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Johnson Controls Hikes Battery Prices, Cites Environmental Costs

On the heels of a Johnson Controls’ China battery factory being ordered to suspend production after the Shanghai Environment Production Bureau found that the company was the main polluter in the region, the company has announced that it will implement an eight percent price increase on lead-acid batteries sold in the US and Canada for orders starting May 1, 2012.

The company says that increased environmental, health and safety standards, and the investments required to support them, are the reasons for the price hike.

Specifically, Johnson Controls says that “more stringent” national air standards for lead emissions, issued by the US EPA in 2008 and again as recently as January 2012, necessitate the company investing $162 million in its North American recycling centers. It will also spend an additional $50 million to improve employee blood lead levels at its battery manufacturing facilities.

“The investments we’re making will be seen throughout the supply chain, ultimately making their way to the consumer,” says Alex Molinaroli, president of Johnson Controls Power Solutions.

In January, Johnson Controls reported that its fiscal first-quarter earnings rose 9.3%, Dow Jones reports.

The company has also cast doubt that the Shanghai factory that was ordered to close will ever reopen for full-scale manufacturing.

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