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Why Bold Climate Leadership Is the Path to Business Success

By: 3BL Media

Lessons on how to grow your company and save the planet at the same time

SOURCE: Trane Technologies


Back in 2013, climate-systems manufacturer Trane Technologies turned up the heat on itself by setting ambitious sustainability targets – without a specific plan to meet them. 

It was a risky move, made well before sustainability was fashionable in its sector. But it yielded amazing results: Almost a decade later, the heating, cooling and refrigerated transportation company has transformed itself into a global climate innovator, and achieved triple-digit growth in shareholder value.

And now, the Ireland-based company is sharing the hard-won lessons from its success, and encouraging other manufacturers as well as its thousands of customers across the globe, to take the leap into climate leadership.

‘No time to waste’

Trane Technologies leaders recognized early on that the climate change crisis demanded immediate actions, even though that meant meeting ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets on the fly.

“With heating and cooling responsible for 15% of global emissions and more from food loss, rapid growth of urban populations, and rising temperatures across our planet, we knew there was no time to waste,” said Scott Tew, vice president of the company’s Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability (CEES).  “We had this tremendous responsibility and opportunity to change the game.”

Tew said there was certainly some doubt that the company could meet these 2020 targets — which included avoiding 21 million metric tons of customers’ carbon emissions and slashing its own operational emissions by 45%. But employees rose to the challenge and delivered on the goals two years early. 

Innovation, value soars

Along the way, Trane Technologies became the first company to introduce solutions for low global-warming refrigerants. It also launched dozens of innovations through its Trane and Thermo King businesses, including electric heat pumps that can replace boilers, thermal storage that cools buildings with ice, smarter buildings via connected controls and electrification solutions for energy-efficient refrigerated transportation.  

The innovations and efficiencies spawned by these goals yielded spectacular benefits: Trane Technologies delivered total shareholder returns of more than 700%, from 2010-2021, nearly twice the returns of the S&P 500. During this time, the company became recognized on Wall Street as a leading Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investment, and discovered that its climate-centered purpose and strategy is a huge motivator for employees.  

“Our sustainability-focused strategy and singular shared purpose – to boldly challenge what’s possible for a sustainable world – has become the foundation for our growth,” said Trane Technologies CEO Dave Regnery. “We’re raising the bar for the entire industry with consistent top-tier financial performance, a customer-centric focus, our unique business operating system, and our unmatched culture.”

Hot off these successes, Trane Technologies has set even bolder sustainability commitments for 2030, including an industry-first Gigaton Challenge to reduce customer GHGs by a billion metric tons.

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Tweet me: .@trane_tech shares lessons on how to grow your company and save the planet at the same time. Bold #climate leadership is the path to business success. #sustainability, #gigatonchallenge

KEYWORDS: NYSE:TT, Trane Technologies

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