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Environmental Stewardship

These goals aren’t mutually exclusive. Across our business units, Emerson’s core mission is to deliver solutions that enable our customers to operate at peak efficiency and performance. We help customers to maximize reliability, reduce energy costs, automate processes, reduce waste, and avoid unexpected issues. We focus on the same priorities within our own manufacturing operations.

We help customers to maximize reliability, reduce energy costs, automate processes, reduce waste, and avoid unexpected issues.

Emerson is focused on helping our customers with the most complex and important challenges facing the world in the process, industrial, commercial, and residential markets. Our Automation Solutions business is helping customers make the greatest use of the world’s valuable resources, helping nations move their economies forward in responsible ways, enabling the performance and safety of industries, and advancing the industries that are the backbones of daily life. Our Commercial & Residential Solutions business is helping customers ensure human comfort and health, protecting food quality and sustainability, advancing energy efficiency and environmental conservation, creating sustainable infrastructure, and continuing research and development momentum.

Following are a few examples of meaningful Emerson innovation at work for customers and society:

Launch of new Plantweb™ digital ecosystem

First introduced as the industry’s most advanced digital plant architecture for process control, safety and asset management, Plantweb now harnesses the power of the Industrial Internet of Things to expand digital intelligence to the entire manufacturing enterprise, while also providing an architecture for on-premise applications. Plantweb provides a comprehensive framework to help manufacturers achieve Top Quartile performance in the areas of safety, reliability, production and energy use. Top Quartile is defined as achieving operations and capital performance in the top 25 percent of peer companies.

Helix exterior
The Helix Innovation Center at University of Dayton

Driving industry innovation to improve efficiency

In April 2016, Emerson opened The Helix Innovation Center on the campus of the University of Dayton (Dayton, OH, USA), an industry-first facility dedicated to advancing research for the global heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR) industry.  The Helix provides a space for Emerson to collaborate with customers, HVACR industry partners, and competitors, as well as experts from other industries. Emerson has invested $35 million in this facility and staff which seeks to advance HVACR ideas from concept to prototype in 90 days or less, generating new opportunities to increase health and comfort, and reduce energy consumption and environmental impact.

Examples of work at The Helix in 2016-2017 include:

  • To help industry partners improve ice machine efficiency, Emerson developed and filed a patent application for a computer simulation model of a commercial ice machine in September 2016. The new computer simulator was tested to be within 5 percent accuracy of actual ice machines. Emerson’s work on ice machine efficiency is aimed at helping the industry address the U.S. Department of Energy’s target of reducing energy usage in ice machines that produce 50 to 4,000 pounds per day by 10 to 15 percent by 2018.
  • In 2016, Emerson installed an industrial refrigeration system module at The Helix Innovation Center that can be used for testing larger cold storage systems using CO2, a natural refrigerant that is considered more environmental friendly than HFC (hydrofluorocarbon) refrigerants.  Carbon dioxide has no ozone depletion potential and negligible direct global warming potential when used as a refrigerant in closed cycles. The system at The Helix allows Emerson engineers and product development staff to create a CO2 subcritical cascade system providing insights into the entire process from design to installation, start-up commissioning and performance testing.

Emerson has been so encouraged by industry and academic interest in the HVACR arena that the company opened a second Helix Innovation Center at Georgia Tech University’s Technology Square in midtown Atlanta in the fall of 2016. The Atlanta location will serve as a focal point of Emerson’s collaboration on Big Data and Internet of Things concepts for the HVACR industry. 


Emerson is helping restaurants and others in the food service industry to adopt similar recycling efforts.

Customers using Grind2Energy diverted 7,400 tons of food waste from landfills in 2016 — eliminating greenhouse gases equivalent to driving 11.9 million miles.

Grind2Energy:  Turning food waste into renewable energy

Food waste represents the single largest source of landfill waste and a significant producer of greenhouse gases. In fact, commercial kitchens produce on average more than 4,000 pounds of food waste a week.  Grind2Energy™, developed by the engineers at Emerson’s InSinkErator® business, helps large food waste generators such as supermarkets, hotels, casinos, and sports arenas to minimize their environmental impact and boost their operational efficiency. The system uses industrial-strength InSinkErator food waste grinders to process food scraps into a liquid “slurry” that is pumped into on-site holding tanks at business locations. The slurry is then transported to anaerobic digesters, which naturally convert it into water, fertilizer and methane that is captured to produce renewable energy. In 2016, Grind2Energy customers diverted 7,400 tons of food waste from landfills and eliminated greenhouse gases equivalent to driving 11.9 million miles.

  • In 2016, Northgate Markets in California introduced Grind2Energy to help address food waste across its stores. Renewable energy created from the chain’s food scraps has been enough to power 53 homes and heat 78 homes for a month. The food scraps have also generated 20,394 pounds of nutrient-rich fertilizer and have reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent of driving 234,385 miles.
  • Whole Foods Market is using Grind2Energy at 10 stores in its North Atlantic Region to dramatically reduce food waste from these stores going to landfills. Grind2Energy was initially installed in 2014 in a Whole Foods Market in Andover, Massachusetts. Since then, Emerson has helped Whole Foods Market produce more than 220,000 pounds of nutrient-rich fertilizers, eliminate greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to more than 2.5 million automobile miles, and convert enough natural gas to heat nearly 850 homes for one month. In 2016 Whole Foods Market designated Grind2Energy as the North Atlantic Region’s Green Supplier of the Year.

New heating technologies with less pollution in China
Emerson is delivering new technologies for heat pumps that help reduce China’s reliance on coal-burning heat plants. An electric-powered air-source heat pump can both cool and heat a home. Heat pumps with Emerson’s Copeland Scroll Heating technology – which can efficiently operate even when temperatures are below freezing – are 20 percent more energy efficient than a traditional hot-water system heated using a coal-fired boiler. More than 150,000 electric heat pump units using Emerson’s scroll compressor technology were installed in China in 2016, each helping to reduce China’s carbon footprint while providing modern indoor comfort for its residents. The expanded use of heat pumps is one of several strategies that has contributed to a 4.7 percent reduction in China’s overall coal use compared with 2015, marking the third consecutive year that China has reduced coal consumption.

Helping Juneau, Alaska plan a renewable heating system using seawater
Emerson’s Vilter business, manufacturer of industrial heat pump systems, is working with private investors and local officials in Juneau, Alaska on plans to build North America’s first district heating system to use seawater to heat homes and businesses. The system will generate no carbon emissions because it burns no fossil fuels. The power required for the heat pumps is sourced from a nearby hydroelectric facility also owned by the developers resulting in zero emissions.

The plan is to supply heat to buildings in downtown Juneau, which includes state-owned buildings, commercial buildings, and even homes. The Juneau District Heating system will take in seawater from the Gastineau Channel into a district energy plant where a network of heat exchangers and the innovative Emerson Seawater Heat Pumps transfer the heat energy from the seawater to create high temperature freshwater that is distributed to heat the buildings in Juneau. Emerson’s patented system of compressors and high temperature heat pumps provide a cost effective and sustainable means to provide heat without requiring costly building retrofits or burning of fossil fuels. Furthermore, the refrigerant used does not affect the ozone in any way and has a zero global warming potential. 

Emerson ranked sixth in the inaugural Carbon Clean 200 rankings, which ranks the largest publicly listed companies by their clean energy revenues.

Supporting waste-to-energy plants to ensure efficient, reliable power generation
In 2016, Emerson provided its Ovation™ automation technologies and services to ensure the successful startup of a waste-to-energy plant in Bydgoszcz, Poland. The new plant enables the region to dispose of waste effectively and helps Poland meet its obligations under the European Union’s 2020 climate and energy directive. The municipal waste incineration facility, operated by Miedzygminny Kompleks Unieskkodliwiania Opdadow (MKUO) ProNatura, will generate 100,000 megawatts-hours of electricity per year, which is enough to power 50,000 homes from 180,000 metric tons of household waste.
United Kingdom. Emerson is providing its control systems and project services for a new waste-to-energy power plant near Knaresborough Allerton, North Yorkshire, UK. The plant, which will also incorporate biogas and recycling facilities, will produce 28 megawatt-hours of electricity per hour from 320,000 tons of waste, exporting enough energy to the National Grid to power the equivalent of 40,000 homes and further help the UK to meet the EU Energy Directive 2020 targets for renewable energy. The facility will also divert more than seven million metric tons of waste from landfills over its 25-year lifetime, and recover more than one-and-a-half million tons of recyclable materials. The plant will be operated by Amey on behalf of North Yorkshire County Council and the City of York Council.
Switzerland. Similarly, Emerson is providing process automation technologies and services for current and future waste-to-energy projects of Hitachi Zosen Inova. Zurich-based Hitachi Zosen Inova specializes in thermal and biological treatment of municipal waste, and with experience on more than 600 projects worldwide, is a leader in the generation of energy using waste as fuel. Under a global framework agreement announced in 2016, Emerson was selected by Hitachi Zosen Inova as a preferred supplier of automation technologies, including control and safety systems, predictive maintenance software, control valves and measurement devices, and services such as engineering, project management, and lifecycle care. The agreement formalizes the relationship between the two companies following a successful project at Perlen, near Lucerne, Switzerland. The US$319 million (CHF 320 million) Perlen project is the largest climate protection project in central Switzerland. The facility is set to produce 155,000 MWh of electricity per year, covering the energy requirements of nearly 38,000 households, and will supply 320,000 MWh of steam to an adjacent paper mill. 

Power Puck
Power Puck®

Power Puck® thermoelectric energy harvesters convert ambient heat commonly released in industrial processes into electricity for powering Rosemount™ wireless transmitters. 

Emerson adds thermal energy harvesting to wireless products

In 2016, Emerson announced it would adopt advanced thermal energy harvesting as a power source for its wireless products. Power Puck® thermoelectric energy harvesters, made by Perpetua, convert ambient heat commonly released in industrial processes into electricity for powering Rosemount™ wireless transmitters. The Power Puck energy harvesting solution is especially advantageous to wireless devices in power intensive applications, where a conventional power module may require replacements more frequently. Power Puck thermoelectric energy harvesters provide continuous, reliable power for the life of the transmitter and include an intrinsically safe power module for back-up power. Power Puck is a convenient, sustainable energy harvesting solution which can be incorporated into a variety of applications, enabling users to decrease maintenance costs.

Designing commercial refrigeration compressors to meet new EPA compliance standards

With the commercial refrigeration industry taking a closer look at natural and alternative refrigerant options in the wake of the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Emerson has updated its Copeland compressor lines to meet these new compliance standards. The refrigeration industry is taking an even closer look at both CO2 (R-744) and propane (R-290); each has extremely low global warming potential. In one back-to-back R-290 performance test, Emerson saw an efficiency improvement of approximately 10 percent. 

View Emerson's Environmental Principles that outline our commitment to the environment. 

2016 Greenhouse Gas, Water, and Energy Use

Emerson tracks its impact on the environment in a number of ways, including measuring emissions into the atmosphere, water consumption and energy use associated with our manufacturing operations. View Emerson's 2016 Greenhouse Gas, Water and Energy Use. 

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