Johnson Controls' OpenBlue Innovation Center in Cork, Ireland.
Johnson Controls’ OpenBlue Innovation Center in Cork, Ireland.

Johnson Controls Cuts Scope 3, Mostly Product-Related Emissions by 14% Since 2017

This equates to saving more than 18 million metric tons of CO2e.

Ireland-based Johnson Controls International (JCI) announced in its 2023 Sustainability Report that the company reduced its scope 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 14% – saving more than 18 million metric tons of CO2e from the use of its products – since 2017.

Scope 3 accounts for indirect emissions in a company’s value chain. The use of sold products represents more than 90% its scope 3 emissions, the company reported.

JCI’s portfolio of natural refrigerant products includes ammonia (R717)-based compressors, chillers and heat pumps for commercial and industrial use from various sub-brands, including FrickHybrid Energy and Sabroe.

Reaching a 14% reduction puts JCI ahead of schedule to meet its scope 3 Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) 2030 target of a 16% reduction, JCI said. 

The company added that it has realized a 6% increase in “sustainable revenue” in the past two years from sustainable products. These products include those using low-GWP refrigerants and exceeding minimum energy-efficiency regulations; sustainable revenue also derives from offering electrified heating and providing energy recovery, building control and automation with digital solutions.

“Driving climate progress is a significant factor in the company’s growth and vitality,” said JCI in a statement, adding that in the 2022 fiscal year, it invested 90% of its research and design (R&D) into new sustainability-related technologies.

Net-zero by 2050

JCI has pledged to drive its direct production (scope 1) and indirect energy consumption (scope 2) to net zero by 2040, which is 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement.

“To help lead the way to a net zero future, we have committed to ambitious sustainability goals,” said Katie McGinty, Vice President and Chief Sustainability and External Relations Officer at JCI. 

With a 2030 SBTi reduction target of 55% for its scope 1 and 2 emissions, the company already reports a 42% reduction in these areas, saving more than 455,000 metric tons of CO2e emissions since 2017 and putting the company ahead of schedule.

George Oliver, CEO of JCI, points out that society has seven years to cut global emissions in half to reach net zero by 2050 to limit global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F), according to the Paris Agreement. The November 2022 UN report, “Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction,” indicates that buildings account for almost 40% of global energy emissions.

With buildings accounting for a “colossal” share of emissions, focusing on them brings “wins” for climate control, said Oliver. Three components that could “change our lives forever” in the next seven years include upgrading to energy-efficient equipment, installing electric heat pumps and systemic digitalization, he noted.

“The good news is, we have the technology, financing, partnerships, and people to turn buildings from one of the greatest challenges into one of the biggest and quickest solutions toward net zero,” said Oliver.

“We can accelerate climate progress and advance business objectives at the same time,” said McGinty. The numbers show that JCI’s “smart building technologies and as-a-service financing and partnership models” impact energy use, emissions and cost for the company and its customers, she added.

To help companies deal with upfront capital costs to meet CO2e emission goals, JCI offers “Net Zero as a service” financing, which “redefines risk by guaranteeing energy savings and paying project costs out of the savings,” said JCI. Since 2000, the company reports supporting partners and customers to “avoid over 37 million metric tons of emissions and save over US$7.8 billion [€7.2 billion] in energy and operational costs over project terms.”

JCI has been recognized on several platforms for its attention to environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, including a platinum rating from ESG evaluator EcoVadis and an A- from the London-based Climate Disclosure Project (CDP).

The 140-year-old company operates in over 150 countries.

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