Good practice

Caterpillar paves the way in heavy machinery remanufacturing

Caterpillar paves the way in heavy machinery remanufacturing
©Alexander Kazharski, image #108924001, 2017, source:
Energy, Materials, Water, Waste
Manufacturing of machinery and equipment
High cost
Annual saving:
10 - 30%
Payback time:
4 - 6 Year(s)
Resource savings: Energy:
Up to 86 % reduction in energy used
Resource savings: Raw material:
Up to 99 % reduction in material use compared to making a new product
Resource savings: Waste water:
Up to 99 % reduction in waste sent to landfill
Resource savings: Water:
Up to 93 % reduction in water use
Associated cost savings: Raw material:
10 - 99%
Associated cost savings: Energy:
10 - 88%
Associated cost savings: Water:
10 - 93%
Associated cost savings: Waste:
10 - 99%
Total cost savings:
Depending on the percentage of remanufactured components in the machine
Premises and operation areas:
Product and design, Production processes
Size of company:
Large (more than 250)
Advancement in applying resource efficiency measures:

Long history of sustainability on display

  • Clever scheme to promote end-of-life product remanufacturing
  • Almost no waste sent to landfill, and huge reductions in energy and water use

Caterpillar is an American heavy machinery- and engine-maker with a strong brand and long history in remanufacturing dating back to 1973 when it realised that keeping products in-house allowed them to retain ownership and associated value, and reduce material costs.

CAT REMAN is the branch of Caterpillar that deals exclusively with remanufacturing machinery or their components by offering an end-of-life scheme to customers who return their products in order to collect the initial deposit paid. Once the discarded product is received by CAT REMAN, it is disassembled, cleaned, repaired and finally reassembled into new products, including engineering updates and innovations. In this way, value and functionality is added to the old products or parts and they are sold as new with a full warrantee.

Key results

The company estimates that its remanufacturing services have led to reductions in water use by 93 %, energy use by 86 %, and waste sent to landfill by 99 %. CAT REMAN also boasts a 99 % reduction in material use compared to making a new product.

The company receives more than 2 million components each year and they have now started remanufacturing operations for other companies’ products as well. In total, the remanufacturing activities cover around € 3 billion ($3.5 billion) worth of products and components.


“Because we are in the business of returning end-of-life components to same-as-new condition, we reduce waste and minimise the need for raw material to produce new parts. Through remanufacturing, we make one of the greatest contributions to sustainable development, keeping non-renewable resources in circulation for multiple lifetimes.” CAT REMAN

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