Celebrating Our Sustainability Training Milestone
by Chee Wee Gan, Senior Vice President, Strategy & Sustainability | January 2023
At Rheem, our commitment to sustainability doesn’t stop at the door. We’re not only focused on fostering a company culture of environmental responsibility, reducing our plant greenhouse gas emissions or sending less of our manufacturing waste to landfills. Though we do all those things, our ambition to deliver A Greater Degree of Good™ extends far beyond our four walls. We’re activating our employees to bring our spirit of environmental stewardship out into the communities in which we operate through volunteerism. We’re working tirelessly to develop products that have a lower impact on the environment long after they leave our hands. And we’re training our customers and partners to take an active part in sustainability, because it’s only together that we can make a world of difference.
We recently celebrated an important milestone: Achieving our 2025 goal to train 250,000 plumbers, contractors and key influencers around the world on sustainable products and sustainable installation and recycling best practices. In fact, our global team has collectively trained 271,649 people (and counting!) on sustainability since we announced our goal in 2019. This is the first of our 2025 sustainability goals to be achieved, and it creates exciting momentum for more wins.
Moving the Needle with Sustainability Training
For many years, our global Air and Water businesses have delivered robust training programs to tens of thousands of plumbers, contractors, channel partners and industry influencers, including specifying engineers, retail sales reps, trade school students and many more. Trainees learn about industry trends, HVAC and water heating technologies and how to sell, install and service our products. Beginning in January 2019, Rheem’s businesses have worked diligently to elevate our most eco-friendly products and sustainable product features during these training sessions. In addition to highlighting products that earn our Sustainability Standout® seal or boast notable Earth-friendly features, trainers teach trade audiences about easy practices they can adopt at work—such as going paperless, recycling products and packaging, and properly managing refrigerant—to reduce their environmental footprint.
Through their product recommendations and practices on a day-to-day basis, our trainees have more power than most to make a significant impact for our planet. Sustainability training sets them up for success. Environmental imperatives like decarbonization are rapidly transforming our industry, and new product technologies often come with a learning curve. Sustainability training helps HVAC and water heating technicians and influencers feel confident recommending, selling, installing and servicing sustainable products like heat pumps, all while employing greener business practices overall.
Pride in Our Accomplishment
We are so proud of our businesses for achieving our 250,000-trained milestone years early, and we appreciate the efforts of our team in making Rheem the clear industry leader in sustainability training. Leaders of Rheem’s global Air and Water businesses shared their thoughts on this achievement:
“By outpacing our 2025 training goal, it’s evident our sustainability efforts are a real difference maker for our distributors and contractors,” said Mike Branson, President, Global Air. “We continue to hear encouraging feedback showing a healthy appetite for sustainable product solutions and are thrilled to exceed our aggressive training goals ahead of our projected timeframe.”
“Hats off to our training team across the globe for reaching this goal years ahead of schedule,” said Rich Bendure, President, Global Water. “And special thanks to our plumbers, contractors and influencers for investing their time into becoming Rheem sustainability ambassadors. Delivering the training is important, but the real benefit is when that training becomes reality in what is provided and installed to the end users.”
We’ll Keep Going—and Growing
Though we’ve reached our quarter-of-a-million goal, we have no plans to stop. We’re proudly dedicated to leveraging our global influence for the greater good. In the years ahead, we’ll continue training on sustainability, growing our numbers and contributing to a world-changing evolution—and revolution—in our industry.