posted by William R. Stott
Published: September 22, 2009
KONE Inc., one of the world's leading elevator and escalator companies, has achieved ISO 14001 certification at two manufacturing facilities and one supply unit in North America.
KONE went through a series of external audits at each of its three facilities to complete the ISO 14001 certification, which provides a framework for development of an environmental management system that helps companies deal efficiently with environmentally related issues including materials selection, installation, reduction of oil usage and waste handling. The overall aim of ISO 14001 is to support environmental protection and prevention of pollution in balance with socio-economic needs.
During an intensive process launched in September 2008, team members at each site evaluated environmental aspects and legal requirements, established training programs and developed system documentation and communication procedures. The process forced careful examination of every aspect of operations, down to details such as packaging.
"Achieving this certification is another testament to the priority KONE places on the continuous reduction of the environmental footprint of our business. We work tirelessly with our suppliers and customers to reduce emissions and waste related to our operations," said Vance Tang, KONE Executive Vice President and Area Director for the Americas.
KONE offers a variety of sustainable and energy efficient elevator and escalator solutions. As part of the company's environmental commitment, KONE no longer manufactures hydraulic elevator systems. Instead, KONE prides itself on its KONE EcoDisc hoisting machine, which avoids hydraulic fluid issues while saving half or more of the energy consumed by a traditional hydraulic or traction elevator. Another example of KONE energy saving technologies includes regenerative drives, which recover excess braking energy from the elevator, converting it to electricity for use in the building.
KONE's efforts even carry over into its fleet of 700 service vehicles. As the vehicles are retired over the next three years, they will be replaced by Ford's Transit Connect, an Environmental Protection Agency certified SmartWay vehicle. KONE's eventual fleet will be more than two thirds (68 percent) SmartWay vehicles, resulting in a 3,000 ton (13 percent) reduction in yearly greenhouse gases in three years.
KONE facilities achieving the ISO 14001 certification are located in Coal Valley, IL, McKinney, TX, and Torreon, Mexico. Beginning in 2010, KONE will also look into achieving ISO 18001 certification for the Torreon and Coal Valley manufacturing facilities.