Product Life Cycle
Avoided since 2019 in our returnable packaging projects
Of solid waste reduced from returnable packaging projects in 2020
Product development projects in 2020
Product Life Cycle
Our products are built for consistency and dependability. In most cases, they are used on a daily basis over a long period of time. Many products operate for 15 to 20 years, or even longer. This means we must anticipate possible future regulations and adapt products today to meet those expected regulatory environments. From design and manufacturing, to use and retirement, we account for sustainability, performance and reliability at all stages of a product’s life.
We already provide services that keep our systems in the field for as long as possible through maintenance, reuse, repair as well as equipment upgrades. Going beyond this, we included a goal to design systems for circularity within our 2030 Sustainability Commitments. We are particularly focused on areas that can have significant impacts on raw material selection, product use and end-of-life considerations. We have organized a Circularity Council of subject matter experts who will determine a roadmap and specific targets to achieve this goal. The Council launched in 2021.
Our Product Development Process (PDP), incorporates life-cycle considerations in product design and development. This helps us meet customer needs, assess risk, embed sustainability and develop intellectual property. The PDP is a management approach that is constantly improved by the Corporate Engineering Excellence team. It involves five phases: concept development, concept validation, design and test, launch preparation, and product launch and support. The PDP includes design for sustainability which can be applied at the various product development phases. These sustainability considerations include raw material selection, use phase energy requirements, resource consumption and end-of-life impacts. Through this approach, we also identify and reduce environmental impact by improving packaging, recycling and manufacturing. In 2020, the PDP generated or improved more than 194 product development projects.
Savings in emissions from returnable packaging projects (annually) of more than 22 tons of CO2e.
Reduction in solid waste from returnable packaging projects (annually) of more than 2000 tons.
Material inputs play an important role in determining a product’s sustainability and circularity. Our products contain components from a variety of materials including steel, copper, aluminum and plastic composites. We collaborate with suppliers to drive partnerships on sustainability, including reducing packaging waste, shipping costs and related emissions. Read more about our commitment to supply chain transparency. For more information about our materials management strategy, refer to our Form 10-K.
Services for Use and End of Life Phases
Our products last for many years, but we provide services to extend their lifetimes even further. Our Trane Commercial/Residential and Thermo King divisions provide remanufacturing services for customers to refresh existing HVAC system components and extend the service life of the overall system. For example, our Charlotte, North Carolina remanufacturing operation takes back used compressors, motors and impellers from customers, and returns refreshed equipment that will operate effectively for additional years. Other services we offer include ongoing maintenance, repair, service kits, upgrades, and rentals — all in an effort to extend the life of our products. Finally, all business units provide specific end-of-life product manuals and many have materials take-back programs.
Trane Technologies works with reclaimers in the US, as well as our Trane Supply locations to encourage collection of used refrigerants to reduce high GWP hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) emissions. We redesigned the program to accelerate used refrigerant recovery by simplifying the recovery cylinders return process and engaging experienced EPA-certified refrigerant reclaimers for repurposing the used refrigerants. Avoided emissions from recovered refrigerant collected at Trane locations equates to 3,586 metric tons CO2e which is a 2.2% increase year- over-year from 2019 to 2020. This program delivers an energy performance improvement for the refrigerant manufacturing segment. This is due to the fact that when you polish/refresh used refrigerant it requires less energy than manufacturing new refrigerants.
We are committed to eliminating packaging waste.
Our packaging engineers innovate efficient solutions and partnerships for packaging finished goods and parts. We have a returnable packaging program at 9 North American manufacturing sites to reduce more than 2,000 metric tons from packaging annually. We reduce waste in our supply chain with packaging guidelines for our suppliers that decrease use of hazardous substances, reduce waste and emissions and increase reuse and recycling of materials. Preferred packaging systems are returnable, reusable or recyclable.