Honeywell Pushes for Carbon Neutrality by 2035
Honeywell Pushes for Carbon Neutrality by 2035
Few companies can attack climate change from as many angles as Honeywell. For starters, we’ve made enormous progress toward making our own operations and facilities carbon-neutral by 2035 – 15 years ahead of the deadline set in the Paris Agreement.
“Honeywell greenhouse gas emission intensity is down 90% since we introduced our sustainability system in 2004,” said Chief Sustainability Officer Evan van Hook. “At the same time, our products, services and software solutions help companies and consumers all over the world save energy and shrink their carbon footprint. Honeywell innovations enable people to avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to hundreds of times our own operational footprint.”
“Honeywell’s solutions portfolio is heavily weighted toward sustainability and energy efficiency,” he added. “In fact, about half of our research and development investments for new products are focused on things that will improve environmental, safety and social outcomes for our customers and the planet.”
Reducing Carbon Emissions, the Honeywell Way
In the aerospace world, Honeywell is on the leading edge with production and development programs spanning a wide range of planet-positive technologies. Examples include fuel-efficient gas turbine propulsion engines and auxiliary power units (APUs) that can run on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) blends. The company is driving near-term advancements by improving fuel efficiency and adding SAF capabilities for existing fleets, rather than waiting for new aircraft to be introduced.
Meanwhile, advancements in electric power-generation and distribution systems, fuel cells and electric propulsion systems hold enormous promise for reducing the environmental impact of aviation.
The UOP business of Honeywell developed a process technology to produce SAF from sustainable feedstocks. The UOP process made history in December when a United Airlines’ 737 MAX 8 flew from Chicago to Washington, D.C., marking the first passenger flight fueled by 100% SAF. SAF can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% on a life-cycle emissions basis.
Honeywell Forge Flight Efficiency helps airlines burn less fuel and reduce their carbon emissions. The platform uses powerful data analytics tools to enable operators and flight crews to make informed decisions when it comes to loading fuel and choosing the most fuel-efficient flight profile.
On the ground, the Honeywell Solstice® family of low-global-warming-potential refrigerants, propellants and solvents has avoided emission of over 250 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere, which is like removing more than 52 million cars from the road for a year. These advanced materials are used every day in air conditioners, aerosol sprays and industrial applications.
Other solutions, like Honeywell Forge for buildings, make commercial buildings more energy efficient. Honeywell Forge uses artificial intelligence and advanced data analytics to optimize building performance and reduce energy consumption by 30% or more, while also enhancing the health, safety, productivity and comfort of building occupants.
Using Honeywell Operations as a Laboratory
“In our own facilities and operations, we’re already 90% of the way to improving carbon intensity,” van Hook said. “Our focus has historically been on increasing energy efficiency and reducing emissions and we’ve been highly successful with that approach, but we know we’ll need to ‘up our game’ to realize the last 10% and achieve carbon neutrality.”
“So, we’re moving ahead now to expand our use of renewables – particularly onsite solar installations – along with technologies like carbon capture and storage that will trap carbon emissions before they can enter the atmosphere. We have completed nearly 6,000 efficiency projects at our facilities since 2010, and going forward the company is allocating $50 million dollars of capital a year for more projects.”
With headquarters in Phoenix and operations throughout the world, Honeywell Aerospace is the company’s largest strategic business. More than that, it’s an ideal real-world laboratory to showcase technologies that will move the needle on Honeywell’s 2035 carbon neutrality pledge, according to Greg Bopp, Aerospace Vice President of Health, Safety, Environment & Facilities and Resiliency.
“We’re focusing on the areas where we currently generate the most carbon dioxide,” Bopp said. “Energy accounts for about 80% of our carbon footprint and process emissions from our production facilities make up about 10%. We’re doing some exciting things to reduce our environmental impact in both areas.”
“For example, we’re considering a carbon capture and storage project for our facility in South Bend, Indiana, where we manufacture wheels and braking systems for aircraft,” he added. “Of course, we don’t have the same scale as a refinery or heavy-industrial manufacturing plant, but we see an opportunity to reduce emissions at South Bend and, further down the road, at other manufacturing sites.”
Generating Results: Here Comes the Sun
Honeywell Aerospace is doubling down on solar power, according to Chris Nolan, Senior Director of Facilities. “We have a heavy presence in sunny locations in Arizona, Mexico and Malaysia so on-site solar makes a lot of sense for us,” he said.
“For example, we’re installing photovoltaic cells in parking lots of several large facilities in the Phoenix area, including the Tempe, Sky Harbor and Deer Valley buildings, which will also provide covered parking for employees and visitors – which is a real plus in the Valley of the Sun,” Nolan added.
The sprawling Deer Valley facility in North Central Phoenix will also showcase Honeywell Performance Materials & Technologies’ new Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), which will help the site reduce its reliance on the public power grid, save energy and shrink its environmental footprint – all at the same time.
“The new system will do a couple of things for us,” Nolan said. “First, it will let us offset peak demand because we can charge the batteries during off-peak periods and use that renewably-generated power during peak periods, at night or when the sun isn’t shining. It also provides us with battery backup capabilities in case there’s a blackout, brownout or power blip, which could damage sensitive processes or equipment in the building. Finally, it contributes to achieving our carbon neutrality pledge because we’re running a huge facility primarily on solar power.”
Van Hook agrees. “Deer Valley is a fantastic project, one of many we’re tackling company-wide as we work to fulfill our commitment to carbon neutrality,” he said. “And in addition to committing to carbon neutral facilities and operations, we’re working to reduce emissions across our global supply chain and to the millions of places we intersect with our customers every day.”