For our inaugural BrownFlynn Quarterly Newsletter, we spoke with Brad Nemeth, Director of Sustainability for ThyssenKrupp Elevator, Americas Business Unit, about the company’s sustainability journey and the exciting initiatives they’re currently undertaking.
About three years ago, ThyssenKrupp Elevator recognized it needed to define what sustainability means for the company, and implement a strategy around how to embed sustainability throughout the company. Some questions to answer were: how does sustainability fit into the elevator industry? What does it look like internally? How do we reduce our environmental impact? Keep reading for answers to these questions and more.
Q: When you arrived at ThyssenKrupp Elevator, what was the first order of business?
A: Well, I came on to help head up sustainability and implement it as a business driver for the company. Our team began by taking a look at the company’s manufacturing processes and setting stringent environmental targets to meet in the near future: for example, 20% energy reduction by 2015, with another 10% by 2020.
Q: What are some ways the company is working to reduce energy?
A: One way in which we are working to reduce energy is by overhauling our fleet; employing Ford Transit Vehicles that are more environmentally conscious, imposing a no idling policy, and most notably using propane fuel as an alternative to diesel or gasoline. Propane is a cleaner fuel that reduces vehicle emissions and costs less.
Q: What are some other ways ThyssenKrupp Elevator is embedding sustainability into its core business?
A: Not only are we looking at operational efficiency, but training and educating our employees as well. We are an industry leader in LEED training for our sales executives and sales team, and are developing innovative tools to make the process easier and more convenient. We worked with BrownFlynn and a technology partner to develop Interactive Virtual Navigation (IVN) software that is housed on a Samsung Tablet and allows the sales team and other employees to have information about our company right at their fingertips. From literature on demand to informative videos to a virtual elevator ride, customers can experience ThyssenKrupp Elevator on the spot. At the same time we also worked with these organizations to develop an online Energy Calculator that allows customers to input data from their current elevator systems and see potential cost savings and modernization updates for the future.
Q: What new and exciting efforts are taking place at the company right now?
A: We have a lot of great things going on. With the help of BrownFlynn and our technology partner, we just launched a new product called enviromax: a high performing, low impact hydraulic fluid option made from canola seeds. We also produced a video to showcase enviromax at this year’s GreenBuild conference, and a sales kit that provided helpful facts and information about enviromax for our customers and potential customers. We are in the midst of producing our next sustainability report, and of course we are always looking to make our products and processes more efficient and sustainable.
Q: How would you sum up ThyssenKrupp Elevator’s sustainability journey thus far?
A: I would say that we went from not being sure what sustainability means in the beginning, to very aware of what it means not only for our company, but for the planet today and into the future. We also thank BrownFlynn for being a valued partner on this journey and for helping us bring to life our sustainability efforts and initiatives.