Managing Our Facilities

Each of our manufacturing facilities around the world follows a set of principles that guides our commitment to environmental stewardship in everything that we do. Highlights of these principles include:

  • We comply with all applicable laws and regulations, but also seek to reduce and, where possible, eliminate hazardous waste through source reduction and recycling.
  • We continually work to minimize environmental impact through safe technologies, facility design and operating procedures.
  • We conserve energy and work to improve the efficiency of the products we manufacture and of our own operations.
  • We conduct regular training to ensure knowledge of updated laws and regulations, pollution-prevention and waste-minimization practices, and technological developments.
  • We periodically audit our operations to confirm compliance with these principles and local laws.

Emerson’s business unit presidents are responsible for implementing these principles, with support from our Corporate Environmental Affairs Department. Our General Counsel is responsible for overseeing implementation of the Company’s environmental principles and policy, and periodically reports to the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors.

Environmental Compliance

We assess the environmental compliance of Emerson facilities annually in most cases, with 85 percent of manufacturing facilities assessed with compliance audit or self-assessment in 2016. In this process, we analyze the procedures and performance of our facilities against standards set by local law or Emerson’s standards  – whichever sets a higher standard. Furthermore, when acquiring companies, we assess their environmental policies and procedures to correct any issues.

Emerson also considers the environmental aspects of how we design, engineer and manufacture products, ensuring that materials and processes are safe and adhere to industry standards and government regulations such as WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment regulation) and RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) directives.

LEED Certified

  • Dayton, Ohio (USA) – The Helix Innovation Center (certified in 2016)

LEED Silver

  • Ava, Missouri (USA) –  Emerson scroll machining building (certified in 2013)
  • Florham Park, New Jersey (USA) – ASCO Fluid Automation Global Headquarters (certified in 2017)
  • Sorocaba (Brazil) – Emerson Campus (certified in 2013)
  • Sunrise, Florida (USA) – Emerson Latin American Headquarters (certified in 2009)

LEED Gold

  • St. Louis, Missouri (USA) – Corporate Data Center (certified in 2010)
  • Gurgaon (India) – Emerson India Headquarters (certified in 2013)

In spring 2017, Emerson announced plans to build a new headquarters for its InSinkErator business in Wisconsin.  The new headquarters and lab building, which has been designed to qualify for LEED certification, is expected to open in July 2018.

Beyond these certifications, other Emerson facilities are making meaningful strides to reduce environmental impact, which in 2016 included the following:

  • Emerson’s facility in Chengdu, China, took action to save water by encouraging staff through signs and slogans, and improved maintenance practices, decreasing water consumption at the facility by 5 percent, saving 444,063 gallons per year.
  • Emerson’s Ridge Tool Europe business moved to a new office and warehouse location in Sint-Truiden, Belgium. They have incorporated LED lighting, storm water recovery, solar panels, automatic sun screens, and waste recycling and separation systems.

Energy Conservation and Efficiency

Emerson has continually implemented energy efficiency measures at its facilities, conducted energy audits and sought out new opportunities to reduce the impact of its operations on the environment.  In 2016 these conservation and efficiency activities included the following: 

  • Emerson’s Rosemount facility in Slough, United Kingdom introduced a series of internal and external LED lighting upgrades to reduce energy use and improve the quality of lighting within the facility. This initiative resulted in energy savings of 249,011 kWh/year and $32,088 in cost savings. The upgrades also reduced heat transfer from incandescent lights in production areas, which previously required additional cooling in the summer months.
  • In India, our Chennai facility has focused on multiple energy-saving projects, implementing programs to adjust lighting and temperature of the facility to better match production needs at given times of the day. These efforts resulted in energy savings of 6,400 kWh/month, from September 2016 to March 2017.

Materials Usage

As a broadly diversified company with a wide variety of products, we purchase through our supply chain a wide variety of raw materials and component parts. Copper and steel are the most widely used raw materials across our businesses. In fiscal 2016, our businesses used approximately 18,000 tons of copper and 251,000 tons of steel, not including copper and steel contained in finished components, of which approximately 72 percent and 47 percent, respectively, were recycled materials.

Regular Environmental Training

Emerson conducts regular environmental training programs for its plant environmental managers, business unit environmental coordinators and other key personnel worldwide.  Each session takes into account the specific needs of the regions in which our global facilities are located.

Each year, employees receive online or face-to-face environmental training with two primary goals:

  • Give employees a practical understanding of the requirements of environmental laws and regulations as they apply to the company.
  • Share ideas on how to reduce waste, enhance the quality of the environment, and conserve energy.

The training conferences cover a broad range of topics, including:

  • Emerson’s environmental principles.
  • Good environmental management practices.
  • Country-specific environmental laws and regulations.
  • New developments in local environmental laws.
  • Pollution prevention, waste minimization, and energy conservation.
  • Specialty topics like hazardous materials transportation, spills and incident response, and recycling technologies.

Audits to confirm compliance

Emerson requires that every one of its manufacturing facilities receives a third-party environmental compliance audit every five years, in which auditors conduct detailed inspections of the facility and its environmental records. The purpose of these audits is to evaluate environmental regulatory compliance, as well as the overall environmental management practices of each plant.  The audit process also encourages plant environmental managers to look beyond basic compliance to explore ways to implement innovative and productive environmental management practices.

Prior to an on-site inspection by an outside environmental consultant, each plant is required to complete a detailed questionnaire provided by the Corporate Environmental Affairs Department.  Once the formal audit is completed and the outside auditor submits a written report, Environmental Affairs works with the business unit president and facility personnel to ensure that all audit findings are addressed.

About 10 percent of Emerson’s audits are surprise audits, where facility managers receive only 48 hours’ notice of the third-party audit team’s schedule.

In years in which plants do not have a third-party compliance audit, business unit environmental coordinators work with plant management to complete a self-assessment to ensure compliance with environmental regulations. Corporate environmental staff oversees this annual process.

Fines and Sanctions

Emerson facilities are routinely inspected by environmental authorities in the jurisdictions where we operate.  It is Emerson policy to cooperate fully with environmental authorities.  The majority of all inspections by authorities do not result in monetary fines, penalties or citations.  When environmental fines or penalties have been imposed, the costs have been minimal in comparison to the size of our operations. 

For example, in 2016, environmental regulators inspected our facilities or were notified of incidents on 37 different occasions worldwide (compared to 44 occasions in 2015).  Of these occasions in 2016, only three resulted in monetary penalties totaling $2,990 (compared to five in 2015). The average annual cost of environmental fines and penalties incurred globally by Emerson from 2012 through 2016 was approximately $23,000.  

Grievance Mechanisms

In addition to Emerson’s global Ethics and Compliance Hotline, each of our business units has its own formal and informal channels to raise concerns or complaints about environmental compliance. We also periodically receive concerns regarding environmental issues from the people and businesses neighboring our facilities. Issues raised via these channels are rare and are appropriately addressed.

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