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How thyssenkrupp Elevator’s leadership in material transparency is helping ensure the full health and safety of passengers during COVID-19


  • In addition to its touchless and digital portfolio, thyssenkupp Elevator also offers the leading products in the industry to ensure maximum health and safety of passengers during COVID-19
  • Its material health leadership has resulted in numerous awards and LEED and Living Building Challenge projects, including San Francisco International Airport and The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design at Georgia Tech


ATLANTA (January 12, 2021) – COVID-19 has thrown the spotlight on the surfaces people touch in elevators and social distancing, prompting many property managers to implement digital and touchless technologies that eliminate those touch points to keep passengers safe.

But what about the health of the elevator itself? Material health is key, and it starts with avoiding harmful chemicals in the manufacturing of elevators and escalators.

“Vertical transportation companies have a responsibility to provide the safest and healthiest products and systems that they can to help keep people safe. You cannot talk about wanting to positively impact the health of the environment without focusing on the health of the elevator itself. This is something we have long understood at thyssenkrupp Elevator, and we have made a strong commitment in all aspects of our business, including eliminating the use of harmful chemicals in the manufacturing process,” says Kevin Lavallee, President and CEO of thyssenkrupp Elevator North America.

In October 2020, thyssenkrupp Elevator published an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) in the U.S. for its evolution low- to mid-rise elevators in accordance with ISO 14025. An EPD is an assessment of the environmental impacts of a product over its life cycle that is verified by an independent third-party. The life cycle assessment of the machine-room-less (MRL) evolution elevator encompassed the environmental impacts of the product starting with the raw material extraction of the components used to manufacture the evolution elevator through the manufacture, transport, installation and use phases. The assessment then ended with the eventual recycling and disposal of parts.

It was the fourth EPD thyssenkrupp Elevator had published for the U.S. market as thyssenkrupp Elevator was the first elevator company to publicly disclose its environmental impacts in accordance with the Product Category Rules of the International EPD® System for each of its elevator product lines. In addition, thyssenkrupp Elevator discloses ingredients in its cabs and entrances down to 1,000 ppm per its Health Product Declaration.

This commitment to material health and transparency contributed to thyssenkrupp Elevator Group receiving an ‘A’ rating from global environmental non-profit CDP for its climate-change efforts. The ‘A’ rating reflects thyssenkrupp Elevator’s aggressive carbon emissions targets of reducing scope 1 and 2 emissions by 25% by 2030 and by 50% by 2040.

“It’s been great seeing so many building owners and property managers focus on making their vertical transportations systems safer and healthier during COVID-19, but that commitment must extend beyond touchless technologies to also include material health as well,” shares Liz Minne, Environmental Program Manager at thyssenkrupp Elevator. “Now is the time to implement the most environmentally friendly elevator systems possible if we truly want to ensure the full health and safety of the people that depend on us to keep them safe.”

This commitment to health and wellness is reflected in thyssenkrupp Elevator’s extensive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and LBC (Living Building Challenge) portfolio.

The Living Building Challenge is an international sustainable building certification program created in 2006 by the International Living Future Institute, which promotes the most advanced measurement of sustainability in the built environment. In order to be eligible for Living Building Challenge certification, buildings must have elevators with Declare labels. Declare is a transparency platform and nutrition label created by the International Living Future Institute that shares where a product comes from, what it’s made of and where it goes at the end of its life. The Living Building Challenge includes a list of 21 chemicals known as the ‘red list’ that cannot be incorporated into any part of a building.

Thyssenkrupp Elevator is the only elevator company with Declare labels on its elevators.

There are currently approximately 400 projects around the world pursuing LBC certification, which includes Georgia Tech’s The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design in Atlanta. The 37,000-square-foot, two-story academic building is poised to become the first fully certified LBC facility in Georgia as well as the first fully certified LBC education and research facility in the Southeast.

The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design is one of three buildings in the U.S. that has relied on thyssenkrupp Elevator’s healthy transportation systems to help them protect their tenants and guests while working toward LBC certification.

Meanwhile, one of thyssenkrupp Elevator’s most prominent LEED projects is San Francisco International Airport (SFO), where it is installing 33 elevators, 20 escalators and four moving walkways as part of the airport’s $2.4 billion renovation of Terminal 1 and Boarding Area B. The full renovation is scheduled for completion in 2022.

SFO required all transportation products meet the Material and Resource credit requirements in their pursuit of LEED v4 Gold certification. Health Product Declarations outlining all materials utilized in each product were also required, ensuring SFO remains completely free of carcinogens and dangerous chemicals.

Only one vertical transportation company was capable of meeting these strict specifications.

Shortly after winning the SFO contract, thyssenkrupp Elevator accomplished another first for the industry when it became the only elevator company to win BuildingGreen’s prestigious “Top Products Award” for leadership in material transparency and LEED v4. The award recognizes the most exciting new innovations and biggest breakthroughs in health and environmental performance across all major building product sectors and LEED categories.

“While we are grateful for award recognition and to work with like-minded partners such as SFO, the most important benefit of our material health efforts is knowing we are helping create the safest, healthiest environments possible for passengers,” continues Minne.

Thyssenkrupp Elevator’s portfolio of LEED certified buildings extends to its own building as well. All products are manufactured at the facility in Middleton, Tennessee, which was LEED Gold certified in 2015. In 2020, the Middleton manufacturing facility was recognized by the

U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Plants Program with a 2020 Better Project Award for reducing natural gas consumption on its structural paint line oven by 35 percent. The initiative also resulted in a startup time decrease and more than $31,000 in annual energy savings.

In August 2019, thyssenkrupp Elevator announced it would pursue LEED v4 certification for its new Innovation and Qualification Center (IQC) in Atlanta. The IQC, which will be Cobb

County’s tallest building at 420 feet tall when completed in 2021, will include a state-of- the-art elevator test tower and will be part of thyssenkrupp Elevator’s new three-building North American headquarters near The Battery Atlanta.

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Images of The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design are available for download here (credit: Jonathan Hillyer).





TK Elevator

With customers in over 100 countries served by more than 50,000 employees, TK Elevator achieved sales of around €9 billion in fiscal year 2022/2023. We ensure high levels of customer service globally from our extensive network of about 1,000 locations. Over the past several decades, TK Elevator has established itself as one of the world’s leading elevator companies and became independent after separation from the thyssenkrupp group in August 2020. The company’s most important business line is the service business proudly provided by around 25,000 service technicians. The product portfolio ranges from standardized elevators for low-rise residential buildings to highly customized solutions for skyscrapers. In addition, it covers escalators, moving walks, passenger boarding bridges and stair and platform lifts. Integrated cloud-based solutions, such as the MAX platform, are delivering enhanced services. With these digital offerings, there are no longer any limits to urban mobility. TKE – move beyond.