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Caterpillar appoints new chief sustainability officer

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Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) announced that Dr Lou Balmer-Millar will assume responsibility for the role of chief sustainability officer. The company is a major manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, off-highway diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives.

  • Dr Lou Balmer-Millar is replacing Julie Lagacy as Caterpillar’s chief sustainability officer.
  • She is taking the role alongside her current responsibility as senior vice president of the Large Power Systems Division within the Energy and Transportation segment.
  • The company provides equipment for hard-to-abate industries and has set some sustainability goals.

Dr Balmer-Millar, currently senior vice president of the Large Power Systems Division within the Energy and Transportation segment, is assuming responsibility for the chief sustainability officer role. She is replacing Julie Lagacy, who is retiring in February 2023 after 35 years in the company.

Dr Balmer-Millar will report directly to chairman and chief executive Jim Umpleby. She has been at the group for 20 years, holding several technical and business leadership positions. 

Prior to joining the company, she led materials and chemical engineering research efforts at the Environmental Molecular Science Laboratory of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Dr Balmer-Millar has a PhD in Materials Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Bachelor of Science in engineering from The Pennsylvania State University.  

“Sustainability is an important focus area of our long-term strategy for profitable growth,” Umpleby commented. “Building on her role in Caterpillar’s Energy & Transportation segment, this move further enhances the advancement of product solutions to support our customers during the energy transition and help them achieve their climate-related objectives by geography, by application and by specific customer need. 

Caterpillar is a well-known name in hard-to-abate industries, as it makes construction and mining equipment, off-highway diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. It made sales and revenues of $51 billion in 2021.

The company has set seven sustainability goals to achieve by 2030. These include cutting Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 30% compared to 2018 levels, halving landfill intensity, and increasing sales and revenues from remanufacturing offerings by 25%. It has pledged the responsible sourcing of Conflict Minerals used in its products and said it “will not knowingly” provide support to, contribute to, assist with, or facilitate armed conflict in the DRC.

It has also committed to respecting internationally recognised human rights, implementing standards for environmental, health and safety and developing systems based on circular economy principles. In November 2022, it completed the demonstration of its first battery-powered large mining truck

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