Lockheed Martin Aims To Cut Resource Use By 2020

Lockheed Martin does a whole lot of business with the U.S. military. The global security and aerospace behemoth appears to be taking some cues from the armed forces — and the federal government in general — on the environment, as we recently received word that it will be adopting some aggressive new global environmental goals designed to decrease its use of natural resources over the next eight years.

That eight-year horizon aligns squarely with U.S. Executive Order 13514, which requires U.S. federal agencies to achieve similar environmental goals by 2020: absolute reductions in carbon emissions by 35 percent, facility energy use by 20 percent, waste to landfills by 35 percent and water use by 10 percent, using third-party verified environmental performance from 2010 as a baseline. Lockheed Martin aims to cut resource use at each and every stage of its product development and business operations, using third-party audits as benchmarks.

Lockheed Martin

image via Lockheed Martin

This is a move that stands to save a great deal of resources indeed, as Lockheed Martin builds everything from satellites to battleships, operates on all seven continents, and currently blows through nearly two billion gallons of water a year.

And if the company’s many shareholders are concerned that such reductions might negatively impact the bottom line, they probably shouldn’t be. The company announced in April of this year that it had met or exceeded its previous set of “Go Green” environmental goals, which were to reduce carbon emissions, waste-to-landfill and water use by 25 percent over the course of five years, from 2007 to 2012. During this period,  revenues for the company rose 12 percent.

These initial environmental goals were met using a variety of strategies at differing scales. Lockheed installed what is believed to be the largest outdoor solar LED lighting system in the state of Florida at its Orlando facility, and recently installed a fuel cell power generation system at its Sunnyvale, Calif., facility. It has also implemented a policy of using reusable containers for aircraft parts in Fort Worth, Texas, that eliminate the need for wood packaging and (as an added bonus) help to streamline the production process.

The company’s initial “GoGreen” goals — established in 2008 — have resulted in progress for the company in a number of ways. Between 2010 and 2011, for example, Lockheed Martin saw a 14 percent increase in the number of LEED certified buildings it owns (39 sites are currently certified or registered), and purchased 274 million kilowatt hours of green energy, the most among the Fortune 500 companies in the Industrial Goods and Services category.

“With our Go Green 2020 goals, we can apply a new focus to the way we develop products, manage suppliers, operate facilities, design office space and other decisions we make throughout the business lifecycle,” said Chris Kubasik, vice chairman, president and chief operating officer, in a statement.

According to the Carbon Disclosure Project’s 2012 S&P 500 Report, Lockheed Martin already has a good start on this whole sustainability thing, as it’s currently the leader on meeting environmental performance goals in among the major aerospace and defense companies, and many other large industrial manufacturers as well.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.