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“We are fully focused on producing sustainable products”

Stefan Brandl, CEO of the ebm-papst Group, on the decision to concentrate firmly on sustainability and move away from low-energy-efficient products.

ebm-papst has stood for sustainability for a long time, but now you are taking a new approach with “Sustainability Engineered.” What does this involve ?

We are convinced that all of our company’s thinking and actions need to move towards sustainability. This applies to buildings, production, processes, and of course products. With GreenIntelligence, we have raised our GreenTech philosophy to the next level and upgraded it by leveraging the huge benefits that digitalization can offer. Smart products that work together by being connected open up the potential for greater energy efficiency than would be possible through purely structural measures. That is an important component of our “Sustainability Engineered” approach.

Could you name an example ?

By using the fan as a data source and linking it to the Cloud, it is possible to optimize its operating condition using algorithms. For example, it runs on just the amount of power that is required at that particular moment. And we are going beyond that with ebm-papst neo: this enables us to measure operating conditions in buildings and network them with our platform via the Building Management System. In turn, we can improve the entire building better in terms of energy efficiency and air quality.

And what else does “Sustainability Engineered” include ?

To go one step further: until now, we have been able to achieve a great deal with EC technology. But now is the time to firmly focus on these energy-saving products. That is why we are planning to reduce our AC product range and to use the resources that this move frees up for new technologies. And by 2030, ebm-papst wants to aim to do without AC technology in the European market entirely.

“Sustainable business and resource conservation are part of our DNA.”

Stefan Brandl, CEO of the ebm-papst Group

What was it that led to this step ?

Sustainable business and resource conservation are part of our DNA. This has become an increasingly important topic over the past few years due to climate change and the resulting political initiatives. The coronavirus crisis has accelerated this process: we have used this period to organize ourselves. We want to rid our product portfolio of outdated products and weed out ones that are not sustainable.

What do customers think about this ?

Of course, with this approach, we are putting pressure on our customers, as well. As some of them are still quite happy to continue using the existing technology. However, we have resolved to see this step through as the outdated technology no longer has any long-term prospects. At the latest, the next stage of the Energy-related Products Directive will provide evidence for this. That is why we have decided to focus resolutely on sustainable products. We want to move forward with conviction and actively shape the future — for and with our customers. 

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