Power in Partnerships: Johnson Controls

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Transforming tomorrow means joining together today in common cause. From laying the foundations of energy literacy, to catalyzing conservation in our communities, to inspiring innovation in young scientists across the state, OEP and our partners are paving the way toward a more sustainable future here in Ohio.


As part of our newest series, we want to highlight some of the amazing organizations joining us to further this critical work. We’re kicking things off with one of our newest partners, Johnson Controls. Read on to learn more about this incredible organization and the work they are doing to secure a better and brighter tomorrow.


Tell us about your company and the work you do. Johnson Controls transforms the spaces where people live, work and play. Through our innovative OpenBlue suite of connected solutions and services, as well as over 135 years of deep industry experience, our experts deliver optimum environments that lower energy and operating costs, reduce environmental impact and engage occupants in being better stewards of our natural resources.


Who do you serve? Johnson Controls has been serving schools and educational institutions, from kindergartens to elementary schools to secondary schools and beyond, for well over a century. In fact, the very roots of Johnson Controls lie in education: Warren Johnson, an American college professor in Wisconsin, created the first thermostat in 1883 to make classrooms more comfortable and more efficient. He went on to found Johnson Controls.


Today, we provide net zero leadership to schools to help them set and achieve their sustainability goals. Our team works with school leaders to create a net zero roadmap that meets their needs. From there, we develop, install and service a full range of highly connected building equipment, systems and solutions for schools and campuses of all shapes and sizes. We provide intelligent systems for building and campus management as well as energy storage and renewable energy systems. We also offer creative ways for schools and school districts to finance infrastructure and operational improvements, such as OpenBlue Net Zero Buildings as a Service.


What are your community impact/philanthropic giving goals? Our Johnson Controls Foundation operates with an intensive focus on supporting those organizations with robust levels of Johnson Controls employee volunteerism. It is aligned with the company’s overall philanthropic focus of building safe, smart and sustainable communities where our employees live and work. Each year, the Johnson Controls Foundation makes grants totaling about $7 million to nearly a hundred organizations.


What are your sustainability accomplishments?

  • From 2017 through 2020, we are proud to have reduced our energy intensity by 5.5% and our greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 26.1%.
  • Nearly half of Johnson Controls revenue comes from products and services that reduce energy use and improve sustainability for our customers.
  • Johnson Controls has delivered more than 3,000 energy-saving projects globally, resulting in reductions of more than 30.6M metric tons of carbon emissions in $6.6B in energy and operating cost savings. Our efforts align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
  • We always strive to do more, which is why in January 2021 Johnson Controls released its new science-based targets and environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments. This includes achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2040 as well as reducing customers emissions by 16% by 2030.  


What are some initiatives you are currently working on in Ohio schools? Most districts have a list of immediate needs, and the temptation is to jump right in with quick fixes. Certainly urgent needs must be addressed. At the same time, there’s power in stepping back to look at the big picture. We are excited about our work with school districts to take a holistic view to better coordinate efforts today and develop a clear strategy for tomorrow. We are working alongside districts to deliver enhanced learning environments, increased safety and security, improved occupant health and wellness, reduced energy use and improved operational efficiency.


What does energy education mean to you? Energy education + action = Ohio Energy Project.  The way OEP continues to inspire students, empower educators, and provide tools and programs for sustainability and conservation means a great deal. It’s the passion, collaboration, and dedication in action that impacts the entire community.


Thank you, Johnson Controls, for your commitment to community and the incredible work you are doing in schools and businesses around the world!


To learn more about Johnson Controls, please visit: https://www.johnsoncontrols.com/.


To learn more about OEP and our work with partners across the state, please visit: https://ohioenergy.org/support-oep.

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