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Innovating for Impact: Carrier’s Carbon Reduction Strategy

 | September 28, 2023

Key Takeaways:

  • Carrier uses aPriori to analyze CO2e impacts and accelerate Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) certification by 33%
  • Carrier will expand aPriori usage to increase process group coverage, gain supply chain logistics insights, and assess carbon pricing

The Full Article:

Carrier is a leading manufacturer of HVAC (both residential and commercial), refrigeration, and fire and security solutions. Carrier is firmly committed to sustainability and has set ambitious environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) targets for 2030. Carrier’s 2030 ESG goals include reducing customers’ carbon footprint by over one gigaton and achieving carbon-neutral operations throughout its business.

Carrier utilizes aPriori’s Manufacturing Insights Platform to simultaneously calculate product carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions and costs for improved profitability. We examine how Carrier leverages aPriori to seamlessly reduce product costs and emissions during product design while advancing its carbon reduction strategy.

Enhancing Cost Efficiency and Sustainability Strategies at Carrier

As we explore Carrier’s sustainability efforts, we will first uncover how aPriori streamlines workflows and drives cost savings for the organization. Subsequently, we will examine the manufacturer’s carbon reduction strategy and future vision for meeting its ESG targets by 2030.

Streamlining Workflows and Unlocking Cost Savings With aPriori-PLM Integration

Tristan Abend, Value Engineering Team Manager at Carrier, presented how the company incorporates aPriori into its product team workflows at last year’s Manufacturing Insights Conference (MIC). According to Abend, aPriori integrates seamlessly with Carrier’s existing product lifecycle management (PLM) system, resulting in the following:

  • Design engineers gaining actionable, instant feedback for cost and emissions reductions
  • Cost engineers managing cost models and generating quick estimates early in design
  • Procurement departments sending parts to appropriate suppliers based on should cost models
  • Parts being purchased at a fair cost and with granular analytical data readily available

aPriori’s automated should cost estimates are derived from real-world factors. This automation enables Carrier to generate precise calculations and identify real-time savings opportunities quickly. Carrier eliminated delays, improved time to market (TTM), and discovered $21 million in annual savings through aPriori’s actionable cost insights.

Unveiling Carrier’s Carbon Reduction Strategy Toward 2030 ESG Goals

Carrier plans to invest over $2 billion in developing sustainable building and cold chain solutions to minimize their negative climate change impacts. The global manufacturer considers this investment as crucial in paving the way toward:

  • Reducing customers’ carbon emissions by more than one gigaton
  • Achieving carbon-neutral operations and reduction targets throughout the organization
  • Improving energy efficiency by 10% across its entire product development process

To achieve its ESG goals, Carrier has invested in aPriori to gain real-time data on emissions from alternative designs and production processes. Abend believes this investment is crucial to the organization’s sustainability efforts and initiatives. He explains, “Carrier’s gigaton goal is only as good as the data we get from our suppliers, and most of the time, suppliers don’t want to give that data. So, what can we do? That’s where aPriori comes in, and we’ll have to model it.”

The aPriori platform enables Carrier to reduce costs and carbon emissions during the early product design process. This allows the manufacturer to satisfy stringent sustainability regulations, increase investor confidence, and meet customers’ rising demand for greener products.

Measuring the Performance of Carrier’s Carbon Reduction Strategy in 2023

Carrier shares its advancement toward achieving ESG goals, highlighting how aPriori has helped the company accelerate its progress. The manufacturer leverages aPriori to evaluate greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) at the product level, from cradle to gate, including Scope 3. This is accompanied by real-time cost insights, enabling Carrier to concurrently reduce the expense of different designs and manufacturing processes.

aPriori’s automation-driven platform is critical for Carrier in achieving its ESG targets by 2030. It empowers the manufacturer to:

Set Science-Based Targets

aPriori assists Carrier in calculating and setting absolute carbon reduction targets (operational and embodied). This includes economic intensity-based and performance-based reductions to become carbon neutral. Carrier can ensure that its carbon reduction program aligns with economic growth and that low-carbon improvements are made throughout its operations.

Conduct Environmental Impact Analysis

Carrier conducts Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) analysis to track the environmental impact of its products from cradle to grave. aPriori integrates with ecoinvent, a trusted LCA and inventory database, to augment the precision of LCAs’ reporting capabilities.

Carrier utilizes aPriori to proactively identify and reduce the embedded carbon of products during the initial design stage. Carrier can make sustainable, data-driven design decisions for its chiller and boiler systems. For instance, the manufacturer considered switching from metal to plastic to reduce the CO2e of specific product components. Carrier discovered that metals with 90% recycled content were more efficient and sustainable. aPriori streamlines low-carbon decisions by analyzing various designs (geometries/shapes), raw materials, manufacturing processes, suppliers, and other real-world variables.

Accelerate Green Certification by One-Third

An EPD is a transparent report detailing the environmental impact of Carrier’s products throughout their life cycle. Earning Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification demonstrates that Carrier’s residential customers operate in environmentally friendly buildings. Carrier’s commitment to providing EPD-compliant chiller systems assists customers in achieving LEED certification.

By leveraging aPriori, Carrier achieved its EPD in less than a year, estimated to be 33% faster than industry competitors. This resulted in cost savings, new market opportunities, and increased regulatory compliance. And Carrier earned LEED certification points without purchasing carbon credits. These efforts showcase Carrier’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint to investors and other relevant stakeholders.

Carrier’s Next Steps to Reach Its Sustainability Goals

Carrier plans to employ aPriori to increase process group coverage, gain insight into supply chain logistics and transportation, and examine carbon pricing. This is a significant expansion of Carrier’s utilization of aPriori, which has already been employed to reduce the carbon footprint of its die-cast and plastic parts. As Abend has stated:

“Carrier has been using aPriori to determine how carbon affects our die-cast and plastic parts and to help us see the best ways to remove CO2e in design. There is a lot of excitement at Carrier about sustainability and using aPriori to meet our ESG goals.”

Carrier’s sustainability initiatives aim to reduce costs, emissions, and environmental impacts while increasing profitability and meeting ESG targets. The company’s use of aPriori’s Manufacturing Insights Platform is critical to its success in creating a more sustainable future.

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