Kevin Tubbs

Vice President & Chief Ethics, Compliance and Sustainability Officer
Oshkosh Corporation

As we stand at the crossroads of innovation and sustainability, it’s vital to recognize the transformative role of technology in shaping a sustainable future. At Oshkosh Corporation, our commitment extends beyond mere compliance to actively pioneering more sustainable solutions and redefining industry expectations.   Our journey is guided by the twin pillars of responsibility and innovation, ensuring that our advancements in technology also promote environmental responsibility.

Embracing Sustainable Innovation

In recent years, our focus has been on reducing the environmental impact of our products while enhancing their safety, efficiency, and durability. Our investment of $300 million from 2022 to 2025 in electrification underscores our belief in the clean energy economy, with notable strides in electrification across various sectors, including the creation of North America’s first fully integrated zero-emission electric refuse collection vehicle. Yet, it’s not just about creating eco-friendly products; it’s about integrating sustainability into every facet of our operations. Consider the Pierce Volterra electric fire truck, which reduces CO2 emissions by up to an estimated 30,000 pounds monthly. Such innovations not only reflect our environmental commitments but also support the critical missions of our customers.

The Solar Microgrid at Pierce Manufacturing

A standout achievement in our sustainability journey is the development of Pierce Manufacturing’s first-ever solar microgrid at our manufacturing plant in Appleton, Wisconsin. This pioneering project is part of a 90,000-square-foot facility expansion, supporting our vehicle manufacturing operations, Pierce became the first manufacturing company to be awarded a solar grant from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin – Energy Innovation. This microgrid employs solar energy to power a sophisticated battery storage system. It intelligently manages energy use, significantly reducing our dependence on traditional power sources, and lowering our overall energy costs.

What could your organization learn from adopting similar energy innovations? How might a tailored energy strategy benefit your operations and sustainability goals?

Benefits and Broader Impacts

The benefits of the Pierce Manufacturing solar microgrid are profound:

  • Energy savings: By storing energy during low-demand periods and releasing it during peak times, we optimize our energy costs and improve operational efficiency.
  • CO2 reduction: Utilizing renewable solar power, the microgrid plays a role in achieving our goal to reduce GHG intensity by 25% by 2024.
  • Innovation and leadership: As the first recipient of a solar energy grant in Wisconsin for a manufacturing site, we pave the way for other companies to embrace renewable technologies.

Expanding Our Impact

The success of the Pierce solar microgrid is just the beginning. This initiative exemplifies our broader strategy to integrate renewable energy solutions throughout Oshkosh Corporation, showcasing our leadership in corporate environmental responsibility.

“The current solar microgrid system has the ability to expand to the other half of the facility’s rooftop, providing even more energy savings. We’ll also continue to share what we have learned from this project to assist our sister sites and customers in bringing solar to their facilities.” Mackenzie Klein, Environmental and Sustainability Engineer.

A Call to Action

As we continue to innovate and implement sustainable practices, we encourage other industry leaders to join us in this critical endeavor. The path to sustainability is a shared journey, and together, we can make a significant impact.

What steps can your organization take today to incorporate sustainable practices? Are there untapped opportunities within your operations that could benefit from renewable energy solutions?

In conclusion, at Oshkosh Corporation, we are not just adapting to a decarbonized future; we are actively creating it. Through strategic investments like the Pierce solar microgrid, we demonstrate our commitment to sustainability and hopefully inspire others to follow suit. As we forge ahead, we remain dedicated to our mission of making a difference in the world through superior, sustainable solutions.

Kevin Tubbs has been a thought leader in Sustainability for over a quarter century for Fortune 500 Companies such as American Standard, Trane Company, Ingersoll Rand and now Oshkosh Corporation, where he is the Vice President & Chief Ethics, Compliance and Sustainability Officer. His experience with these leading companies in the development and implementation of sustainability processes and practices gives him an informed perspective on the business value of sustainable practices.


 In 2021, Kevin was named to inaugural list of the Purposeful 50 ESG influencers who are driving change and in 2023 he received the Wisconsin Sustainability Champion Award from the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council. In March, Oshkosh Corporation was recognized by Ethisphere as “One of the World’s Most Ethical Companies” for the ninth consecutive year, was named to the DJSI World Sustainability Index for the fifth consecutive year and was recently named to Fast Company’s 2024 Most Innovative Companies list.

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