Looking for simple takeaways from the Environmental Leader & Energy Manager Conference (ELEMCON18)? Brad Nemeth, VP of sustainability for ThyssenKrupp, shared thoughts on these 5 tactics.
- On environmental responsibility in products: Consider breaking down your products to the most basic elements. Look at each material and ask, “What are my supply chain risks? Health risks? Others?” Then look at potential substitutes.
- On selling it to the CFO: when it comes to sustainability, CEOs get it. CFOs sometimes take more convincing. Nemeth said that at ThyssenKrupp, he made sure that customers were asked what attributes they were looking for in their elevators, including attributes like energy efficiency, social responsibility and sustainability. Those preferences were included in a customer database. When the CFO wants to know, “What do our customers want?” the database can be brought up to show how sustainable elements can affect sales.
- On communicating: Assume that everyone wants to do the “right thing.” But you might not connect with them about the right thing if you can’t communicate with them effectively. People in different areas of the company should be approached in different ways. With some, you might say, “This initiative will decrease risk.” With others, you may point out, “This will improve quality product.”
- On supply chain: The biggest challenge for the company in terms of supply chain is communicating with suppliers. ThyssenKrupp conducts an annual review of suppliers with just a handful of simple questions – and the company includes what it calls “knock-out” questions. “That is, if they don’t answer ‘yes’ to a knock-out question, they automatically can’t be a supplier of ours. So if they see that right out of the block they can’t do business with us if they don’t track their carbon footprint, fore example, that helps encourage them to change.”
- On talent: Employees today want to know they’re doing meaningful work. To make sure the company can attract and retain top talent, “They need to feel it’s a good company and that by working with us, they can make an impact.”
Stay tuned throughout the next few weeks for more knowledge from #ELEMCON18.