Eaton Corporation (NYSE:ETN) has been an icon of the American markets for many years – a definite example of traditional US industry that provides power management, hydraulics, and automotive drivetrain systems among its many offerings. Cutler-Hammer is one of its most recognizable brands. Sales in 2007 were $13B.
For the last 15 years, Eaton has proven that traditional industry CAN focus on sustainability and still remain in business. Although a press release in early December mentioned a sizable reduction in employee force, the company still projects a positive Q4 net income per share of between $.90 and $1.00. This is a guidance revision, which Wall Street never enjoys receiving, but is better than most in our current serious economic situation.
Most recently, Eaton Corporation has added a sustainability section to their website which details the practices and policies they are implementing – and have implemented in the past. The corporation has set an aggressive goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 18% by 2012 (GHG emissions were reduced by 9.2% in 2007 as measured against 2006). Other steps that have been taken or are currently planned include:
- The creation of a Global Management System of Environment, Safety, Security and Health in August 2005 which provides unified management for these initiatives.
- Participation in EPA’s Performance Track, OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program, and Mexico’s Industrial Limpia program – all voluntary activities
- Creation of The Vision Project – which has the creation of a carbon neutral manufacturing plant as its goal
- Reduction of total waste generated in 2007 as measured against 2006 levels was 10.5%
It is encouraging to see a stawalt, traditional company such as Eaton adopt an earth-friendly progressive attitude. Soon, other such companies will have no excuse for not following suit!