Earth Day is Saturday, April 22, 2023. In honor of this day, we are focused on a few manufacturers who are making a difference on our environment and life on Earth with their manufacturing processes or the technology they produce.
During my February trip to the plant in Bhuj, India, my fellow media members and I were welcomed performances by dancers and street performers detailing the history of India. In addition to sharing their technology and sustainability efforts, they shared the Indian culture with us in almost every venue and event.
While producing necessary off-highway tires and tracks for many industries including construction, mining and agriculture, BKT Tires (BKT) strives to protect the environment and focus on the Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) goals.
The ways they exemplify their focus on these goals are:
- Being a zero liquid discharge facility (ZLD). Since 2019, the ZLD principle has been adopted, which means that no liquid waste is released outside the plant. All water used in the plant is treated, purified and reused.
- Clean and sustainable carbon black production, including the use of silos (and pneumatic transport to the plant) of carbon black instead of bags being transported, saving on packaging of about 100,000 bulk bags in the next few years according to the company. We were even able to enjoy afternoon tea under the carbon black plant.
- An expanded cogeneration plant that with solar panels produces all the electricity for the facility; it takes the gas used to manufacture carbon black and reuses 75,000 cubic meters each year, saving 215,000 megatonnes of coal per year.
- The company has a nursery of plants and trees to add to the grounds of the facility.
- The company helps girls in India attend school with its charitable foundation.
- Providing housing, health care and education of their children for 1,000 employees and their families with plans to expand the housing compound.
While focusing on sustainability, BKT plans to continue to grow the facility and production capacity. By the end of 2023, the forecast is to reach a total surface area of 323 hectares, of which 283 have already been acquired. Learn more from this BKT Tires press release.
Sustainability is a focus area for Caterpillar’s company strategy including ESG goals. It was literally front and center at the main Caterpillar Operator Stadium at CONEXPO-CON/AGG (CONEXPO) and its industrial power solutions booth in the South Hall. Surrounding the outdoor stadium were segments representing Caterpillar’s product and technology offerings. Sustainability was one of them. Many of these efforts are around the power sources used by Caterpillar equipment and the connected and Internet of Things (IoT) technology offered on the machines.
Among the conversation around sustainability are:
- Education, especially around idle time and right-sizing engines
- Digital and IoT solutions to monitor the health and productivity of a fleet (including idle time)
- Cat REMAN, rebuilding engines to like-new condition with a service warranty
- Alternative fuels
- Options for a customer’s emission journey
- Increased efficiency of diesel engines
- Modular and scalable electric battery options
- Research around hydrogen fuel cells and hydrogen as a power source
- New, smaller footprint C13D Engine (unveiled during CONEXPO)
- Can operate on diesel or hydrotreated vegetable oil
- Can displace larger engines
- Has a 40 kilowatt power density (higher power to size)
- Provides more power and more torque
- Less noise and vibration
- Lower total cost of ownership
At its press conference during CONEXPO, the Yanmar team presented its Green Challenge 2050 vision for the future with the goal of achieving carbon neutrality and promoting sustainability and resource recycling. This included:
- 4TN107FTT Powerpack
- HIPOWER SYSTEMS’ EHR Battery Power Generator
- ELEO modular, high-density battery
This challenge is driving product development, creating new fuel systems, and fostering collaborations with OEMs to reduce environmental impact and promote resource recycling. It also includes acquisitions and partnerships, including its acquisition of battery manufacturer ELEO.