Gap Score

Caterpillar continues to make progress in creating a more sustainable organization, and world. It moves down a spot this year. Its sustainability performance score lowered due to increased energy use and water use intensity. On the plus side, the company increased disclosure of use of life cycle assessment (LCA) in product design, and its reporting increased quantification of its green product portfolio and use of recycled content in products. Its three principles, “prevent waste, develop better systems, and improve quality,” guide everything they do to innovate for sustainability. The company invested USD $2.5 billion in research and development last year, producing products that helped their customers operate more efficiently and sustainably. By partnering and aligning with over 14 organizations, Caterpillar is able to ensure they continue to lead the industry and influence regulations that further support sustainable efforts. Making the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the twelfth straight year in a row, Caterpillar isn’t backing down on its commitment. Its aggressive 2020 goals include complete LEED construction, 25 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, 20 percent energy efficiency increase for customers, and reaching zero waste through reusing and recycling of materials. This year’s results indicate they are on track to reaching these goals should they continue to use technology for sustainable customer solutions. However, despite industry-recognized efforts, the public is still skeptical to credit Caterpillar as a sustainable organization, a hangover effect that most industrial brands struggle with. Consumer awareness of the brand remains low, and the company needs to continue to focus on customer communications to provide a greater understanding of the broader mission of the brand and how sustainability fits within the core of everything it does.