Caterpillar Adds Chief Sustainability Officer Role to Energy and Transportation Exec’s Scope

Lou Balmer-Millar will take on the role of chief sustainability officer at Caterpillar, succeeding Julie Lagacy who is retiring after 35 years with the company. In addition to her new position, Balmer-Millar will remain the senior vice president of the Large Power Systems Division within the Energy and Transportation segment.

Irving-based Caterpillar Inc. announced that Lou Balmer-Millar will assume chief sustainability officer duties in addition to her current responsibility as senior vice president of the Large Power Systems Division within the Energy and Transportation segment.

She succeeds Julie Lagacy, Caterpillar’s first chief sustainability and strategy officer who is retiring on Feb. 1, after nearly 35 years with the company. In her capacity as chief sustainability officer, Balmer-Millar will report directly to Chairman and CEO Jim Umpleby.

Sustainability is a key element of Caterpillar’s strategy for achieving long-term, profitable growth, Umpleby says. Balmer-Miller’s new role builds on her work in Caterpillar’s Energy & Transportation segment.

The appointment will help the company improve the sustainability of its products and better support customers as they transition to renewable energy and meet their climate goals, the CEO says in a statement. 

“We remain committed to helping our customers build a better, more sustainable world,” Umpleby said. Caterpillar helps companies meet “climate-related objectives by geography, by application, and by specific customer need.”

Balmer-Millar has held several technical and business leadership positions of increased scope and responsibility during her 20-year career with Caterpillar, the company said. Before joining Caterpillar, she led materials and chemical engineering research at the Environmental Molecular Science Laboratory of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. She has a Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Bachelor of Science in engineering from The Pennsylvania State University.

Balmer-Millar will work with Lagacy to transition to the role in the first quarter of 2023.

In June, Caterpillar announced it was moving its global headquarters to the company’s existing office in Irving from Deerfield, Illinois.

“We believe it’s in the best strategic interest of the company to make this move, which supports Caterpillar’s strategy for profitable growth as we help our customers build a better, more sustainable world,” Umpleby said in the June announcement.

Caterpillar is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, off-highway diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives. In 2021 the company had sales and revenues of $51.0 billion. 

Last week, Caterpillar announced its first self-driving truck deployment in the aggregates industry, accelerating its autonomous solutions beyond mining.

 The company, which says it has the world’s largest fleet of autonomous haul trucks, currently has more than 560 in operation.

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