Sustainable Construction: Why We Love Being A Caterpillar, Inc. Dealer, Part Two

Welcome back to Wagner Equipment Co. and our blogspace. We’ll pick up where we left off in part one of this two-part blog series dedicated to explaining the intricacies of Caterpillar’s values, vision, and commitment to sustainable practices. 

As we mentioned in part one, the point of sustainability is not for show, but neither is it for the sake of sustainability alone either. We want to be a part of building a better world. Doing so starts with managing our own backyard (processes, operations, and waste management thereof), but it extends into the impacting of our industry as well. 

From our corporate site: “We consider this (a balance of environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and economic growth) as we work toward a vision of a world in which people’s basic needs – such as shelter, clean water, education and reliable energy – are fulfilled. We provide work environments, products, services and solutions that make productive and efficient use of resources as we strive to achieve our vision. We believe this commitment supports the enduring success of our customers, stockholders, dealers and our people.

Sustainability In Action

For the remainder of this blog, we’ll take the opportunity to highlight the various facets of this commitment. Indeed, this is not lip service — we take this seriously and want those interested in learning more about Caterpillar as a corporation to be pleased with what they find. 

Circular Economy

Wherever it’s possible to do so, we maintain resources through a circular flow of materials, energy, and water. We want to maximize the total life cycle value of all of our products. Not only is this a sustainable practice, but it also reduces the cost of ownership for customers. By extension, this has a positive effect on communities, the environment, and local economies. 

The Caterpillar Sustainable Solutions, Solar Turbines, and Progress Rail Services create lower-cost products, shorter downtime, and more dependable service options. For example, our Rebuild programs increase our products’ lifespan through our dedication to providing customers with consistent product updates. These come at a fraction of the cost of buying a new machine. Our Rebuild programs include Certified Rebuilds, component overhauls at Cat® dealers, Solar Turbines rebuilds and Progress Rail Services rebuilds. CAT offers information, data, training, and service tools which help CAT dealers (like us at Wagner!) with the resources we need to make the right decisions on which parts to use in order to get the most out of our products. Naturally, reusing components helps us use energy and materials more efficiently. 

Our remanufacturing and rebuild programs benefit customers in a variety of ways, among them being: 

  • Ensuring maximum productivity
  • Increasing reliability and equipment uptime
  • Ensuring cost-effective performance
  • Receiving a like-new warranty
  • Increasing the customer’s return on their investment
  • Providing the customer with a variety of repair options to meet their service needs
  • Providing the customer with a higher resale value
  • Providing the lowest total owning and operating life cycle costs
  • Preserving the majority of energy and materials required to make the original component or machine

Natural Infrastructure

When we talk about the natural infrastructure of the earth, we are discussing a widespread problem that is connected with a growing global population and the resulting arm’s race for resources, among other factors. The resulting surge in demand has, over the past century or so, adversely affected the world’s natural infrastructure, including estuaries, coastal settings, wetlands, prairies, forests, polar regions, agricultural lands, and others. 

There are countless inherent benefits regarding natural infrastructure. When an environment is healthy, there is a wealth of economic, social, and environmental positives we should all be aware of: productive fisheries on our coasts, better storm resilience, increased biodiversity, more tourism opportunities, better water quality, recreational opportunities, and superior scenic beauty. But more importantly than those (admittedly important) reasons, healthy lands and seas allow for the most productive method of removing carbon from the earth’s atmosphere.

The problem is undeniable. The United Nations has recently estimated that over a quarter of the earth’s lands are now officially considered “highly degraded” because of poor management practices that end in deforestation, wetland destruction, erosion, contamination, and desertification. 

 In response to this concern, Caterpillar and their network of CAT dealers are involved in a number of intricate restoration projects around the world. Starting in 2015, Caterpillar hosted a group of thought leaders for the Restoring Natural Infrastructure Summit. Many conversations were had, the result of which became a white paper, Restoring Natural Infrastructure: Strategies for Thriving Communities, Business and Ecosystems. The paper addresses status and recommendations concerning policy, advocacy, the business case, along with means of collaboration. We want to develop a pathway for progress while going after immediate opportunities for improvement. As we all know, time is of the essence and we cannot afford to lose our only Mother Earth!

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Digital Vision

Now is the time for action, and as far as we are concerned, the “now” of 2019 includes the digital world. Our Digital Vision informs that “digital” is the process of transforming data and information into recommend actions. This helps Caterpillar and our customers, saving them time, money, and resources. We apply innovation and technology with the goal of sustainability in mind, by which we affect positive change in Caterpillar’s products, services, solutions, and operations. 

  • Product improvements – Our customers and operations use resources more efficiently than ever, whether those resources refer to energy, water, financial capital, human resources, or raw materials. 
  • Profitability improvements – Focusing on improving our bottom line contributes to the economic viability of our customers, ourselves, and the global economy as a whole. This ensures that we will continue to have the capital to be sustainable in our efforts. 
  • Safety improvements – It’s never worth doing something if it cannot be done safely. Making safety improvements has the net effect of improving our staff and customers’ quality of life. It also ties in nicely with our overall dedication to sustainability. 

Looking forward, we are motivated to continue to use digital information to help grow economies and communities as we attempt to learn how to use our planet’s resources more conscientiously. 

As our corporate site sums up nicely, “We want our customers to make more money using our products and services than they can with our competitors’. By optimizing our digital offerings, we will drive more than the bottom line and customer loyalty, we will also drive sustainability.”

Energy

In our sector, it’s no secret that energy consumption is rapidly rising. As mentioned, this is propelled by the boom in worldwide population. According to prospectives released by the International Energy Agency, the global demand for energy is going to increase even more dramatically in the next 25 years. 

Caterpillar has a vested interested in this topic, seeing as how we are a significant manufacturer of energy conversion and power-generation products. We need to understand the wide range of energy needs around the world before we can do our part to sustainably solve these problems, leveraging our technology and reputation as pioneers in our field. 

For updates on our progress, you can check out our Sustainability Report for 2018 right here. Alternatively, you can check out our next blog, in which we’ll break down the report alongside our analysis of the Restoring Natural Infrastructure Summit. 

Operations

Admittedly, we’ve been a bit general with our rhetoric in today’s blog. But, hey, when you are talking about an organization as expansive as Caterpillar coupled with a topic like sustainability, there’s a lot to discuss. 

That said, let’s talk about something a bit more tangible — how our sustainability efforts begin with our own operations. For starters, everything we do flows from a proactive approach to safety. We develop our products and systems to ensure our workforce and customers stay safe. This includes everything from our manufacturing processes to our training and customer assistance programs. 

From a facilities standpoint, we’ve optimized (and will continue to optimize) our ability to minimize environmental impacts our operations might have, with a special focus on the following:

  • Greenhouse gas emission reduction
  • Water conservation
  • Waste reduction
  • Energy conservation

In a future blog, we’ll update you on our 2020 aspirational sustainability goals for our operations and how we are progressing with those efforts!

Product Stewardship

When we talk about product stewardship, we are discussing the full lifespan of our equipment. From the supply chain, to the customer’s job site, to end-of-life, we take steps to reduce potentially negative social, environmental, and safety-related impacts that could arise. We also optimize operational quality and efficiency for a wide range of CAT equipment at each stage of the lifecycle. As a CAT dealer ourselves, Wagner Equipment Co. is more than equipped to handle these repairs and updates at each stage of the product’s lifecycle, which are: 

  1. Supply Chain
  2. Manufacturing
  3. Distribution
  4. Usage
  5. End-of-Life Management

The final stage includes remain, rebuild, and recycling, in case you were wondering how this ties into our sustainability efforts!

How Wagner Equipment Fits In

Wagner Equipment is proud of our involvement in Caterpillar’s striving to make a positive global impact. For folks back in Colorado, New Mexico, and west Texas, you might be wondering how this relates to you getting the CAT equipment you need to help you complete your next project. 

At the end of the day, we are all in this together — we’ve only got one planet — so we believe this should be important to everyone. But as we mentioned in our last blog, Caterpillar’s dedication to quality has proven that sustainability and profitability don’t need to be mutually exclusive. We believe that principle applies not only for ourselves but to our customers as well. 

When you buy or rent CAT equipment, you are assured of its quality, durability, versatility, and ease-of-use. You can rent or buy from your local CAT dealer knowing that you are doing business with a responsible, conscious, and reputable company. Reach out to us at Wagner Equipment Co., to find CAT equipment online.