It’s important to Mayfield Heights-based Parker Hannifin Corp., which has facilities across the globe, to be “good environmental stewards,” said Rick Taylor, vice president of environmental health and safety. But doing so also just makes “good business sense,” he said. Taking sustainability seriously helps companies avoid compliance issues, engage and attract employees and save money.
“Less waste, less cost and less liability to the company,” he said.
Taylor has been working in the environmental space at Parker for more than 30 years. The company’s efforts to significantly reduce its energy consumption — and, concurrently, its carbon footprint — began in 2010. The motion and control technology company worked to retrofit buildings with more energy-efficient lighting and HVAC systems, improve roofs and reduce areas of energy loss.
From 2010 to 2020, Parker reduced its energy intensity, the energy per unit of sales it was using, by 42%, Taylor said. For carbon, it was 50%.
Parker’s next big goal is to reach carbon neutrality by 2040. That means the company’s renewable energy credits will be able to offset whatever energy it needs to use to make products, Taylor said. Parker may do that by installing wind turbines or solar panels to generate renewable energy on-site at some plants, or by purchasing renewable energy from third parties for others.
The company’s plan focuses on internal factors Parker can directly control like electricity and fuel, Taylor said, as well as the company’s supply chain.
And while the carbon footprint is getting the headlines, Parker’s environmental strategy stretches far behind energy usage to include factors like chemical usage and atmospheric emissions, Taylor said. At a corporate level, Taylor said the company gives employees guidelines and a “toolbox” to work toward those larger goals; each of Parker’s facilities has its own environmental management program.