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By 2050, the world population is expected to reach 9.7 billion, according to the United Nations 2015 report, and 66% of this population will live in urban environments. In order to build sustainable cities, it is crucial to take into account all the elements that make a difference. That’s why KONE is paying close attention to both, designing eco-efficient solutions for buildings to make them more energy efficient, and improving its own operations to reduce environmental impact.
KONE’s operational environmental work focuses on reducing carbon footprint and improving energy and material efficiency, lowering water consumption and waste amounts, and minimizing the use of hazardous substances.
According to KONE’s Life Cycle Assessment data and products ordered in 2015, 90% of the materials used for manufacturing and packaging KONE elevators and escalators comprise recyclable metals. KONE’s equipment contains neither harmful substances – like asbestos, paints containing lead or cadmium pigments – nor chemicals that deplete the ozone layer, such as chlorinated solvents or CFCs.
In terms of water usage and wastage, KONE’s manufacturing units (excluding GiantKONE), in 2015, released 17 tonnes of waste water effluents into the municipal waste water systems compared to 20 tonnes in 2014.
THE WAVE OF RENEWABLES
The share of green electricity increased to 22% in 2015 from 20% in 2014.
Here’s why. 100% of the electricity consumed by KONE’s corporate head offices and the whole manufacturing and R&D site in Finland is produced by wind power. While 5% of the electricity consumed by KONE’s manufacturing unit in Slimpa, Italy, is produced by a solar energy system, 30% of the electricity consumed by KONE US Operations Center in Moline, Illinois, comes from over 1,300 solar panels.
Over and above the usage of renewables, KONE is using fuel-efficient vehicles, introducing electrical vehicles, rightsizing them, and monitoring driver performance to reduce carbon footprint of KONE’s vehicle fleet. The vehicles are stocked with optimized spare parts to reduce warehouse visits, thereby further decreasing emissions. Smart technologies such as telematics systems for increasing driver safety and security, as well as improving fuel efficiency, come in handy as well. Overall, KONE recorded a 2.9% relative reduction of vehicle fleet emissions in 2015.
Even in the area of logistics, KONE optimizes transportation networks, improves space utilization ratio in loading, and minimizes the use of air freight by increasing railway and waterway transportation usage.
In order to reduce the need for travel, for KONE employees, the company encourages personnel to use virtual meeting tools. That’s perhaps why its greenhouse gas emissions related to air travel decreased by 4.5% in 2015 in comparison to 2014.
WALKING THE WALK
KONE’s dedicated efforts to make a difference both within and outside the company are being noticed. Last year, it was awarded a position on the global Climate Performance A-List and the Supplier A-List by CDP, one of the world’s leading providers of climate change data. KONE also received the best possible climate disclosure score of 100 in the CDP Nordic report 2015 - a high score, indicative of excellent data management, transparent communication and a deep understanding of climate change related issues affecting the company.
Such an understanding is crucial while implementing environmental objectives that aim to make urban cities a better place to live in.