Delivering on Our Commitment to Low-Carbon Steel

November 21, 2023 11:30 PM AEDT | By 3BL
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Last fall Trane Technologies made a commitment to source low-carbon steel, a material that is used in nearly all our products and a significant part of our supply chain. Less than one year later, we have shipped more than one million HVAC units made with that low-carbon steel to homes, schools and data centers across the United States.

When we say we’re reducing a gigaton of carbon emissions from our customers’ footprints by 2030, this is what we’re talking about. When we say we’ll reach net-zero by 2050, this is one of the ways we’re going to make that happen.

To us, these are not just commitments, these are not just words. This is how we do business. From the world stage to the factory floor, this is who we really are.

Big challenges, big opportunity

Traditionally, steel has been manufactured in a very energy-intensive way, making up approximately 8% of global carbon emissions. Innovators in the steel sector have developed a new way to manufacture steel in an electric arc furnace, a process which is nearly 80% less carbon intensive than traditional blast furnace methods.

And because Trane Technologies is committed to cultivating an innovative and sustainable supply chain, we’ve incorporated the use of low-carbon steel at two Trane® manufacturing plants, where we build high-efficiency products for residential and commercial clients. Products leveraging low-carbon steel include high-efficiency heat pumps and air conditioners for homes, and thermal management systems for commercial buildings such as schools and data centers.

As a founding member of the First Movers Coalition, we understand the importance of early market commitment to purchasing innovative clean technologies, especially across hard-to-abate sectors like steel and shipping. And we intentionally partner with companies at the forefront of innovation in low-carbon solutions because we know they play a critical role in reducing emissions across our value chain.

Last November, we became the first in our industry to join SteelZero, an initiative launched by Climate Group and ResponsibleSteel. SteelZero aims to accelerate the decarbonization of the steel sector. We pledged an initial 20% of our annual steel purchasing to low-carbon steels, and we pledged to procure 50% net-zero steel by 2030 and 100% by 2050.

Partnering with low-carbon steel suppliers is an important step toward achieving a net-zero future. Using low-carbon steel, Trane Technologies expects to reduce our Scope 3 emissions by nearly 120,000 mtCO2e by 2030—the equivalent of the emissions generated from powering more than 15,000 homes for one year.

Generating momentum

We’re proud of our progress, and even more excited about the future of low-carbon steel.

In the future, as the grid greens, the electricity used in the production of this important raw material could ultimately transition and be replaced with renewable energy, a zero-emissions source.

Customers around the country, in nearly all regions and key vertical markets including schools, data centers and healthcare, are now leveraging low-carbon steel in their sustainable HVAC solutions from Trane Technologies. Our industry-leading purchase and use of low-carbon steel creates important momentum, moving the global market forward, encouraging demand for the responsible production and sourcing of steel, and paving the way for others to make the shift, too.

Sustainability is our strategy, and partnering with suppliers who are aligned with our bold 2030 Sustainability Commitments allows us to meet our customers’ needs for innovative, environmentally responsible products and services – while leading the way toward a net-zero future.

Learn more about our products development process and approach to reducing embodied carbon in our 2022 ESG report.


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