Environmentally Sustainable Performance
The greeNG Program
Our focus on environmental performance extends beyond compliance. Established in 2009, our greeNG environmental sustainability program reduces the company’s environmental footprint by improving operational efficiency and integrating environmental sustainability practices into all our operations.
Environmental sustainability is one of our six non-financial corporate performance metrics overseen by the Compensation Committee of our Board of Directors.
Our greeNG Program strives to expand environmental sustainability awareness throughout our organization, supporting our corporate values and meeting the expectations of our diverse set of stakeholders. greeNG is a catalyst for environmentally sustainable performance that drives long-term affordability into our operations, benefiting our customers as well as our shareholders. The Policy Committee of our Board of Directors oversees the alignment of the program with the company’s strategic objectives.
2016 Performance Summary
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Throughout 2016 we maintained our focus on building efficiencies and systems, information technology infrastructure and engineering/manufacturing process modifications.
Last year we implemented projects that reduce annual emissions by 15,715 MTCO2e and contributed to a total 29 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from our 2010 base year. Our greenhouse gas footprint continues to trend downward even with increased business activity in 2016.
We are committed to maintaining high quality data and performance tracking. For a sixth consecutive year, we received third-party verification of our Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (indirect, location-based) GHG inventory. For the third consecutive year, we received third-party verification of our Scope 3 (other indirect) Business Travel GHG inventory. Verification is to International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14064–3.
We provide further details on our climate change risk management, Scope 2 market-based and Scope 3 emissions, and energy consumption in our CDP Climate Change disclosure report.
Water Use Reduction
We are committed to minimizing our water consumption, emphasizing action in regions where water stress is a reality, including California, parts of Australia and most recently, the southeastern United States. Our conservation efforts are enhancing our environmental stewardship but also creating long-term operational cost savings for the company.
Maintaining our commitment to data quality, we received third-party verification of our 2014 through 2016 water inventories in accordance with ISO 14064-3. Water conservation highlights include:
- Reduced our water use in California by 14.7 percent between 2014 and 2016.
- Implemented projects throughout the United States and reduced annual water consumption by more than 39 million gallons.
- Completed water use assessments in 2016 at our two largest sites in Linthicum, Maryland, to evaluate operational conservation and source alternatives.
Consistent with the principles of lean manufacturing and Six Sigma, elimination of waste is a proven objective that drives cost savings. Likewise, diverting solid waste from landfills through reduction, reuse and recycling initiatives makes good business sense.
2016 Waste Reduction Highlights:
- Our corporate office in Falls Church, Virginia eliminated disposable to-go containers from our cafeteria and expanded our composting program throughout the building. This resulted in 15 tons of compost being diverted from landfill in 2016.
- Our team at the St. Augustine, Florida facility converted 10 trash cans into recycling containers and purchased an onsite compactor to divert nearly 24 cubic yards of plastic film from landfill weekly.
Onsite Renewable Energy
Our St. Augustine Aircraft Integration Center of Excellence and Melbourne Manned Aircraft Design Center of Excellence are powered by two onsite solar systems totaling 0.56 megawatt (MW) of generation capacity. In 2016, we used a total of 1,370 MW hours of onsite renewable energy.
Renewable Energy Purchases
We maintain our multi-year purchase commitment for 20,857 megawatt hours of Green-e certified, renewable energy certificates (RECs) first purchased in 2012. Through utility providers and the energy market, our REC purchases support solar, wind and geothermal energy installations.
Eight Northrop Grumman operating facilities are certified to the U.S. Green Building Council’s “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” (LEED) standards. An additional two Northrop Grumman operating facilities are certified under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® program for energy-efficient equipment and building systems design.
We have continued our multi-year commitment and purchase of 11,000 MTCO2e of American Carbon Registry-certified carbon offsets. These conservation-based carbon offsets are generated by the Mississippi Valley Reforestation Project in the southeastern United States and support the re-forestation of one million acres of the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley; one of the most important ecosystems in North America.
We also ensure conservation at our own facilities. At our Melbourne Manned Aircraft Design Center of Excellence we established an on-site nursery to support storage of more than 120 mature trees removed for new building construction. The trees will be transplanted on the site in new locations once construction is complete.
ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING
Our electric vehicle Workplace Charging Program doubled in 2016 to support the growing number of employees who use low/no emission vehicles to commute. We currently have 78 “Level 2” charging connections at 18 sites supporting more than 400 drivers of registered electric cars.
2016 Corporate Forum Participation
In 2016, we participated in forums across the United States. As corporate members, we receive valuable updates and information within the fields of environmental, health, safety and sustainability. Resources range from collaboration opportunities with our peers to educational resources and regulatory updates.
Organization of Research Counselors - Health, Safety and Environment
Our partnership with this group is integral to our commitment to excellence. Through participation in work groups and conferences, we receive updates on regulatory changes, present to peers on sustainability strategies and collaborate with member companies during workshops. Group members also advocate to ensure OSHA and EPA regulatory actions are workable solutions that include industry realities.
Association of Climate Change Officers
We address climate change issues through this professional development and cross-sector community. The group fosters collaboration with practitioners, policy makers, climate scientists and researchers to advance solutions and build capacity in addressing climate change.
Business Renewables Center
This group provides a collaborative environment and knowledge base to promote streamlined corporate renewable energy procurement.
Corporate Eco Forum
Membership in this group enables us to collaborate closely with other sustainability leaders and work to accelerate sustainable business innovation.
The greeNG employee resource group
This community of volunteers helps shape our company’s environmental stewardship program. Resource groups create an atmosphere where employees can share knowledge, solve problems, build relationships and enhance personal development. Employees participate in events that support the local community and help protect the environment.