Armstrong In The Media

Flip The Script

Posted by Armstrong Fluid Technology on Apr 22, 2024 12:09:34 AM



Earth day-01

April 22nd is designated as Earth Day. We spend the day (and perhaps a few days on either side) thinking more carefully about the environment and our impact on it. We make commitments around the many ways the years ahead will be different. How we can change. How we can consume less. How we can be more responsible. How we can reduce our carbon footprint, and purchase carbon credits to erase the rest. We need to flip the script.

All the other days should be Earth Day. Regardless of whether we choose to think about it, every day of every year we have either a negative or positive impact both in our immediate environment, and on the global environment. In a flipped version of environmental awareness, April 22nd would no longer be Earth Day. It would instead be a day for rest, reflection and thanking those around us for their respective contributions to sustainability.

364 days would be spent learning, making progress and tracking progress.

In the HVAC industry, manufacturers are in a challenging position. No building, realistically, can be built or operated without sufficient heating and/or cooling systems. Most large buildings will need mechanical systems and safety systems. Emissions (scope 1, 2 and 3) for these kinds of products are enormous. There's no way around it.

So, what can a manufacturer do? How can manufacturers be on the ‘solution’ side of this issue?

Here are six ideas:

First, manufacturers can invest in energy saving solutions, and solutions that offer reduced embedded carbon. This needs to become a core part of every company's mission, and must represent a large percentage of annual R&D expenditures.

Second, manufacturers must guide purchasers and decision influencers to choose energy saving low carbon solutions, even where the economics of that purchase indicate that other solutions are more affordable.

Third, manufacturers, in partnership with service and maintenance contractors must work closely with end customers to embed a practice of active performance management for the life cycle of a building, and the mechanical systems in it. Only through this lifetime practice can optimal efficiencies be achieved and maintained.

Fourth, manufacturers must work with partners in their respective supply networks to push them towards accountability and to the implementation of their own programs for carbon footprint reduction.

Fifth, manufacturers must work cooperatively through industry associations to raise the bar (significantly and repeatedly) on industry standards and code requirements for efficiency and Sustainability. Through a sense of responsibility many building owners and operators will make responsible choices for sustainable solutions and operations. Sadly, to gain economic advantage, many operators will choose the least expensive solution that meets industry code, but no more. Where better solutions are available, industry participants have to be prepared to work together. The entire industry has to push the entire industry. And we have to reach standards that are set at a challenging level.

Sixth, manufacturers have to be accountable to all stakeholders regarding their plans for carbon footprint reduction and their execution against those plans. Preparing and publishing an audited annual report on sustainability has to be the norm.

We have 364 days to see how much of this can be implemented. We'll talk again next year, and check in.

Topics: Environmental Goals, Earth Day

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