Podcast: Manufacturing and the Journey Toward a Low-Carbon Future

Apr 15, 2022 11:15 AM ET

10 In 10 Podcast

Today more than ever, manufacturers across all industries are being challenged to employ more sustainable practices in their manufacturing processes, all in an effort to decarbonize. Karen Lynn, Eaton's director of EHS technical programs and sustainability, talks about how global megatrends and government regulations impact the movement toward a low carbon future and provides helpful insights on what organizations can do to set sustainability goals.

Key takeaways:

  • Decarbonization is an effort reduce or eliminate carbon-based fuels from our energy supply, while continuing to grow our economy at the same time.
  • Manufacturers will play an important role in decarbonization by utilizing renewable energy sources like solar and wind, to generate and store energy and then transfer it back to the utility grid.
  • Industries that incorporate fossil fuels in their manufacturing process may have the biggest challenge ahead to decarbonize.
  • Manufacturers can develop a decarbonization strategy by calculating their Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions and understanding were they come from, assessing their high energy use processes and finally, incorporating new technologies to make those processes more efficient.
  • Companies should also assess their Scope 3 emissions, which include upstream supply-chain emissions and downstream emissions associated with product end-use and disposal.
  • Sustainable design should be an integral part of a product manufacturers development process. The entire product lifecycle, including choice and quantity of materials as well as how the product is disposed of at end of life, should all be considered.
  • The circular economy refers to how a product can go from end of life into a useful source of material for the production of the same or other products.
  • The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has called upon corporations to help limit global warming to equal to or less than 1.5 degrees over pre-industrial levels and Eaton has established science-based targets to reduce our emissions in our direct operations.
  • In any organization, setting sustainability goals is an important first step in reducing carbon footprint. Leadership must also engage employees and set expectations and accountability for meeting those goals.

To learn more about our commitment to sustainability, visit Eaton.com/sustainability.

Guest bio

Karen Lynn

Karen Lynn is director, Corporate EHS Technical Programs and Sustainability at Eaton, and is responsible for developing strategies that improve the company's sustainability performance and communications. She actively supports development of environmentally sound product development, life cycle assessment, green marketing strategies, and stakeholder engagement processes.

Ms. Lynn also served as the Eaton Vehicle Group's EHS Manager, supporting MESH program deployment at all Vehicle facilities globally. She was also responsible for managing the Group ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certifications, and for driving continuous improvement in EH&S programs. Before joining Eaton in 2007, she worked with International Paper for 14 years in a variety of EH&S positions and as a Manager of Sustainability Programs.

Ms. Lynn received her Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science from Texas Christian University, and her master's degree in Environmental Management from Duke University in North Carolina.