Caterpillar’s ‘strategic agreement’ continues electric evolution

The world’s largest manufacturer of construction equipment, Caterpillar, is continuing progress on an electric future, as the US firm announced its strategic agreement with CRH, the Ireland-based provider of building materials.

Executives sign agreement with CRH Executives from CRH sign an agreement with Caterpillar President Denise Johnson at the company’s headquarters in Irving, Texas, US. (Photo credit: Caterpillar)

CRH is a leading aggregates producer in North America and the first company in that sector to sign such a pact with Cat.

The electrification strategic agreement is reported to advance the deployment of Caterpillar’s zero-exhaust emissions solutions, the company said.

“When it comes to sustainability, the quarry and aggregates industry requires diverse solutions,” said Caterpillar Resource Industries Group President Denise Johnson.

“Our collaboration with CRH is an exciting opportunity to learn together and gain valuable insights into how our products can best support CRH’s long-term objectives to decarbonize its operations.” 

According to Caterpillar, the agreement is focused on accelerating the deployment of the OEM’s 70 to 100-ton-class battery electric off-highway trucks and charging solutions at a CRH site in North America.

CRH will participate in Caterpillar’s Early Learner program for battery electric off-highway trucks, testing and validating the units in on-site applications. CRH will also provide customer feedback to address safety, performance, operational and compliance requirements for the aggregates industry, according to Cat.

Scott Parson, president of CRH Americas Materials Solutions, said, “Through this partnership with Caterpillar, we will advance the use of sustainable equipment in our operations and build on our shared commitment to a low-carbon future.”

CRH stated the collaboration assists the firm’s climate-related objectives of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by utilizing more sustainable equipment. The company has set a target to deliver a 30% reduction in absolute carbon emissions (from 2021 to 2030) and a goal to be a net-zero business by 2050.

Electric construction equipment 

For Caterpillar, the electrical agreement keeps up with initiatives from recent years into 2024.

In December of 2023, Cat demonstrated it’s first-ever battery-powered underground mining truck prototype for Newmont Corporation (a US-based mining company).

That demonstration came roughly one year after Caterpillar unveiled its 793 electric surface-level mining truck (in November 2022).

In May of 2023, USA Today named the OEM to its inaugural America’s Climate Leaders List, which recognised companies that cut their carbon footprint and made a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The paper reviewed US companies that achieved the greatest reduction in emissions intensity – called “Scope 1” and “Scope 2” greenhouse gas emissions (relative to revenue) – between 2019 and 2021.

Caterpillar announced its first sustainability goals in 2006, which were refined in 2013 to include a 50% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions intensity from 2006 to 2020. A 51% reduction was achieved against this goal.​ 

In 2021, seven new sustainability goals were established for 2030. Among them is a goal to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 30% between 2018 and 2030.​ The 2022 Sustainability Report announced a 33% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions from 2018.

“Caterpillar has a long-standing commitment to sustainability,” stated Dr. Lou Balmer-Millar, Cat’s chief sustainability officer. “As we support our customers in their sustainability journey, we remain focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions within our own operations.”

Cat and Newmont employees at a demonstration Caterpillar and Newmont employees gather at a demontration of Cat’s new battery electric mining machines. (Photo credit: Caterpillar)

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