2022 Sustainability Check-In: Where Rheem Stands
May 14, 2022
Back in 2019, Rheem set off to make HVAC—and the world—a greener, more sustainable place. We call it our “A Greater Degree of Good” initiative, which centers on three main goals we aim to achieve by 2025:
- Launch a line of equipment that has a 50% reduction in its greenhouse gas footprint.
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% and achieve zero waste to landfill in our global manufacturing operations.
- Train 250,000 contractors and other key people on sustainable products, sustainable installation and recycling best practices.
Now, halfway through 2022, we’re happy to say that we’re delivering on our promise to become more sustainable thanks to the intelligent products, responsible processes and inspired people that are behind everything we do. In fact, it’s for these reasons and more that Rheem was named as a 2022 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year—something we are truly humbled by.
Here’s a glimpse of the products, processes and people helping us reach our 2025 goals and leading the charge to a green-powered future.
Rheem works to ensure that all new products not only keep sustainability top of mind but also make eco-friendly features a core part of every innovation and design. We conduct sustainability strategy sessions where stakeholders provide input on how to best, and most efficiently, prioritize sustainability at the beginning of product development process.
These strategy sessions are an important part of how Rheem learns and grows. In fact, our 2021 sustainability strategy sessions helped us identify three impactful ideas to weave into our sustainability goals:
- Increasing production efficiency by transitioning to field installed kits as an alternative to factory installed kits
- Reducing product packaging weight and volume through redesign
- Using recycled refrigerant as an alternative to virgin refrigerants.
Overall, with every new product you see from Rheem, you can count on that we’ve done the research to make it as energy efficient and sustainable as possible.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and achieving zero waste to landfill might sound like lofty goals, but we are proud to say that we have made significant progress toward making them a reality. Through key operational improvements, Rheem is increasing energy efficiency across our global manufacturing processes. In 2021, these changes resulted in about 1.8 million kWh energy savings in the U.S. alone.
We’re also working to extend the life span of materials along the supply chain. As part of our larger effort to expand our sustainability initiative to our supplier engagement program, we launched a pilot system-level Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) project at our air conditioning plant in Fort Smith, Arkansas, earlier this year. Once completed, the insights we garner from the cradle-to-grave study will be foundational to informing our supplier sustainability strategy.
None of Rheem’s sustainability goals can be reached without the contractors installing product and working with customers day in and day out. That’s why we’ve made training and educating you a priority: so that you’re prepared for what comes next in a greener HVAC industry.
“Our people-powered sustainability program has made tremendous progress decarbonizing our products, training installers and influencers and minimizing the environmental impact of our manufacturing,” Mike Branson, President, Global Air.
To do this, we’ve expanded our training efforts both in-person and online. Rheem’s Innovative Learning Centers (ILCs) offer hands-on training and demonstration to ensure that contractors are equipped with first-hand knowledge of new products and industry-leading sustainability practices. Online, we partner with Interplay Learning, the leading provider of online training for the skilled trades, to provide access to more than 60 technical training and virtual reality courses. Throughout the year, Rheem also hosts events like the Pro Partner Conference, where contractors from around the country can come together to not only learn the latest green standards and best practices from Rheem and other top industry players but also each other. Through these efforts and more, Rheem has trained more than 140,000 stakeholders within the HVAC industry since the launch of “A Greater Degree of Good” in 2019.
Although our work is not done, we feel confident that we will continue to make progress and achieve our goals by 2025.
Sustainability is the future of HVAC, and Rheem is dedicated to doing everything we can to make the world a more comfortable, efficient place.