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Environment, Health & Safety

Environment, Health & Safety

Studio shot of water drop on leaf

UTC’s primary markets are in the midst of an unprecedented transformation. Globally aviation, energy-efficient buildings and food supply chain customers face two decades of rapid growth as the world's population goes from 7 billion to 9 billion, becomes 70 percent urbanized and expands the middle class by 2 billion new members.1 While these opportunities are unprecedented, they come with commensurate challenges, including the potential impacts and pressures global growth poses to the environment and competition for diminishing natural resources.

For example, commercial aviation emits 2 percent and buildings upward of 35 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.2 The 1.3 billion tonnes of annual food waste, if treated as a country, would be the third largest global source of GHG emissions, adding 3.6 billion metric tonnes CO2e annually into the atmosphere.3 These impacts are profound, and sustainable business practices will be essential if the successful transformation of these markets is to proceed unimpeded and without damage to both the local and global environments.


Since 1997 UTC has increasingly employed sustainable environment, health and safety practices to improve the safety and health of our workforce, increase the efficiency, profitability and resiliency of our facilities, and reduce our regulatory compliance risks.

Applied thoughtfully, sustainable practices provide superior operational advantages. We’ve learned a great deal since the early days of our sustainability program and continue to leverage the value that we’ve found. During 2006-2015, our facility energy audit program identified thousands of cost-effective energy-savings opportunities that reduced our absolute use of energy and associated GHG emissions by 32 percent. Similar efforts resulted in a 37 percent absolute reduction in our use of water, a 43 percent reduction in the waste we generated and 65 percent less air chemical emissions released to the environment. In the last 10 years these initiatives have combined for cost savings of more than $100 million. During the same period we reduced our workplace safety events by more than 63 percent from an already industry-leading baseline and have significantly reduced the need for employees to routinely require either hearing or respiratory protection as part of their workday.4


Sustainably designed products can transform markets. Consider, for example, Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower Geared Turbofan engines. GTFs provide our customers with 16 percent lower fuel use and GHG emissions, 50 percent lower air pollutant emissions and 75 percent less noise.5 All of these attributes will be exceptionally valuable as global commercial aviation continues on its planned trajectory of doubling the number of aircraft in service by 2035 while responsibly managing GHG and other environmental impacts.6 Similarly the Otis Gen2 elevator with regenerative drives can provide combined energy savings to building owners and tenants of up to 75 percent.7 And since 50 percent of the food that is wasted around the globe would benefit from greater refrigeration, Carrier’s sustainable cold chain products – such as the CO2OLtec and NaturaLINE refrigeration systems for retail and ocean containers – demonstrate the power of sustainable technology to help solve vexing market challenges.8


The value UTC has found in sustainable business practices isn’t unique to us, and we expect our key suppliers to employ sustainable practices to improve profitability and business resilience. The EH&S footprint of UTC’s supply base is significantly larger than our own direct operations, and presents an exciting opportunity for improving the financial and sustainability performance in each link of our value chain. By the end of 2019, UTC’s Gold level suppliers will be required to adopt 11 sustainability practices, including formal EH&S improvement commitments, senior executive governance and year-over- year reductions in their use of energy, water and material resources. Many of our suppliers already have best-in-class sustainability programs in place, and we look forward to the additional value that can be found by suppliers with new or evolving programs.

1 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD): “OECD Yearbook 2012 – Better Policies for Better Lives”
2 United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Fourth Assessment Report, 2007
3 Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, “Food Wastage Footprint & Climate Change” November 2015,
4 Actual levels of EH&S metrics reflect data reported quarterly by UTC sites through a centralized EH&S Reporting System that requires compliance with common reporting and quality assurance standards. Reported data are reviewed and consolidated by UTC business unit and corporate staff. UTC annually submits site energy use and greenhouse gas emissions data to an independent verification review based on International Standards Organization (ISO) standard 14064, Part 3 criteria for the validation and verification of greenhouse gas assertions.
5 Pratt & Whitney Pure Power website:
6 United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Fourth Assessment Report, 2007
7 Otis Gen2 website:
8 C.G. Winkworth-Smith et al, “The Potential Value of Reducing Global Food Loss”, The University of Nottingham Division of Food Science, School of Biosciences, March 2015, pages 17, 19

At UTC we measure our sustainability performance for current operations through key performance indicators. To learn more about our progress in protecting the environment and the health and safety of our employees and communities where we work, visit our 2020 Sustainability Goals page.

Million metric tons CO2e

Billion gals

Million lbs

Million lbs

Million lbs

Cases/100 employees

Cases/100 employees

The increases in our 2013 environmental performance results reflect the addition of 100 former Goodrich sites to our EH&S management system.

UTC reporting standards include the ongoing analysis and correction of data, as applicable, following the close of a reporting period. Consequently, previously reported annual metric results may change between annual reporting periods, and UTC may included any prior-year data revisions in current reporting.