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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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