sustainable solutions to meet insatiable demands
Every day, Eaton employees combine their ingenuity to deliver more effective and sustainable power management solutions. By enhancing our product development processes, we aim to further minimize our impact on the environment.
Eaton’s Innovation Centers lead our quest to develop more sustainable products and processes.
Just over 100 years ago, Viggo Torbensen and Joseph Eaton teamed to develop an axle that enabled trucks to endure the rugged roads of the early 20th century, save fuel and reduce maintenance costs. That single product launched what became Eaton Corporation and a long tradition of developing innovative power management solutions for our customers. During 2011, Thomson Reuters included Eaton in its “Top 100 Global Innovators” list for our technical achievements, which now span more than 9,000 patents, including more than 750 granted during the year. Led by Eaton’s network of global Innovation Centers, Eaton people worldwide are developing tomorrow’s breakthroughs in energy efficiency, fuel economy, greenhouse-gas reduction and safety. In January 2012, we opened a new Innovation Center in Prague — our fifth center, complementing facilities in the U.S., China and India. We estimate that new technologies being developed at Eaton’s Innovation Centers have the potential to reduce the CO2 emissions of our applications by up to 60 percent by 2050, helping to combat climate change. We’re also working on new ways to make renewable energy more efficient and affordable, accelerating the deployment of wind and solar power worldwide.
Integrated Design for Environment initiative evaluates every stage of a product’s life — from whiteboard to recycling bin.
Eaton has long designed products that help our customers reduce their environmental impact. During 2011, we made Design for Environment (DfE) an integrated part of our PROLaunch new-product development process. DfE provides Eaton design and engineering teams with tools and activities to lessen the environmental impact of future products. Throughout the process, the environment is considered a “customer” and all stages of a product’s life (cradle to grave) must be considered. Four characteristics — energy efficiency, resource efficiency, recyclability and compliance to regulations — are closely scrutinized at each product life stage, guiding design team decisions.
Expanding our sustainability committment with life-cycle assessments and product stewardship.
To assist our DfE efforts and further quantify the environmental benefits of Eaton products, we continue to expand our life-cycle assessment (LCA) capabilities at one of our engineering centers in Pune, India. Experts from the Pune facility work closely with our Innovation Centers and Eaton product design teams to perform both screening and detailed LCAs, projecting a full range of environmental impacts across the life cycle of individual products, as well as on individual product design and manufacturing decisions. During 2011, we also began laying the framework for a companywide product stewardship program, building upon strengths within our individual businesses. Through this program, we aim to devise new ways to work together with suppliers, distributors, customers and recyclers/disposers of our products to further reduce Eaton’s environmental impact.
Home automation and LED lighting systems join Eaton Green Solutions honor roll.
In 2008, we established the Eaton Green Solutions program to recognize products that represent Eaton benchmarks for superior environmental performance. Twenty-two Eaton product lines have now earned our “Green Leaf” designation, including two new product lines in 2011: the xComfort home automation and energy management system and a new lighting upgrade kit that allows marinas to reduce their power consumption by adopting more energy-efficient LED lights.