Scott Tew, director of the Ingersoll Rand Center for Energy Efficiency & Sustainability, discusses the evolving role of CR at the organization.
By Allie Williams
As a global company, Ingersoll Rand is responsible for meeting the needs of stakeholders everywhere. This means operating as a responsible company is a critical business objective. Scott Tew, director of the Ingersoll Rand Center for Energy Efficiency & Sustainability and business strategy, talks about how the organization is telling its CR story while pushing ahead—and leading the way—toward its 2020 goals.
Allie Williams: As a practitioner, how does telling the CR story feel different from everyday sales and marketing?
Scott Tew: Telling the corporate responsibility [story] does not feel all at that different than talking about sales and marketing because it is woven into all that we do. There is a natural connection between “who we are,” “what we do,” and “what we offer” that fosters an unbreakable connection between our employees, our products, our customers, and the communities where we live and operate.
AW: How has your understanding of CR’s value proposition— both within your company or sector and as a general matter— evolved over time?
ST: Corporate responsibility has been core to who we are and what we do for quite some time, and it continues to be exciting to see how it evolves. There is a focus on efforts to address issues that are most material to the company, stakeholders, as well as the communities where we live and operate— especially as it relates to environmental impact and social involvement, including climate action, investing in education, improving gender equality, supporting sustainable cities and communities, and creating resilient infrastructures.
When looking at both the industry and the private sector, it’s clear that significant work has been done to drive sustainability further into core business strategies. From supporting the American Business Act on Climate Pledge and global Paris Climate Agreement, to playing an integral role in executing the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, making a statement that this type of work is here to stay.
AW: How can you convey CR’s value proposition to many different stakeholders—like employees, customers, shareholders, regulators, and other influencers?
ST: Direct, regular engagement with all stakeholders is critical for both sustained business success and advancing corporate responsibility commitments. There are efforts in place to ensure that we’re collaborating with these groups a incorporating their critical feedback—especially into corporate citizenship and sustainability efforts.
For example, the Green Team employee engagement program empowers individuals across all lines of the business to take their passion for sustainability to the next level. They are giving them the tools they need to be more sustainable in their workplace and personal lives. In turn, these individuals helped save more than 900 metric tons in carbon emissions and more than 745,000 gallons of water in 2015 alone.
AW: What is the key CR/sustainability corporate strategy for 2017 and beyond?
ST: Strategy is focused on a “climate commitment” to significantly increase energy efficiency and reduce environmental impacts by 2020. There is a goal to reduce the refrigerant footprint of products by 50 percent, incorporate lower global warming potential alternatives across the portfolio, and reduce the GHG footprint of operations by 35 percent.
This commitment also encompasses several 2020 targets that are on track across our value chain, including as it relates to governance, suppliers, customers, people, and corporate citizenship.
Strong goals are set to guide efforts, but the company won’t be successful unless we make decisions that have a lasting impact on communities and the planet. This means finding innovative solutions that benefit all stakeholders, as well as reinvesting in people and the communities that we live and work in. Above all, our goal is to continue to be bold leaders, set the bar high for others, and remain accountable each day.
Sharing its CR story demonstrates aspects of Ingersoll Rand’s values and commitments that go beyond its products.
The company is the first in the industry to join the Paradigm for ParitySM coalition. The company partnered with nearly 40 other companies in a pledge to bring gender parity to corporate leadership structure by 2030.
This pledge reinforces Ingersoll Rand’s commitment to increase women in leadership roles, as part of its global sustainability goals that were launched in 2014.