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Gigaton Awards Profiles: Johnson Controls

As part of our coverage of the Carbon War Room's second annual Gigaton Awards, GreenBiz is profiling the nominees. We launch the series today with a look at Johnson Controls, Inc.

The company was founded in 1885 by college professor, inventor and entrepreneur Warren S. Johnson, who invented the electric room thermostat and installed them in classrooms. The project, which aimed to make an indoor environment safe and comfortable so that occupants could focus on the business at hand, has informed the company's work ever since.

In the more than 125 years since that first installation, Johnson Controls Inc. has grown into a company that provides specific devices and equipment as well as networked solutions for energy, security and safety systems management in buildings. And sustainability, especially in terms of improving energy efficiency, has become central to Johnson Controls' mission. Each of the firm's three lines of business reflect that drive toward efficiency:

JCI's Building Efficiency unit recently introduced its Panoptix platform. The end-to-end solution, a collection of apps that's expected to grow, pulls together JCI building energy management systems and services in the cloud in order to give property owners and managers more insight into how their buildings are using energy. The aim is to boost building performance and, at the same time, close any gaps between the green design of buildings and how they are actually functioning.

The Power Solutions unit, like the Building Efficiency unit, has been a key earner for the company. JCI dominates the market for lead acid batteries and is looking to do the same with stop-start batteries -- the technology that's expected to help bridge the transition from traditional internal combustion engine vehicles to electric cars -- and with lithium-ion batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles.

The Automotive Experience line of business is responsible for the dashboards, overhead consoles and other interior components in cars. JCI is working to make the materials used to manufacture those components more environmentally friendly.

Here are the basics about the company, which is nominated for a Gigaton Award in the Consumer Discretionary Category:

Company Name: Johnson Controls Inc.
Headquarters: Glendale, Wisconsin
Revenue: $40.8 billion for fiscal year ending September 30, 2011
CEO: Stephen A. Roell
Sustainability Home Page:
First Sustainability Report Published: 2003

Greenhouse Gas Commitments:
35 metric tons of CO2e per million U.S. dollars of revenue by 2018 (Down from 51 metric tons in 2010).

Other Sustainability Commitments:
• Energy Intensity: 261.5 gigajoules of energy per million U.S. dollars of revenue by 2018 (down from roughly 400 gigajoules in 2010).
• Water Intensity: 110.1 cubic meters of water consumed per million U.S. dollars of revenue by 2018 (down from about 120 cubic meters in 2010).
• Waste intensity: 1.9 metric tons of waste sent to landfill or incineration per million U.S. dollars of revenue by 2018 (down from about 3.3 metric tons in 2010).

Notable Achievements:
Empire State Building Retrofit: The green transformation of the Empire State Building recently earned the landmark LEED-Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The sweeping energy efficiency retrofit JCI conducted with Malkin Holdings, Jones Lang LaSalle and several other project partners will save the Empire State Building more than $4.4 million annually, reduce energy use by 38 percent, cut carbon emissions by 105,000 metric tons over a 15-year period and provide a payback in slightly more than three years.

Documentation of the project has been made public so that others can put it to use. In addition to serving as a model for increasing the efficiency of existing commercial buildings, the Empire State Building also is providing a living lesson in green leasing.

Greening Corporate Headquarters: In 2010, JCI earned an unprecedented four LEED-Platinum ratings for turning its corporate campus into a showcase for green building design and resource management technology.

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