Environment, Health & Safety

2020 EH&S Goals

Every five years, UTC sets aggressive new sustainability goals for our environment, health and safety performance. Our goals and progress are reviewed by the UTC Board of Directors and CEO. We set our first goals in 1992, and they have been an invaluable tool for operational improvement. Our 2020 goals challenge us every day to continue to build on our legacy of healthy and safe workplaces for our employees and environmental performance in our operations.

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.

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

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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, 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 I 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 drives an increase in the use of Level I mistake proofing as a risk mitigation practice. 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