Ingersoll Rand Shows How Making One Small Change Like Using Canvas Shopping Bags or Adjusting Thermostats Can Have Big Impact on Environment

Apr 22, 2019 7:00 AM ET

This Earth Day, Ingersoll Rand and its 49,000 employees are making changes towards a healthier and more sustainable world and encouraging others to do the same. At sites across the globe, Green Teams are leading earth-friendly efforts like reducing office supplies, eliminating single-use plastics (straws and utensils), reducing or eliminating junk mail, removing trash bins at desks to encourage less paper, and using rechargeable batteries.  

“Ingersoll Rand has a culture rooted in sustainable practices and reducing the environmental impact of our operations, products and services, and engaging our people and communities,” said Paul Camuti, Ingersoll Rand’s senior vice president of innovation and chief technology officer. “Every day is considered Earth Day here but having this globally celebrated day gives us a great moment to renew our personal commitments and think more deeply about actions we make daily.”

Through a campaign called Small Changes that Make a Big Impact, employees are also making personal commitments to improving their own environmental impact with actions like using their own water bottles to stay hydrated, bringing their own canvas or synthetic reusable shopping bags, using cold water when washing clothes and shutting off lights or electronics when not needed to conserve energy and electricity.

“People will often come to me expressing their desire to make a positive difference on the environment but don’t know where to begin. I like to encourage them that taking small actions and staying committed, truly adds up. And when we rally together, the impact can be huge,” said Paul.

As an example – if all 49,000 Ingersoll Rand employees committed to using canvas or synthetic reusable shopping bags, that could eliminate over 12.7 million plastic bags from going to landfill. That is equivalent to saving 91,000 miles worth of gasoline.

Or if all employees programmed their home thermostats to limit AC or heat when no one is at home, it can lead to a 15% lower energy use for that HVAC system. That would be equivalent to preventing approximately 1,083 tons of coal from burning.

To further demonstrate how small changes can make big impacts, Ingersoll Rand is partnering with SolarBuddy to donate and help assemble 3,000 lights that will be distributed to children in energy poverty regions throughout the year. SolarBuddy provides children who don't have access to electricity with a safe, reliable, effective, innovative solar light to use after dusk. The lights are specifically designed for children to use – easy to operate, carry and charge on their backs as they walk to and from school, which can sometimes be up to 10 kilometers.

“Partnering with SolarBuddy and providing children with access to light will also help them continue studying long after the sun goes down,” said Paul. “This is another example of how a small action like assembling solar lights can have a tremendous impact. One that ultimately helps children feel safer and better reach their full potential by improving their ability to learn and stay on top of their studies.”

The lights will be shipped to Tanzania, Dominican Republic, India and South Africa.

Ingersoll Rand Climate Commitment

In 2014, Ingersoll Rand made a Climate Commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its products and operations by 2020. The Ingersoll Rand Climate Commitment pledged to:

  • Cut the refrigerant GHG footprint of its products by 50 percent by 2020 and incorporate lower GWP alternatives across its portfolio by 2030;
  • Invest $500 million in product-related research and development over the next five years to fund the long-term reduction of GHG emissions; and
  • Reduce company operations-related GHG emissions by 35 percent by 2020, a goal which the company has achieved two years ahead of schedule.

Since then, we have:

  • Avoided 21 million metric tons of our customers’ CO2e, which is the equivalent of decommissioning 3.7 coal-fired power plants.
  • Reduced our own operational emissions by 45 percent, which achieved our Climate Commitment for operations two years early.
  • Reduced energy intensity by 22 percent.

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About Ingersoll Rand

Ingersoll Rand (NYSE:IR) advances the quality of life by creating comfortable, sustainable and efficient environments. Our people and our family of brands—including Club Car®, Ingersoll Rand®, Thermo King® and Trane®—work together to enhance the quality and comfort of air in homes and buildings; transport and protect food and perishables; and increase industrial productivity and efficiency. For more information, visit