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John Deere is leaping forward on sustainability

John Deere has made significant strides in reducing emissions and engine sustainability. 

As businesses move to decarbonise their operations, John Deere is focused on improving its engine sustainability.

The company released its sustainability report last year which highlighted several goals and initiatives designed to help reduce its carbon footprint.

John Deere chief executive John C. May said the company was shifting its approach to meet these targets in his letter for the report.

“To achieve these targets, we are pursuing the expansion of renewable fuels across multiple products and geographies and are in various stages of development and launch on battery electric pavers, rollers, excavators, turf and utility equipment, and backhoes,” May said.

“Our efforts show the breadth and depth of our higher purpose: We run so life can leap forward.

“That means we run for the impact we can have when our products and people are involved. We run for food, shelter, fibre, and fuel. We run for the environment and society.”

One of its fastest-growing initiatives was the remanufacturing business which saw “solid growth” despite weathering challenges over supplier capacity and material availability according to the report.

The company has set the benchmark for remanufacturing revenue by 50 per cent by 2030 to underline its commitment to sustainability across the organisation.

The program allows John Deere to rebuild and reuse engines rather than dispose of them. By going down this pathway, the company can provide a cost-effective solution for customers as well as reduce waste and support the circular economy.

This has been further bolstered by the company investing heavily in research and development to improve its engines with alternative fuels, better sustainability and efficiency.

John Deere has developed a hybrid-electric powertrain in its wheel loader machines which reduces fuel consumption and emissions by more than 40 per cent in one key improvement which could also benefit the quarrying and aggregate industry.

John Deere has made major gains in engine technology and efficiency in the past five years.

The wheel loader features a 13.5L engine, gearbox, two three-phase alternating current (AC) permanent magnet generators, power electronics or inverters, four three-phase AC switched reluctance motors, four two-stage reduction final drives and two brake resistors.

The electric drive components are supported by an eight-year, 20,000-hour warranty.

The company’s push to develop alternative fuel technologies which use efficient technology has also seen it investigate hydrogen fuel cells, which can be used to power electric motors, and work on hydraulic pumps and construction equipment.

“This loader is unique in that it runs four electric wheeled motors, which allows the system to recover energy and send to the power electronics to manage where the most efficient path for energy to go,” John Deere’s aggregate and material handling solutions manager Amy Asselin previously told Quarry.

“This allows the machine to be highly productive in the pit face while managing wheel slip. This means operations can process more material while burning less fuel. It also helps reduce the 944K’s overall environmental impact.”

Work is also underway to investigate the potential usage of biofuels, such as biodiesel, to further this aim.

It is this commitment to efficiency that has seen the company achieve a 16 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency for its construction equipment over the past decade. 

The company aims to offer a range of electric construction equipment to its customers by 2026, including offering 20-plus electric and hybrid models.

John Deere bolstered this ambition by investing in its partnership with Kreisel Electric earlier this year to help fund its expansion and increase its battery production capacity.

The partnership was designed to be a cornerstone of John Deere’s sustainability plans featuring increased electrification of its construction products.

As part of its sustainability goals and new partnership, a new facility will be opened at the John Deere Saran factory in France as well as assembly facilities in the United States.

“This investment will put a strong focus on the industrialisation and automation of the entire production process, as well as research and development capacities at Kreisel HQ in Rainbach,” John Deere electric power global director Jennifer Preston told Quarry previously.

“We are embarking toward a future with zero emissions propulsion and pursuing our sustainability goal to demonstrate viable low- and no-carbon alternative power solutions
by 2026.”

Visit deere.com.au to learn more.

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