Consistent with our ZERO HARM! vision, we strive to continuously reduce our environmental impact.
Our current environmental performance improvement cycle is from 2016-2020, so we are two years into the cycle. In line with science based targets, we have normalized our greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction and our water consumption reduction objectives to our research and development (R&D) spend. Our R&D operations are responsible for a majority of the utility consumption through equipment installations and supporting facility infrastructure.
We have continued to make progress against the objectives. We have exceeded the 5-year objectives in both GHG emissions and water consumption. While this seems early in the cycle, the challenge before us is to ensure the measures taken can be sustained over the target cycle years regardless of changes in R&D spending in years to come. In 2017, we experienced a net increase in the number of process modules in R&D facilities. As a result, absolute electrical consumption increased, leading to an absolute increase in GHG emissions. However, absolute water consumption was reduced. Some initiatives that contributed to the progress toward the normalized objectives include:
Our landfill diversion progress continues to trend toward the 2020 objective to divert 90% of our materials to recycle or reuse. In 2017, we made progress in the implementation of a crate reuse program through a pilot program with a product line. The program targets the reuse of transportation crates approximately 10 times before needing to dispose of the crating materials. Previously, crates were one-time-use materials. The pilot program contributed approximately a 2% increase towards the landfill diversion results. The opportunity now exists to transfer the process to other product lines through 2020.
Looking forward, we have plans to: