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Breakthrough engineering for a better, more sustainable world

World Environment Day, celebrated June 5, provided a good opportunity to take stock of IMI Critical Engineering’s sustainability objectives.

We have made significant progress across our global sites in the past year, particularly in Japan, where our Kobe facility is now officially carbon neutral.

This is a huge achievement, but there’s still plenty of work to be done. In this article, Tony Maxwell, IMI Critical Engineering’s Divisional HSE Director, takes a look at what’s next as the business continues to deliver breakthrough engineering for a better, more sustainable world.

Why Environmental Governance Matters

IMI Critical formally embarked on its environmental, social and governance (ESG) journey in 2019, setting ambitious targets to cut Scope 1 and 2 energy consumption by 50% by the end of 2025 and achieve a net zero by 2040 across all operations.

We recognise that ESG aligns with our core values but also contributes to our long-term success as a business and our standing as a stable, attractive investment opportunity.

That being said, our main priority must be the environment. At IMI Critical, we have put several initiatives in place to progress our ESG agenda and forge a credible path away from fossil fuels.


Reducing Energy Consumption

We have always recognised that a reduction in our energy consumption is key. Why? Because using less power is the best way to make meaningful cuts to our emissions.

This process started with a few quick wins such as installing LED lighting, but we soon realised that larger-scale changes would be necessary to achieve our objectives. These include photovoltaic systems, HVAC optimisations and compressor upgrades. The latest data shows we’re now down 43% compared to 2019, putting us well ahead of schedule for our 2025 goal.

IMI has also procured 100% green energy certificates for Critical’s total electricity consumption across 75% of its facilities, with solar playing a major role. By installing solar panels and pursuing thermal efficiency measures we have surpassed expectations, achieving an ‘excellent’ BREEAM rating at one facility. We are also exploring wind harvesting at new developments, with turbines integrated into buildings to generate greater amounts of clean energy at source.


Harnessing Data and Site Specifics 

Among the most exciting developments at IMI Critical Engineering is new software capable of predicting the carbon intensity of our manufacturing processes. This tool – called CO2 Ed. Smart Tool – has allowed us to take greater control of our scope one and two emissions (i.e., direct emissions owned and controlled by IMI Critical Engineering), as well some of the harder to abate areas falling under scope three.

Every IMI Critical site has a dedicated roadmap towards achieving net zero. However, certain challenges such as location-specific regulations and infrastructure limitations must be taken into account.

In India, for instance, we are required by law to purchase at least 30% of our energy from the grid to protect the local infrastructure. This grid is largely powered by coal. Despite this challenge, we are continuing to integrate renewable energy sources, including solar and wind power, while upgrading existing equipment for improved energy efficiency. We are also investing in technologies like air source heat pumps, to enhance heating and cooling processes across our factories.


Auditable and Accountable

We want to be certain about the validity of our claims, especially those relating to sustainability in an ever-growing area. IMI PLC provides regular annual reporting on key metrics, such as carbon footprint, electric, gas and water usage – all of which are available to the public.

By sharing our challenges and successes in an open forum, we seek to foster greater trust with our stakeholders and demonstrate a commitment to ESG with the evidence to back it up.

IMI Critical is dedicated to minimising its impact on the environment and developing a better working world for generations to come. World Environment Day serves as a reminder of our shared responsibility to protect the planet. We are proud to be at the forefront of this collective effort across our industry.

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