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Making sustainability a reality

At TK Elevator, our commitment to reducing the environmental footprint of our products, processes and operations is embedded in our culture and mindset. In fact, it lies at the heart of our sustainability approach.

The energy efficiency imperative


The surge in urban populations is unstoppable, putting a strain on space and resources. To address this surge and preserve green areas, city environments are increasingly dense and vertical. That’s why buildings need to offer greater efficiency and comfort than ever before.

Global energy demand will increase by 20% to 35% over the next 15 years with cities accounting for two-thirds of this increase (see also: Urban Hub). In urban environments, buildings are the biggest consumers of energy. Our innovative technologies and modernization packages help you drive down this consumption.

Elevators: Improving buildings’ energy efficiency

New technologies such as our TWIN elevator – two independently operating cabs in the same shaft – can reduce energy consumption by up to 27% and cut electrical power requirements in half while increasing usable floor space by as much as 30%.

Elevators can also drive a building’s energy self-sufficiency. At the new One World Trade Center in New York City, our elevators’ regenerative drives supply enough energy for the building’s entire lighting system. Refurbishing older elevators can lower energy consumption by up to 70% and extend an elevator’s use phase by an additional 25 years.

"Today’s energy inefficient buildings simply cannot cope with our rising energy needs. The decisions we make today affect the future of cities. It is imperative for urban development to remain forward-thinking and focused on sustainability – for the benefit of generations to come. The expertise and products already exist; the only challenge is to upgrade our building stock more quickly."

Peter Walker, CEO, TK Elevator See also Urban Hub

Embedding sustainability into our product lifecycle

The elevator lifecycle - environment
The production phase followed by the use phase have the highest impact within the impact categories.

Additionally, a substantial environmental credit is given to the end-of-life phase by recycling of steel components, which represents the third most important phase in the elevator life cycle.

Transportation, installation and service are less significant stages in the life cycle.

We strive to make cities better places to live by making our passenger transportation systems more sustainable throughout their entire lifecycle. We’re embedding sustainability into our core business by investing in customer solutions that support green building certifications like LEED and BREEAM.

We’re helping transform the industry with innovative solutions such as MAX, ACCEL, TWIN, MULTI and more. They reduce the energy, space, resources and on-site maintenance required by elevators, making buildings smarter and more efficient.

Product development

Our R&D teams take pride in designing greener products and fostering strong partnerships for innovation. These activities are guided by Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies based on the ISO 14044 standard. Some of our products, such as iwalk and ACCEL, are also certified to ISO 14006, an eco-design standard that ensures we take environmental aspects into consideration throughout the design process.

Globally recognized LCAs enable us to measure and improve the environmental performance of our products throughout their lifecycle.

Abiding by the guiding principles of the following sustainable building certification programs also helps us minimize our products’ environmental impact and improve a building’s environmental footprint:

  • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
  • Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM)

These programs support sustainable buildings by promoting lower energy consumption, creating environments conducive to human health and well-being, and reducing environmental impacts throughout a building’s entire lifecycle. They also help us do our part to make a net-zero-energy future a reality.

In 2015, our facility in Middleton, Tennessee, became the world’s first elevator manufacturing site to receive LEED Gold certification for “Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance.” Continuous improvements in resource efficiency and environmental impact at the 50-year-old plant drove this achievement.

In 2017 the new elevator factory in Zhongshan achieved the LEED Gold certification for “New Buildings: Building Design and Construction” for the office building and LEED Silver for the plant.

"As we move forward, we’re going to see more and more buildings that reach for a higher standard than even LEED."

Monica Miller, Sustainable Design Manager and LEED Accredited Professional, TK Elevator

Reducing our operational footprint

We’re also making significant strides in driving down our operational footprint. At our sites, this means:

  • Fewer CO2 emissions
  • Reduced water consumption
  • Increased energy efficiency
  • Improved waste management

ISO 14001 implementation

The ISO 14001 environmental management system (EMS) standard guides our efforts. This international standard covers all relevant environmental aspects, from the reduction of wastewater, waste and emissions to the environmental impact of products during use through to disposal. Our goal to implement ISO 14001 at all environmentally relevant manufacturing plants by fiscal year 2019/2020 has already been achieved. Today more than 90% of tkE manufacturing sites are certified to ISO 14001.

Groupwide efficiency target

At TK Elevator, we set a target of achieving energy efficiency gains over 70 gigawatt hours (GWh) by fiscal 2021/2022. This is equivalent to the average annual energy consumption of 14,000 four-person households. In 2017/2018 TK Elevator reported energy efficiency gains of 9.5 GWh.