You may know Raytheon Missile Systems as the world’s largest missile maker and one of Arizona’s largest private employers, but you may not be aware of the company’s deep commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship.
As the world’s largest missile maker, Raytheon designs, develops and delivers the most advanced weapon systems available today. Our products keep U.S. and allied warfighters ahead of the threat, so the men and women in uniform who we support can do their jobs and return home safely to their family and friends. Since 1951, we have delivered more than 1.5 million missiles.
Raytheon Missile Systems is southern Arizona’s largest private employer and one of Arizona’s biggest companies. We employ more than 12,000 people in Arizona and we’re growing. This summer, we announced completion on the first of several new buildings as part of a multi-million dollar expansion. More buildings are scheduled for completion this year and in 2019.
Raytheon has a network of suppliers across Arizona. More than 500 Arizona companies do business with us – 250 of them are located in Maricopa County. A study by Arizona State University found that Raytheon has a $2.1 billion economic impact to the state.
There’s no doubt we are a technology powerhouse and a strong economic engine for Arizona, but we are also focused on corporate citizenship and on protecting the state’s fragile environment. We are executing an ambitious sustainability program that’s focused on energy efficiency, recycling and waste minimization, water conservation, greenhouse gas emission reductions and more.
Our efforts are paying dividends. Here are just a few examples that demonstrate Raytheon’s positive environmental impact. Since 2008, Raytheon Missile Systems has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 20 percent. During that same time period, we’ve decreased our energy consumption by nearly 9 percent, and we’ve increased water conservation by 15 percent. In 2017, Raytheon Missile Systems recycled or reused nearly 6,500 tons of solid waste, and we’re working to decrease supplier packaging.
How did we accomplish all of this? We’ve switched to energy-efficient lighting, used solar energy where possible, installed state-of-the-art building automation systems, designed energy-efficient data centers, deployed water conservation initiatives and diverted tons of waste from our landfills. I am proud to tell you that for 11 consecutive years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded Raytheon the EPA’s Energy Star® Partner of the Year sustained excellence award.
None of this happens by accident. These initiatives and these accomplishments are the result of visionary leadership and employee commitment. Arizona is our home too. We don’t just work here. Our families live and play here. We have an obligation to be careful stewards of our community, make the best possible products for the warfighter, while returning the most value to our shareholders. Sustainability planning helps us address each of these obligations.
We are not finished with these efforts. Raytheon has set even more ambitious goals for the future to further reduce waste, save additional water and conserve even more energy. Environmental stewardship and sustainability aren’t just words on a page to us. It’s part of our commitment to future generations.
— Hyte Johnson is Raytheon Missile Systems director of environmental health, safety and sustainability.
The views expressed in guest commentaries are those of the author and are not the views of the Arizona Capitol Times.