Ashraf Yehia, the Managing Director at Eaton Middle East, says sustainability is part of the fabric of his company
Please tell us about your efforts that ensure a sustainable and equitable digital future.
At Eaton, we believe that digitalisation allows a sustainable future and energy transition. Traditionally, power management has focused on clear product lines—circuit breakers, panels, meters, UPS and so on—that protect people and equipment according to agreed standards. As such, it was fairly straightforward to define new products and launch them to customers who, in many cases, already knew what to expect.
Now that’s when our work begins thanks to the new digital capabilities that form the bedrock of intelligent power. Without new digital capabilities, our customers could never hope to manage more flexible and responsive power grids, distributed renewable generation, smart electrical vehicle charging, or benefit from the other revenue opportunities (such as grid stabilization services) arising from the energy transition. In the future power system, we need to be metering, controlling, and coordinating everywhere.
We’re harnessing a swathe of digital technologies—connected devices, data pipelines and models, and insights—to transform power management and enable more reliable, efficient, safe and sustainable energy consumption. Our intelligent systems help customers establish a clear data strategy and then take action to optimize power use. This moment of action is when customers see the greatest value from our offerings: saving money, growing revenues, and becoming more sustainable.
What is your commitment to combat climate change?
At Eaton, we embrace the tremendous responsibility we have to act now to address climate change. We continue to push forward in our journey to pursue our bold environmental, social and governance goals – and we’re making significant progress.
Our 2022 Sustainability Report describes in more detail than ever how we’re helping the world decarbonize electricity and optimize energy usage. We must keep our momentum strong to reach our targets and make good on our mission to improve the quality of life and the environment.
At Eaton we are ahead or on pace to meet several of its targets, including:
- Carbon emissions: Reduced GHG emissions by 27% in its operations since 2018 through increased energy efficiency, energy conservation, and shifts to renewable energy.
- Sustainable solutions: Solutions that enable electrification, energy transition, electric grid resilience, increase efficiency in ground and air transportation, or improve air quality represented 71% of the company’s net sales in 2022, up from 65% in 2021.
- Sustainable investments: Invested $900 million in research and development for sustainable solutions since 2020, up from $528 million in 2021.
- Water: Certified 8% of manufacturing sites as zero water discharge, focusing on sites in water-stressed areas.
- Waste: Certified 75% of manufacturing sites as zero waste to landfill, moving the company closer to its goal to certify 100% by 2030.
“We aim to achieve a science-based target and carbon-neutral operations by 2030 by implementing energy-efficient solutions in our operations, optimizing renewable energy generation and purchases, greening our energy contracts and purchasing carbon offsets where necessary.”
How are you aligning your sustainability initiatives in line with the themes of COP28?
Sustainability is part of the fabric of our company, and we’re leveraging our leadership in providing safe, reliable and efficient solutions to our customers to accelerate the global energy transition. Our long-term sustainability strategy for 2030 focuses on ambitious climate action, resource optimization and innovative customer solutions.
How will we reach those targets? We plan to invest more than $3 billion in research and development over the next 10 years to create sustainable and energy-efficient solutions for our customers. We aim to achieve a science-based target and carbon-neutral operations by 2030 by implementing energy-efficient solutions in our operations, optimizing renewable energy generation and purchases, greening our energy contracts and purchasing carbon offsets where necessary. We will continue to reduce our operational footprint by accelerating our zero-waste-to-landfill initiative and replicating our successful waste reduction approach to achieve our new water target.
Our ambitious 2030 greenhouse gas targets are consistent with the challenge presented to corporations by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change. The group recently declared a climate emergency and issued an urgent request to companies around the world to limit global warming to 1.5° C. We are committed to doing our part in the global response to the threat of climate change.