The last segment of the Emerson Virtual Exchange had a sustainability emphasis. I sat in on the March 2 Keynote – Making Sustainability a Core Business Strategy. There are more sessions March 4 and again next week.

The keynote speakers were:

  • Mike Train, Emerson President and Corporate Sustainability Lead
  • Randy Page, Emerson Automation Group President Final Control
  • Michelle George, VP Engineering and Storage & Transmission Operations, Enbridge
  • Greg Houston, President, Lakeside Process Controls (Emerson Local Impact Partner)

Sustainability has evolved from “the right thing to do” to “business critical”.  It touches nearly every aspect of business and our personal lives. Mike Train and Randy Page as they discuss the drivers for Sustainability, the opportunities to get started and practical steps to move your Sustainability program forward.  And as Hydrogen emerges to transform our energy mix, an important opportunity many countries and energy companies are exploring is the blending of Hydrogen into the Natural Gas infrastructure.  Enbridge’s Michelle George discusses this important step in ‘greening the pipeline’ with Emerson’s Randy Page and Lakeside Process Controls’ Greg Houston.  

Page discussed the pressures coming from society, government, customers, and the board to pursue sustainability goals. There is an urgency to improve the product mix with a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Train noted the role of automation as an enabler for business success. He stressed that his many conversations with business, government, and academic leaders focus on the importance of collaboration amongst them.

Train laid out three points: Emerson of—greening of Emerson; by—Emerson helps customers achieve sustainability goals; with—collaboration with government, academia, other groups.

His focus is to build a sustainability culture with goal 20% reduction by 2028. Emerson taps into the creativity of employees, for example,  gamifying the search for waste through “Treasure Hunts”. Spreading the word within the company has generated lots of ideas.

Sustainability is great for business, as it’s essentially eliminating waste. Emissions reduction fits right in Final Control wheelhouse. Valves can be a big source of emissions. Emerson has improved valve packing and sealing technology and have a new PRV solution.

Michelle George discussed the work at Enbridge gas distribution and storage on sustainability target net zero emissions. The company has a pilot project greening pipelines by introducing hydrogen into pipelines and storage leveraging the expertise of supplier Lakeside Process controls. The pilot project uses excess electrical power from sustainable generating for hydrolysis of water, capturing hydrogen, and either capturing or releasing oxygen. This can be blended into natural gas or use existing pipelines and storage to handle hydrogen as a fuel of the future.

Greg Houston discussed the challenges for pipeline and valve sealing, since H2 is a smaller molecule. Users would require a greater volume of gas for an equivalent heat content.

Train summarized, “Achievement will not be with a big bang, but with smaller efforts over time.”

Make your plans for a live Emerson Exchange on September 27-30 at the Gaylord in Washington, D.C. I see that the board is still accepting proposals for presentations if you have some good stories to tell.

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