Down to Earth

Happy Earth Day 2024!

As many of you know, my professional career started with a focus on environmental and energy policy issues when I was a congressional liaison at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington, D.C. While at EPA, I managed toxic substances, Alaska-specific challenges, the Kuwaiti oil fires, and emergency response federal policy efforts. I then went to the National Association of Homebuilders with a position as Legislative Director for environmental issues and continued working on these important matters. And since, throughout my career, I have continued to engage in work to make a meaningful impact on our environment.

My job with the elevator industry is no different. Environmental impact and energy efficiency is now part of the larger sustainability discussion, and buildings – including building transportation – play a key part.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme, the buildings and construction sector is by far the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, accounting for a staggering 37% of global emissions. Historically, much of the sector's progress has centered around reducing the "operational” carbon emissions of buildings – those emissions stemming from heating, cooling, and lighting. Projections suggest that these operational emissions will decrease significantly in the coming decades. However, solutions to mitigate the buildings "embodied" carbon emissions originating from the design, production, and deployment of materials and services have lagged.

NEII’s member companies are incorporating sustainability goals and practices throughout all aspects of their respective businesses, including in products and services, governance, and supply chain management. The industry’s respective goals vary based on company, with some setting a goal of being carbon-neutral by 2030 while others seek to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2030. Net-zero global emissions goals also vary from 2040 to 2050 depending on the organization. 


While the goals and corresponding dates can vary, the mission uniting the elevator industry is the same. Here’s a glimpse at what NEII members are doing to protect our environment and slow global warming:

  • Membership in RE100 (Renewable Electricity) initiative
  • Zero waste-to-landfill certification
  • ISO 14001 for all U.S. facilities
  • Electric vehicle deployment
  • Fleet management enhancements
  • Local material source and hub distribution to reduce energy and transport emission
  • Membership in Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance
  • Carbon-neutral maintenance services
  • Energy-efficient elevators
  • Gearless motors and more energy-efficient drives
  • Sustainable building design through technology
  • Logistics optimization
  • Prioritization of waterway and railway transportation over air freight
  • Supplier location
  • Improving packaging materials and process
  • Upgraded recycling efforts


It is important on Earth Day especially and every day that we think about our impact on the world around us. Each person, each company, and each organization plays a role in the fight against global climate change. Even if you think your contribution is only one drop in the proverbial ocean, why not just make a few small changes because you never know the impact you could have. And for NEII, we are doing the same. We have added sustainability to the list of our priority issues and will be considering what we can do as a collective group of industry leaders. Once we identify the steps we can take, I hope the entire elevator industry will join NEII and its members to make a difference for generations to come. 

NEII is the premier trade association representing the global leaders in the building transportation industry. Its members install, maintain, and/or manufacture elevators, escalators, moving walks, and other building transportation products. NEII's membership includes the six major international companies – Fujitec America, Inc., KONE, Inc., Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc., Otis Elevator Company, Schindler Elevator Corporation, TK Elevator and several other companies across the country. Collectively, the NEII members represent approximately eighty-five percent of the total hours worked within the elevator and escalator industry, employ more than 25,000 people in the U.S. and indirectly support hundreds of thousands of American jobs in affiliate industries.

For more information about NEII, please visit www.neii.org

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