Policy and Legal

SEC Finalizes Cybersecurity Disclosures Rule

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After an aggressive campaign by the NAM, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has scaled back a damaging cybersecurity proposal that would have been deeply problematic for manufacturers. Yet, the final regulations still impose compliance burdens on publicly traded companies. Here’s what manufacturers can expect now that the rule is finalized.

The background: Last year, the SEC proposed a new set of cybersecurity disclosure requirements for public companies. The centerpiece of the rule was a mandate to disclose cybersecurity incidents to the public within four days. The proposal also would have required detailed reporting on companies’ policies and procedures for responding to cybersecurity threats.

The problem: Requiring detailed public disclosures about cybersecurity incidents and processes could provide a roadmap to potential hackers, and sharing information about ongoing incidents could compromise efforts to stop an attack.

The NAM response: The NAM urged the SEC to make commonsense adjustments to protect manufacturers from attacks and give companies the flexibility to respond to cybersecurity incidents appropriately.

The result: The final rule is more tailored than the initial proposal, reducing the risk that companies will be forced to expose sensitive information. But its requirements still impose new compliance burdens on manufacturers.

Incident reports: The rule still requires companies to report cybersecurity incidents publicly within four days, but companies will be able to request that the attorney general grant a 30-day extension to protect public safety or national security—a top priority for the NAM. The extension could be lengthened by an additional 30 days (for public safety) or 90 days (for national security) if warranted.

  • Thanks to the NAM’s intervention, the SEC will require the disclosure of only limited information about an attack’s circumstances and impact, whereas the original proposal would have forced companies to disclose extensive details, including potentially sensitive data.
  • In addition, a provision requiring companies to track, aggregate and disclose the impact of minor cybersecurity incidents—which the NAM opposed—was struck from the final rule. 

Risk management and governance: Companies will be required to disclose information on cybersecurity oversight by their board and management, as well as how cybersecurity is incorporated into their overall risk management strategy.

  • These disclosures must include “sufficient detail for a reasonable investor to understand” a company’s cybersecurity risk management—but will no longer include information on a company’s specific prevention and detection activities.
  • A provision effectively requiring companies to have a cyber expert on their board, which the NAM strongly opposed, was not included in the final rule.

Our take: “The NAM is committed to a smart, flexible disclosure approach that ensures manufacturers—and their customers and shareholders—can stay protected from cybersecurity threats,” said NAM Senior Director of Tax and Domestic Economic Policy Charles Crain.

  • “Manufacturers were glad to see that the SEC made some adjustments to its rule, but more must be done. The SEC and the Department of Justice must grant companies the flexibility to delay incident reporting to prevent threats to public safety and national security.”

Get protected: Every manufacturer should have the tools they need to protect themselves against cyberattacks. Check out NAM Cyber Cover—an exclusive cybersecurity and risk mitigation program for NAM member companies and organizations.

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STEP Ahead Awards Honor Women in Manufacturing

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The Manufacturing Institute’s 10th annual STEP Ahead Awards took place in Washington, D.C., last week, honoring some of the most impressive and inspiring women in the manufacturing industry today. The Awards are part of the STEP Ahead program, which is designed to help advance women’s achievements in the fields of science, technology, engineering and production.

  • The event highlighted the 2022 STEP Ahead Honorees (100 women who are leaders in manufacturing) and the 2022 STEP Ahead Emerging Leaders (30 women under 30 years old who have already had a significant impact on the industry).

The awards ceremony took place on Thursday night, with hundreds of guests in attendance at the National Building Museum and hundreds more viewing the ceremony online. The program featured:

  • 2022 STEP Chair and former 3M Senior Vice President Denise Rutherford;
  • 2022 STEP Vice Chair and Cornerstone Building Brands President and CEO Rose Lee;
  • MI President Carolyn Lee;
  • MI Vice President of Strategic Engagement and Inclusion AJ Jorgenson; and
  • NAM President and CEO and MI Board Chair Jay Timmons.

Sponsors included an all-star roster of manufacturers, including Arconic Foundation, BASF Corporation, Cornerstone Building Brands, PTC, Trane Technologies, ABB, Molson Coors, Novelis, Rockwell Automation, SABIC, Sherwin-Williams and Toyota.

What they said: Carolyn Lee lauded the Honorees and spoke about the importance of closing the skills gap by bringing more women into the manufacturing industry.

  • “My hope is that 10 years down the line, when we meet here for the 20th anniversary of these awards, the young women we will honor won’t have even heard of the glass ceiling, because it’ll be ancient history,” said Lee.
  • “And that will be thanks to the support system, the mentorship and the sterling examples set by the women in this room and the support from our allies.”

Rutherford spoke about leaders’ opportunities to work together to make important progress.

  • “Throughout my career, I’ve learned that being a great leader, as an individual or as a company, means that we don’t go it alone,” said Rutherford. “True change only happens when we work together as trusted allies, advocates and sponsors.”

Rose Lee laid out the qualities that all the Honorees showed and highlighted their shared successes.

  • “The STEP Ahead Awards recognize women in science, technology, engineering and production who exemplify leadership within their companies and within their communities,” said Lee. “Tonight is their night to celebrate their accomplishments.”

Timmons praised the STEP Honorees and called on allies to continue supporting women in the manufacturing industry.

  • “Your achievements, your success and your dedication are showing women what’s possible in manufacturing,” he said. “If you can see it, you know you can be it.”

35×30: Carolyn Lee and Jorgenson spoke about the 35×30 initiative—a program designed to close the skills and talent gap in manufacturing by adding half a million women workers to the industry, increasing women’s representation in manufacturing from 29% today to 35% by 2030.

  • The campaign will train more than 1,000 women mentors, build new tools and resources and work with manufacturing leaders to deploy proven strategies to attract and retain female talent.
  • It will also support young women throughout their education by offering best-in-class leadership development programming and creating a STEP alumnae-funded scholarship.
  • “Tonight, we are done with waiting for other leaders to ‘change things,’ to make society better, more equitable,” said Jorgenson. “We are the leaders. So, tonight, we ask you to join us, to lead.”

New commitments: To help this new initiative along its way, Arconic Foundation President Ryan Kish and Ketchie CEO Courtney Silver stood up during the ceremony to pledge new financial commitments to the program.

The last word: The gala featured a stellar musical performance by award-winning singer–songwriter Rachel Platten, which left not a dry eye in the house. Inspired by the women of STEP, she surprised the audience by singing a new song she’d written for her daughters. It captures what the women leaders of today want to tell the girls who will someday be their heirs:

Girls, you were born to run. To reach the stars and chase the sun.

Girls, you’re wild and free. The wind is at your back, the world is at your feet.

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Policy and Legal

Michigan Homebuilders Push Back on Air Quality Proposal

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“Policy can’t be developed in a vacuum,” says Dawn Crandall, executive vice president of government relations for the Home Builders Association of Michigan. “People need to look at how one policy impacts that next thing. Everything is tied together.”

That’s Crandall’s message for the Environmental Protection Agency, as it considers a proposed air quality rule to restrict particles called PM2.5. While the regulations might not appear to impact the housing industry directly, they could prevent manufacturers from expanding facilities and creating jobs in Michigan—which does affect the housing market.

The concern: If manufacturers are unable to grow in the state or open new facilities, fewer people will need housing. That’s bad news for homebuilders.

  • “If you put in these EPA regulations that are going to create a barrier for companies looking to move here, and then they decide they don’t want to, that’s going to impact Michigan’s ability to be an economic destination,” said Crandall.
  • “And if you make it harder for businesses to employ employees, then they don’t need housing. That has a big impact on us.”

A shaky foundation: Michigan’s housing industry is still recovering from the significant downturn it experienced about 15 years ago.

  • That slump was dramatic: according to Crandall, the number of permits filed in Michigan for single-family homes fell sharply from 54,721 in 2005 to around 15,000 two years later, bottoming out to about 6,900 in 2009.
  • Although the industry has seen some recovery since then, new construction remains relatively low, and Crandall worries that shocks caused by the EPA’s proposed regulations could do further harm.
  • “I think we’ve hit rock bottom, and we’re slowly coming out of it,” said Crandall. “But we’re only projecting 16,000 single-family permit builds this year—and anything that’s going to impact residential construction is not good for the state of Michigan.”

Another challenge: Ultimately, Crandall is concerned that the EPA’s proposed rule will simply add to a long list of challenges for homebuilders.

  • “We’re already facing enough hurdles,” said Crandall. “There’s a lack of skilled workers who can do residential construction. Material costs peaked during COVID. We get a lot of our lumber from Canada, so these Canadian wildfires could have an impact. So if PM2.5 is going to affect economic development in our state, that’s going to have an impact on us, too.”

The big idea: “We’re all connected in some form or fashion,” said Crandall. “Michigan needs to grow our population, and we can’t do that if companies don’t bring people into our state who want to live, work and play here. We’re one big ecosystem.”

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Policy and Legal

House Financial Services Approves NAM-Supported ESG Package

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The House Financial Services Committee has spent the last month holding hearings about environmental, social and governance policies that impact American businesses—and the NAM has been fighting for manufacturers every step of the way. This week, the committee held a markup to pass a package of legislation on the topic, and the NAM’s priorities were front and center.

The issue: Manufacturers in the U.S. are at the forefront of climate stewardship and innovation even as they power the U.S. economy, yet politically motivated activists and proxy advisory firms are making it difficult for manufacturers to succeed.

  • Recent actions from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission have empowered these groups. From unworkable ESG disclosure mandates to new standards encouraging shareholder activism to a lack of oversight of proxy firms, manufacturers are getting squeezed.

NAM in action: The NAM has advocated aggressively on behalf of manufacturers, pressing Congress to curb the impact of activists, proxy firms and the SEC on public company governance.

  • NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons urged Congress to make changes that would protect manufacturers and Main Street investors, while NAM Managing Vice President of Policy Chris Netram testified before the Financial Services Committee about the need for action.
  • “Congress must step in to depoliticize the business decisions that impact the lives and life savings of millions of Americans,” said Timmons. “Manufacturers are determined to create jobs, lead the economy and improve the quality of life for all Americans. We are counting on [Congress’] leadership to counter the SEC’s regulatory overreach and help us achieve these goals.”

The result: The House committee has embraced the NAM’s proposed reforms, a huge victory for manufacturers across the United States. The legislation approved by the committee this week would:

  • Prevent activists from hijacking the proxy ballot in pursuit of agendas unrelated to long-term business growth and shareholder value creation;
  • Rein in proxy advisory firms and limit their outsized influence on corporate governance;
  • Reinforce asset managers’ fiduciary duty to Main Street investors and retirees; and
  • Ease ESG disclosure mandates by requiring that public companies only report information that is material to their shareholders.

The last word: “Manufacturers strongly support the Financial Services Committee’s efforts to rein in the SEC’s regulatory overreach, keep activists out of the boardroom and protect Americans’ investments in manufacturing growth,” Netram said prior to the committee’s markup. “[W]e look forward to working with [Congress] to ensure that manufacturers can continue to drive economic expansion in the U.S. and support American competitiveness on the world stage.”

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Policy and Legal

Manufacturers Should Be Cautiously Optimistic About the Economy

With a recession so far failing to materialize and inflation showing signs of weakening, manufacturers may begin to grow less wary about the economy. Recent data suggests that despite continuing risks, the bright spots may win the day.

Growth: GDP grew at a 2.4% annual rate in the second quarter of 2023. This number is notably higher than the 2.0% growth that analysts had expected for the quarter.

Employment: The overall employment rate sits at a very low 3.6%, defying expectations that the Fed’s inflation-reduction moves might create a surge in unemployment. Meanwhile, women in particular are enjoying an employment renaissance, including in manufacturing.

  • Manufacturing had about 3,786,000 female employees in June, meaning that women made up 29.1% of the industry’s workforce, according to NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray.
  • That number is just slightly lower than the 3,788,000 found in May, which was the highest number of female workers in manufacturing since September 2009.

Wages: At the same time that overall economic strength is growing, the United States is also seeing positive signs in wage inequality, with average income for the lowest-earning 50% of Americans increasing  faster than all other population groups except for the ultra-wealthy.

Inflation: Inflation has been a significant pain point for manufacturers, but it now seems to be moderating. According to the latest Consumer Price Index data, inflation rose 3% in June from a year earlier—a big drop from the whopping 9.1% annual inflation rate in June 2022.

The last word: “Real GDP data suggests that while demand and output in the manufacturing sector remain challenged, there are other pockets of strength in the larger macroeconomy,” said Moutray.

  • “The Federal Reserve is working to navigate a ‘soft landing’—something that is possible, even as recession risks continue to permeate the conversation.”
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Policy and Legal

Illinois Chemical Industry Warns Against New EPA Standard

The chemical industry has a wide reach. According to Mark Biel, CEO of the Chemical Industry Council of Illinois, 96% of products made in the United States are either manufactured by the chemical industry itself or using materials it produces.

  • “We make everything from cell phones to packaging,” said Biel. “People don’t realize the integral role that chemistry plays in their lives.”

And for Illinois in particular, the chemical industry isn’t just making products—it’s making careers.

  • “Our state has 46,000 people in the chemical industry, and the average wage is a little over $114,000,” said Biel. “We are the second largest manufacturing sector in Illinois, which is the fourth largest chemical processing state. Folks don’t realize how large and important the chemical industry is to Illinois.”

But as the Environmental Protection Agency considers imposing a new, stricter air quality standard for particles called PM2.5, chemical manufacturers in Illinois are sounding the alarm. According to Biel, the new regulations misunderstand the situation—and threaten to cause irreparable harm for manufacturers across the state.

The background: Manufacturers have long been committed to reducing particulates in the air, including PM2.5, and have made huge strides over the past half-century. But to further reduce PM2.5 will be a tall order.

  • “We should be focused on enforcing the regulations we already have in the books,” said Biel. “The U.S. already has strong regulations in place—ones that many areas are still working to meet. Let us be smart about new regulations, which means we should not change air permitting before meeting current standards.”

The local angle: For the chemical industry in Illinois, the changes could be particularly damaging.

  • With access to waterways, relatively inexpensive electricity and extensive natural gas pipeline infrastructure, the St. Louis and Chicagoland areas of Illinois are hubs for the national chemical industry.
  • However, if the EPA’s standards become stricter, it could deter investments to these metro areas significantly.
  • “It’s difficult enough to permit a new facility in the Chicagoland area, and when you throw on additional burdens, it makes it harder and harder to justify making the investment in these facilities,” said Biel.

The global stage: Especially at a time when many manufacturers are looking for ways to bring investments and supply chains back to the United States, this kind of onerous regulation could create a stumbling block.

  • “Our lawmakers want manufacturing to come back to the U.S., but this regulation does the exact opposite,” said Biel. “With all the new investment, it’s important that more and more manufacturers locate in the U.S. to avoid supply chain complications and delays. This regulation hinders that development.”

The last word: “I’m bullish on the long-term prospects for our industry, but sometimes the EPA loses sight of the reality that their regulations are already sufficient,” said Biel. “The current PM2.5 standard has worked. But this proposal goes far beyond that and will hinder a crucial opportunity for the industry to grow in the U.S.”

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Policy and Legal

Treasury to Revisit Foreign Tax Credit Changes

The U.S. Treasury is considering possible modifications to heavily criticized changes it made to foreign tax credit rules last year, POLITICO Pro (subscription) reports. While it does so, businesses can rely temporarily on the old rules.

The background: The U.S. tax code has long provided a foreign tax credit, which is intended to prevent double taxation for U.S. businesses that have foreign income subject to both U.S. and foreign income tax.

  • The new rules were “finalized last year in response to the rise of digital service taxes in other countries. Businesses say the rules have gone too far.”

What’s going on: When the changes were made final, “the Treasury Department and the IRS received questions regarding the application of the … final regulations and requests to modify those regulations,” reads a notice from the IRS.

  • While Treasury revisits the changes, businesses can use the old regulations for taxable years beginning on or after Dec. 28, 2021, and ending on or before Dec. 31, 2023.
  • “[A]dditional temporary relief” may also be provided, according to the notice.

Why it’s important: In 2021, when the agency was considering the changes to the foreign tax credit regime, the NAM weighed in, warning that “proposals to limit the foreign tax credit should take into consideration the potential impact on the ability of manufacturers to effectively compete in a global market.”

  • When Treasury ultimately released the final regulations, the NAM and a coalition of business groups called on it to withdraw and repropose the regulations, saying the rules would limit significantly the ability of manufacturers to claim the foreign tax credit.

Our take: “The NAM welcomes the decision by Treasury and the IRS to revisit the harmful changes made to the foreign tax credit rules, which tilted the playing field against globally engaged manufacturers,” said NAM Senior Director of Tax Policy David Eiselsberg.

  • “Throughout the process, the NAM made it clear that any changes should not hurt the ability of manufacturers to effectively compete in today’s global economy.”
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Business Operations

Workforce Retention Begins with Culture at Ketchie

For Ketchie President and Owner Courtney Silver, retention all starts with culture. “I’m really happy to be here” is a phrase she hears often on her shop floor—and it tells her that the work culture at her company is in good shape.

  • “A culture of empowerment that’s built on trust really fuels our team I think,” said Silver, who is the chair of the NAM’s Small and Medium Manufacturers Group. “They find so much dignity and purpose in fulfilling our mission here at Ketchie.”

Maintaining a high-performing, motivated and engaged workforce is a top priority for the third-generation precision machine shop in Concord, North Carolina, and Silver has implemented a number of strategies to keep it that way.

Team recognition: Every Wednesday, during Ketchie’s shift meeting, employees have the opportunity to recognize their team members for any achievement, big or small.

  • “Recognition can be about anything,” says Silver. “It can be ‘Fred over there was able to cut five minutes of cycle time off this particular part because he changed the process’ or ‘Mary saved us money by switching out some tooling.’ We then post the feedback in the break room and email it out to the entire organization.”
  • “There are so many things that can go wrong in manufacturing just trying to get a part out the door, and this is an opportunity to think about all the amazing things we’re doing,” she explained.

Silver also posts worker productivity charts every week. If workers meet their productivity goals and their indirect time goals, they get performance points, which are redeemable for gift cards.

  • “I think people want to know if they’re on a winning team,” Silver said. “If you’re winning, it feels good. We’re all on the bus going in the same direction.”

Motivator Award: Each year, employees can also nominate a peer for the “Motivator Award,” which goes to the employee who best exemplifies Ketchie’s core values: to do the right thing, be agile and embrace continuous improvement.

  • To honor the winner, Silver puts together a tribute video of team members sharing their thoughts about the employee and hosts a company brunch in celebration (to which the employee’s family is invited).
  • “The winner also receives their own special parking spot, an extra day of vacation and a $1,000 gift certificate to the Marriott to take vacation with their family,” says Silver.
  • “The team member that won the award last year had tears in his eyes, so I know that it’s been really impactful,” she continued.

Community service: Ketchie’s employees are passionate about giving back to the community. Through service projects, Ketchie supports the Boys & Girls Clubs of America as well as Cooperative Christian Ministry, which offers programs that relieve hunger and food insecurity and address homelessness and housing costs.

Opportunity Knocks: Silver isn’t only working to retain and support current employees, but also to train and mold the young people who will be tomorrow’s machinists.

  • This year, Silver started an internship program for high school students named Opportunity Knocks. It allows students to shadow experienced machinists in factory environments while earning school credit.
  • The interns go through a curriculum created by Edgerton Gear, Inc., called Craftsman with Character, a 16-week course that helps students explore the role of character in a professional trades environment. Silver said the course, which includes leadership and manufacturing-focused exercises, is taught at Ketchie four days a week in two-hour sessions. Three days of the week are job shadowing machinists on the shop floor, and one day is in a classroom setting at the shop discussing character traits and soft skills. The conversations lean on discovering what’s important in life and what might make them happy.
  • “They absolutely love these high schoolers,” said Silver about the two mentors at Ketchie, who each have more than 30 years’ experience. “It gives them an opportunity to share their entire work career: what they’re doing, experiences learned along the way. It’s been neat to see.”

Investing in technology: Silver knows her team wants to work for a company that’s growing and investing in technology. She recently purchased a machine-tending collaborative robot, which takes over machinists’ “least favorite” part of the job—changing parts while the machines run.

  • “I interviewed somebody recently who said to me in the interview, ‘It’s really good to see that you want to grow and that you’re making these big investments,’” said Silver. “You’re buying new technology that excites them. They want to be part of that mission and growth.”

The last word: Silver shared some advice for companies that might be struggling with workforce retention.

  • “Use employee surveys, focus groups or roundtable discussions to see what you need to do or should do. Everyone wants to be heard. It’s important to listen.”

The NAM’s workforce development and education affiliate, the Manufacturing Institute, has many initiatives to help employers retain and develop their teams. For a deeper dive, check out this study by the MI on improving retention and employee engagement. The MI will also explore retention challenges and solutions at its Workforce Summit in Atlanta on Oct. 16–18. Click here for more information.

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Regulatory and Legal Reform

Ohio Grapples with EPA Air Quality Rules

For Michael Canty, president and CEO of Alloy Precision Technologies, Inc., of Mentor, Ohio, the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed air quality regulations are likely to backfire. They would put a significant burden on the natural gas industry, which has played a large part in America’s efforts to reduce pollution to date.

  • “Natural gas is a fossil fuel, but it’s one of the cleanest fossil fuels,” said Canty. “It’s one of the reasons why this country has met clean air standards over the years.”

This is just one of the reasons why Canty, whose company produces industrial bellows, is concerned that policymakers haven’t fully considered the rules’ consequences.

Unintended consequences: Part of the problem with the EPA’s proposed regulations, according to Canty, is that they are likely to promote production in less regulated countries around the world and contribute to more emissions overall.

  • “With some of these costly regulations, we’re driving our energy prices to a much higher level and driving production of business to places like China that are creating more emission,” said Canty. “So we’re creating worse air quality control around the world while losing jobs and stifling growth in our country.”

A push for innovation: Canty wants policies that spur innovation and tech development to achieve cleaner air, rather than imposing restrictive regulations.

  • “The focus should be on encouraging new technology to drive efficiencies and reduce air pollutants,” said Canty. “If the cost of doing business goes up, you have less cash to put in that innovation. As the cost of energy goes up, the amount of energy innovation goes down—especially when you talk about small businesses.”

A plea for consistency: Businesses like Alloy Precision Technologies are also frustrated by the unstable regulatory environment, which seems to shift every few years.

  • “When these policies change it makes it impossible for companies to make decisions about investing in equipment and smart manufacturing,” said Canty. “It disrupts the business marketplace, and it greatly affects our ability to produce and compete around the world.”

The last word: “Do I believe we ought to continue investing in newer technologies that will improve our air quality? Absolutely,” said Canty. “These regulations are well meant, but the end result will be disastrous for businesses and the United States.”

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Business Operations

Committing to Net-Zero Emissions: Thermo Fisher Takes Action

Thermo Fisher Scientific of Waltham, Massachusetts, has made a big commitment to the environment, as well as to its customers and partners: to achieve net-zero emissions across its entire value chain by 2050.

By 2026, thanks to virtual power purchase agreements, all of the company’s current U.S. sites will be running on 100% renewable electricity.

And that’s not all. Last December, Thermo Fisher, a global life sciences leader, announced its intention to slash Scope 1 and 2 emissions—those generated directly by the company and by energy the company has purchased, respectively—by more than 50% by 2030 (from a 2018 baseline). At the end of 2022, the company had already cut emissions by 25%, putting it ahead of schedule.

Environmental sustainability: Thermo Fisher signed on to the Business Ambition for 1.5˚C campaign, which urges companies to reduce emissions sufficiently to cap the global temperature increase at 1.5 degrees Celsius. The campaign is led by the Science Based Targets initiative—the leading global standard setter for private companies’ climate goals—in partnership with the United Nations Global Compact and the We Mean Business Coalition.

  • To reach that goal, global emissions must be halved before 2030, and the world must get to net-zero emissions before 2050, according to the SBTi.
  • It’s a significant effort, but one Thermo Fisher—which is among the first companies in its industry to have its near- and long-term net-zero goals validated by the SBTi—is glad to take on.
  • “Our commitment to the environment is deeply rooted in our mission to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer,” said Meron Mathias, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability for Thermo Fisher Scientific. “By championing a healthy planet that sustains human health and natural resources, we can build a brighter future for generations to come.”

Making progress: While transitioning completely away from fossil fuels for its operations would require “clean energy technologies that aren’t yet available,” Mathias said the company has made significant recent strides in decreasing its carbon footprint. In 2022 alone, Thermo Fisher:

  • Transitioned 20 of its facilities across the globe to operate without the use of fossil fuels (defined as at least 99% of total energy consumed from renewable sources).
  • Powered 150 of its sites worldwide solely with renewables.
  • Saw 13% of its suppliers (by spend, an industry metric) set a science-based target and another 10% commit to set a science-based target.

Key drivers of this progress include:

  • Signing contracts to add 900,000 megawatt hours of renewable electricity to the electrical grid through power purchasing agreements (roughly the amount of electricity needed to power 82,000 average modern homes for a year).
  • Purchasing enough wind and solar electricity to fuel all current U.S. sites by 2026, via virtual power purchasing agreements.
  • Setting a Scope 3 emissions target to have 90% of its suppliers by spend set science-based targets by 2027.

All hands on deck: Thermo Fisher is also accelerating progress toward its sustainability goals in large part thanks to the company’s Practical Process Improvement Business System, according to Mathias.

  • “A lot of our early wins in environmental sustainability have been through PPI,” she said. “For example, somebody seeing waste in the system, or identifying an opportunity to tweak something to make it better for the environment and customers. Our teams are empowered to find a better way every day—for our customers, our business and our planet.”
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