30,000 meals provided for the hungry and over 30,000 pounds of waste diverted, the impact to the community cannot be ignored. But it’s not just the community that benefits – giving to GOALZERO boosts our efforts toward the companywide goal of 90 percent recycling – or better – by 2020!

Ergonomic Risk

Ergonomic hazards represent the biggest risk of injury for United Technologies’ employees. Our goal is to reduce ergonomic risks assessed at high or medium by 50 percent by 2020, as measured by a formal ergonomic risk assessment.

Reduce Workers’ Exposure to Hazardous Substances

Our 2020 hazardous substance goal builds on the significant progress we’ve made in reducing employee workplace hazards. Recent efforts enabled us to reduce exposures to chemicals and noise for approximately 80 percent of our employees to levels which do not require the use of personal protective equipment. In 2015, we expanded the program to reduce potential employee exposures to chemicals that are carcinogens, reproductive toxins and endocrine disruptors (CREs) to levels below regulatory requirements. Our goal is to reduce hazardous substance exposure levels to less than 50 percent of occupational exposure limits2 or to a qualitative exposure assessment score of moderate or below.

Level I Mistake Proofing Safety Controls

Level I mistake proofing is a corrective action process designed to eliminate the possibility of health and safety event recurrences. Corrective actions could include the re-engineering of work processes or the introduction of specialized tools to facilitate specific tasks. Our 2020 goal requires an increase in the application of Level I mistake proofing methods to mitigate fatal, serious or lost day incidents.

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