Lockheed Saves $2.6M in IT Energy Costs; Tops Water, Waste Targets

Lockheed Saves $2.6M in IT Energy Costs; Tops Water, Waste Targets

Lockheed Martin's campaign to embed sustainability into its operations has driven down the company's energy costs for IT by $2.6 million a year and enabled the firm to exceed targets for reducing water consumption and the amount of waste sent to landfill, according to the company's latest data on environmental progress.

Best known for its contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense and other federal agencies, Lockheed Martin is a global security company specializing in advanced technology systems, products and services.

The firm is not as widely known for its sustainability efforts, but the company is gaining ground in changing that: Earlier this month, Greentech Media named the firm one of the Top Ten Green Giants for 2011, and last week Lockheed Martin issued its latest Corporate Energy, Environment, Safety and Health Report, which showed strong progress in several areas.

Three years ago, the company set goals of reducing water use, the amount of waste sent to landfill and greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by the close of 2012, based on 2007 levels.

The targets are absolute reductions rather than reductions in intensity, in which consumption, waste and emission typically are measured in comparison to other factors such revenue, units of production or the number of employees. Achieving an absolute reduction is considered a greater challenge; a reduction in intensity can indicate greater efficiency, but it does not necessarily mean that total use, waste or emissions have decreased.

"I think that Lockheed Martin has always been driven by a sense of doing the right thing," said David Constable, the company's vice president for energy, environment, safety and health. And having decided that pursuing a certain course is the right thing to do, "you just do it," Constable said of the firm's commitment to absolute reductions. "It's the right thing to do for the environment and for the company."

Lockheed Martin's new energy, environment, safety and health report, which is available online, shows that by the end of 2010 the company had:

  • Cut water use by 22 percent as a result of efficiency and conservation measures.
  • Decreased the amount of waste sent to landfill by 26 percent, exceeding the targeted reduction.
  • Cut carbon emissions by 15 percent as a result of energy efficiency efforts and purchase of wind and solar energy and renewable energy credits.

By the end of the first quarter of this year, the firm had surpassed two goals by bringing the reduction in water consumption to 27 percent and the cut in waste-to-landfill to 30 percent, Constable said.

Progress charted in the report includes Lockheed Martin's work to green IT, which is central to the firm's business. The company has consolidated 4,000 data servers in the past three years, a move that has led to a savings of 26 million kWh of electricity and $2.6 million in annual costs.

Lockheed Martin's work to cut carbon emissions has been recognized by the Carbon Disclosure Project, and its efforts to construct and operate environmentally responsible sites have earned the company LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for 21 facilities. Nineteen other LEED projects are in the pipeline, and the company requires projects be built to LEED-Silver standards at minimum. (Silver is the second level in four-tier rating system with platinum certification being the highest possible.)

Lockheed Martin also is striving to increase environmental responsibility in its supply chain. The company's work with Staples and Dell has led to greater use of products made from recycled content and changes in shipping that reduce packaging, respectively.

In all, Lockheed Martin is working with 51 indirect and IT suppliers, and is trying to drive sustainability values deeper into the supply chain. Such efforts are a challenge for most firms, even more so for a company that makes guidance systems, missiles, jet fighters and other equipment with extreme performance requirements. "It's far harder to green the supply chain for Lockheed Martin," Constable acknowledged. "It's enormously challenging."

Nevertheless, the firm has developed some alternatives, and in those cases the challenge then becomes persuading clients that the greener alternative performs just as well -- a situation familiar to many companies. Sometimes, said Constable, "we have a hard time with the customers accepting the alternatives."

That hasn't been the case within the company, whose employees have shown exceptional enthusiasm in accepting and carrying out Lockheed Martin's green mission, Constable said. The company launched a comprehensive employee engagement program last year just ahead of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.

"From Kandahar to the Mojave Desert and everywhere in between, it's a tremendously committed, motivated group," Constable said of the firm's 126,000 employees.

More information on Lockheed Martin's sustainability commitments, its recent report and an online tool that illustrates company efforts at various facilities are available at www.LockheedMartin.com/sustainable.