Six Sigma helps Caterpillar pursue emissions goals

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: lean manufacturing

Caterpillar Inc. has pledged to reduce its total absolute global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 3 percent from 2006 to 2015. The company has committed to the reduction goal as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Climate Leaders program, which Caterpillar joined in 2003.

"The rise of GHG emissions has emerged as a significant global, environmental issue," said Caterpillar group president Doug Oberhelman. "Our Climate Leaders goal is a proactive step indicative of our commitment to drive energy efficiency and carbon reduction throughout our operations."

Climate Leaders is an EPA industry-government partnership that works with companies to develop comprehensive climate change strategies. Partner companies commit to reducing their impact on the global environment by completing a corporate-wide inventory of their GHG emissions based on a quality management system, setting aggressive reduction goals, and annually reporting their progress to EPA. Through program participation, companies create a credible record of their accomplishments and receive EPA recognition as corporate environmental leaders.

In 2006, Caterpillar reduced its total global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 36 percent per dollar of revenue, exceeding its 2010 goal of 20 percent intensity reduction. The company again exceeded the goal in 2007 with a 38 percent intensity reduction over 2002.

"Our success is a result of our focus on energy efficiency improvements in buildings and manufacturing processes and in deploying cleaner sources of energy like combined heat and power using our Solar Turbine technology," said Jody Howard, director of social responsibility for Caterpillar.

Projects implemented by Six Sigma teams focused on heating efficiency, more efficient lighting and control of equipment and can be replicated across the globe at Caterpillar facilities, not only reducing emissions, but also saving money, improving quality and engaging employees.

"We encourage all of our facilities to seek more innovative ways to reduce energy use – looking for less obvious opportunities and reviewing and replicating successful projects," said Howard.

Additional information about Caterpillar's efforts to reduce GHG emissions and drive efficiencies can be found on the company's Web site,