We recognize the impact our operations can have on the environment and the local communities where we operate and we are focused on continuous efficiency improvements. We are dedicated to promoting environmental stewardship and introducing processes and technologies that improve our safety track record, reduce energy and water consumption, cut greenhouse gas emissions and divert more waste to beneficial use in the communities where we live and work. We strive to minimize our impact and maximize future generations’ ability to live, work and play in our shared natural environment.
Managers and employees at every level are responsible and accountable for our overall environmental compliance and stewardship. It is the responsibility of every team member to do his or her part to protect our environment by working in compliance with the law, following the policies, practices and procedures established by the company, and by raising any concerns they might have about environmental issues.
Many national and local laws protect the environment from industrial emissions and hazardous substances. These laws differ among different jurisdictions and subject matter. We expect our employees and vendors to respect and comply with these legal protections. In addition, we have an enterprise-wide environmental health and safety policy governing our U.S. operations.
We have relatively limited exposure to environmental risks in our operations. However, we have begun to quantify and disclose our environmental impact along with our efforts to mitigate our environmental impact. Please see below for more information about our environmental data, waste and recycling efforts, water use, climate change initiatives, protection of biodiversity and critical habitats, and investments in IT systems to minimize our environmental impact.
We estimate our Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to determine our net emissions from different sources. Scope 1 GHG emissions are emissions that occur from sources that are controlled or owned by an organization, such as boilers, furnaces and owned vehicles. Scope 2 GHG emissions are indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy, such as electricity and heat purchased from a utility provider. Scope 3 GHG emissions are indirect emissions from sources that are not owned or directly controlled by a business but are related to the business’s activities.
We have estimated our Scope 1 GHG emissions from our use of electric backup generators and boilers that are at certain key facilities. Those generators ensure that our operations may continue in the event of a power outage by our utility providers. The boilers are located at a limited number of locations for heating in certain situations. The energy usage and associated Scope 1 GHG emissions from these back-up generators and boilers are immaterial.
We have estimated our water, electric and natural gas usage at our U.S. facilities for calendar years 2019, 2020 and 2021 below in order to calculate our Scope 2 GHG emissions. This usage data is based on information provided by our utility providers and facility owners to us.
|Calendar year||water usage (gallons)||Electricity usage (kWh)||natural gas usage (Therms)|
We calculated the Scope 2 GHG emissions for our facilities using the usage data above and GHG emissions factors from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Center for Corporate Climate Leadership. The EPA’s GHG emission factors convert electricity and natural gas usage into carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide emissions based on a conversation ratio that varies based on the location of the facility and the year of the energy usage.
Below are the Scope 2 GHG emissions from our electricity usage at our U.S. facilities:
|calendar year||electricity usage (kWh)||Carbon dioxide (CO2) metric tons||methane (ch4) tons||nitrous oxide (n2O) tons|
Below are the Scope 2 (GHG) emissions from our natural gas usage at our U.S. facilities:
|calendar year||natural gas usage (Therms)||Carbon dioxide (CO2) metric tons||methane (ch4) tons||nitrous oxide (n2O) tons|
Currently, none of our facilities are required to report GHG emissions to any governmental agency because the threshold for reporting is 25,000 metric tons.
Our travel provider has also calculated the Scope 3 GHG emissions for our U.S. employees’ flights, as shown in the table below. Scope 3 GHG emissions are indirect emissions from sources that are not owned or directly controlled by a business but are related to the business’s activities.
|calendar year||flight mileage||Carbon dioxide (CO2) metric tons|
Environmental Management Processes
We have robust environmental management processes that are guided by our corporate Environmental, Health and Safety Policy. These processes are overseen by our Executive Leadership Team and administered by our operations teams companywide.
As part of our ongoing efforts to ensuring the safety, health and protection of people and the environment worldwide, we train employees on environmental best practices, conduct audits on pollution and other matters, and invest in initiatives that will improve our environmental impact. Our environmental program focuses on the following initiatives:
- compliance with all applicable environmental laws and regulations;
- commitment to a continual improvement process in environmental management;
- commitment to emergency preparedness and response to minimize potential environmental impacts resulting from day-to-day operations;
- minimize waste generation through efforts that include recycling, innovation and prevention of pollution;
- evaluation of environmental impacts of operations and facilities, with a commitment to minimize impacts and restore properties affected by our operations;
- improvement of employee environmental performance through detailed policies and procedures, training and recognition of excellence;
- integration of environmental responsibilities and considerations into daily operations and business decision-making processes;
- measurement of environmental performance through auditing, with employee accountability and reporting to senior management;
- promotion of awareness of environmental policies to employees and the public; and
- promotion of effective environmental management by our suppliers and contractors.
We comply with all applicable environmental, health and safety laws and regulations in every country in which Mercury does business. Where there are no environmental, health or safety laws, or where the legal requirements do not adequately protect the environment or workplace, Mercury’s environmental, health and safety policies and procedures take precedence.
All of our facilities are classified by the EPA as either Very Small Quantity Generators or Small Quantity Generators of hazardous waste, and they are in compliance with and follow all federal, state and (if applicable) local regulations regarding hazardous waste. Among other things, each facility has appropriate storage, handling and disposal procedures, including segregated storage areas, container labeling, recordkeeping and employee training procedures in place.
Our facilities generate electronic waste while we conduct our business, such as computers, monitors, printers, hard drives and copiers. Due to ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) requirements, and because of proprietary information that may have been stored on some of these devices, certain of our electronic devices must go through a specialized incineration process. Other electronic waste is processed by a licensed electronics recycler.
Our facilities handle universal waste on site. Universal Waste is a general descriptive term used to describe waste that is generated by a large, diverse population. Our main types of universal waste consist of fluorescent lamps and spent batteries. These wastes are processed by a licensed waste hauler and brought to a licensed recycling facility. All Mercury facilities are in compliance with and follow all federal, state and local regulations regarding universal waste.
Mercury has partnered with a nationally recognized waste management vendor to ensure that our by-products and materials are reclaimed, recycled or disposed of in ways that will reduce environmental impacts and conserve natural resources. As an environmentally conscious company, Mercury focuses on and supports efforts that move towards a zero-waste future through continuous improvement of production processes, sustainable materials management and resource efficiency.
We recycle varying items on a location-specific basis. These items consist of paper, plastic and aluminum, which are used mainly in office and employee break areas. There are varying types of scrap metals from our manufacturing processes that are made available for recycling and reclamation by licensed reclamation facilities. These metals include, but are not limited to, lead, tin and aluminum and certain precious metals. We are continually seeking more efficient ways to recycle and/or reclaim as many metals and precious metals as possible to avoid disposing of these materials in landfills.
Recycled Content of Office Furniture
The carpet we use for any facility renovation or expansion is 25% pre-consumer recycled content and “cradle-to-grave” certified by the manufacturer. The majority of the office furniture we acquired during 2021 had a post-consumer recycled content of greater than 19%.
Mercury recognizes that water is an important resource for humanity that must be safeguarded for the sustainable development of our world. Water is necessary for human survival, sanitation, air conditioning, heating and myriad other uses, and its scarcity or withdrawal can have devastating impacts for communities.
We use water in our air conditioning and heating systems, cafeterias and in general office facilities, such as in bathrooms and water fountains. Mercury otherwise does not intensively use water in our business. Our facilities are also not located in areas with high levels of water stress or in areas that lack sufficient water for human use. Based on our business practices and facility locations, we do not have any material risks from water withdrawal or scarcity compared to other companies in our industry or regions.
We do not have any business practices that would require the use of any specialized wastewater treatment facilities. We also have not had any material incidents of non-compliance with water quality or quantity permits, standards or regulations in the past three years.
We aim to reduce our relatively minor water consumption in line with sustainable development goals for similar business. Our facilities and business teams work to minimize water consumption by assessing our requirements and finding solutions that reduce any wasted water use. For example, we push for the installation of low-flow plumbing fixtures and touchless sink faucets wherever feasible, which can create large water savings over time with relatively little cost.
Mercury encourages its employees, customers, suppliers and other businesses to conserve water as much as possible.
We recognize that climate change is an urgent threat to the world and may have a significant and lasting impact on global economic growth. Scientists have concluded that rising levels of GHG emissions are linked to global warming through the expansion of Earth’s natural greenhouse effect. The consequences of increased average temperatures can include irreversible changes in major ecosystems and more frequent extreme weather events, such as heatwaves, droughts, floods and rising sea levels. These changes and events can have devastating impacts on all aspects of society and the repercussions may only be avoided by governments, businesses and societies working together to address the threat.
We believe in taking meaningful action to reduce our GHG emissions and mitigate our impact on the environment as part of the global environmental effort. Mercury’s climate change initiatives have three key goals:
- Reducing Emissions: We seek to reduce our GHG emissions by implementing environmental initiatives that are proven and cost-effective. We focus our efforts in areas throughout our supply chain that create significant benefits for all stakeholders, such as increasing the energy efficiency of our products and decreasing our fossil fuel usage.
- Innovating In Our Business: Mercury is committed to Innovation That Matters® in our entire business, including in our environmental initiatives. We believe that innovative solutions provide the best opportunity for companies to address the specific requirements of their businesses rather than relying on one-size-fits-all solutions.
- Monitoring Our Impact: We take responsibility for our carbon footprint by measuring our GHG emissions and other environmental data. We use this data to track the impact of our company on the world and to assess our environmental initiatives going forward.
While we have relatively limited exposure to environmental risks in our own operations, we regularly assess the impact of environmental matters on our business, including:
- Supply Chain Operations: Our business teams work to assess customer requirements and supplier capabilities and then provide products and solutions that are optimized for mission success. We are focused on satisfying these requirements with minimal wasted materials, unnecessary energy expenditures or excess carbon emissions in the process, which we believe will help ensure that our environmental impact is minimized. We do not expect climate change to have a material adverse impact on our supply chain operations in the short, medium or long terms relative to other companies in our industry.
- Regulatory Changes: Our operations and legal teams evaluate environmental laws and regulations to ensure our continued compliance in the jurisdictions where we do business. We do not expect any current or emerging laws or regulations to have a material adverse effect on our operations or financial position relative to other companies in our industry at any point, such as laws or regulations that would be required to limit global warming to less than two degrees as proposed under the Paris Agreement.
- Talent Management: We recognize that climate change may have an impact in the long term on the ability of companies to attract talent due to environmental changes that affect the types of companies that employees desire to work for and where employees will want to work. We pride ourselves on being an environmental leader among our peers and expect our reputation to continue to attract employees to us at all points in the future.
We have not identified any material risks from climate change on our business, strategy or financial planning compared to other companies in our industry, including any material risks in scenarios involving no rise in global temperatures or a 2°C rise in global temperatures.
Contributions to Monitoring Climate Change
Mercury was selected by Ball Aerospace to enhance the data recording and storage performance for MethaneSAT, the methane monitoring satellite being developed by a subsidiary of the non-profit Environmental Defense Fund. With MethaneSAT, nations and companies will be able to identify, manage and reduce methane emissions and help slow the rate at which the Earth is warming.
Mercury’s data storage technology delivers the high performance and sustainability required to operate successfully in space's harsh, radiation-intense environment. Ball’s MethaneSAT spectrometer will incorporate Mercury’s RH3440 3U VPX high-density solid-state data recorder (SSDR), allowing the state-of-the-art satellite to gather critical data needed to solve environmental sustainability issues. The digital recorder is optimized for size, weight and power (SWaP) and is radiation tolerant – crucial for a successful space mission. Moreover, since data will be generated at a rate much higher than can be telemetered, Mercury’s “store-and-forward” features allow delayed data transmission to ground stations while maintaining data integrity until the data can be transmitted.
Biodiversity and Critical Habitats
Mercury believes in protecting biodiversity and critical habitats in our world. Pollution, the destruction of ecosystems and climate change have contributed to a dramatic reduction in global biodiversity as numerous species have gone extinct or had their population sizes severely reduced.
Mercury does not operate in areas with critical habitats that may contain endangered or threatened species, as determined by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. We also do not operate in areas with a recognized high biodiversity value or high conservation value.
We have considered red flags and other environmental impacts on critical habitats or areas with a recognized high biodiversity value or high conservation value by reviewing assessments of local ecosystems, including the United States Geological Survey’s Protected Area database and the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
While we do not currently have operations that threaten biodiversity or critical habitats, we use a risk management process that assesses the environmental risks of our operations on the world, including risks relating to:
- the proximity of facilities to critical habitats or areas with high biodiversity or conservation value
- the impact of operations on those habitats or areas
- the types of species in those habitats or areas, such as species that are endangered, threatened or at-risk, which we need heightened protections; and
- international, national or local norms or regulations, including the standards of the EPA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of the Interior.
As part of this process, we evaluate the risks noted above, relevant laws and regulations relating to environmental impacts, business and industry requirements, and mitigation options. This process is designed to ensure that we are a steward of the environment while we continue our critical operations for the nation’s aerospace and defense programs.
We are committed to reducing our environmental impact through our travel choices. Our environmental travel strategy involves a multi-prong approach:
- Travel Options. We recognize that the airplanes, vehicles, trains and other travel options can release greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. Our employees are expected to weigh the monetary and environmental costs of any options when making their travel decisions.
- Vehicles and Fuel Economy. Mercury does not regularly purchase vehicles or enter into long-term leases of vehicles for direct use in our business. Our fleet fuel consumption is therefore immaterial. In the rare instances where purchases or leases are made, we expect our employees to consider the vehicle's fuel economy and other environmental impacts as some of the key decision factors.
- IT Investments. We have made a substantial investment in IT infrastructure as part of our One Mercury effort to connect employees using video conferencing technology, including Microsoft Teams, at employee workstations and in conference rooms. This has helped to create a One Mercury atmosphere by team members’ ability to see each other on calls while at the same time reducing the environmental impact of travel between our facilities.
MSCI ESG Rating
We received a AAA MSCI ESG rating during 2021 and 2022, and an A rating in 2019. Our AAA MSCI ESG rating places us in the top 3% of their ratings group for aerospace and defense.
Board and Executive Oversight
The Nominating and Governance Committee of our Board of Directors is responsible for reviewing and overseeing Mercury’s environmental impact and initiatives. In 2021, our Board approved amendments to the Committee’s charter that require the Committee to review our environmental sustainability policies, strategies, and related disclosures. The Committee provides input to the Board on our identification, assessment and management of risks associate with environmental sustainability and corporate responsibility issues, including climate change. Our Executive Leadership Team oversees and implements our environmental initiatives with a view towards demonstrating our commitment to good corporate citizenship and responsible business practices.