Caterpillar takes pride in being a good corporate citizen.

The Caterpillar factory in Suzhou, China, isn’t only brand new, it’s also one of the best manufacturing facilities in the world, producing medium wheel loaders and motor graders of the highest quality. With Gold-level certification in the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) system, it is also one of the greenest, most sustainable plants anywhere.

By using a range of technologies, says Duane Symes, General Manager of Caterpillar (Suzhou) Co., Ltd., Caterpillar was able to reduce water use by 40 percent and cut energy costs by 27 percent. The facility was built using more than 20 percent recycled materials – more than 55 percent of them local – and 50 percent FSC-certified wood. At the same time, more than 250 hours of training per employee and ongoing process improvement programs and quality standards have ensured that the plant meets all of Caterpillar’s stringent global standards.

“Caterpillar takes pride in being a good corporate citizen,” Symes says. “LEED certification and the actions driven by it are a good representation of the care Caterpillar takes with our local environments. Our Suzhou employees take great pride in the efforts made to be environmentally friendly. It is hard to put a price tag on these benefits, but it is believed that the Suzhou facility provides a unique, very desirable working environment with significant long-term benefits for the company and its employees.”

And along with being a green facility, the Suzhou factory also plays an important part in Caterpillar’s global efforts. “This facility will continue to increase volumes and support regions throughout the world, especially in the ASEAN and CIS regions, Africa, and the Middle East,” Symes says. “Due to our successful ramp-up, our Suzhou facility has become an extremely important factory for our worldwide production of these products. This importance will only grow as the facility continues to grow and demonstrate the high level of quality products that are being produced.”