Focusing on climate change to #ComeBackStronger
Despite the news agenda focusing pretty much on the pandemic in recent months, climate change is still a huge issue and a big priority for the government. For companies like Danfoss, engineering technologies that are energy-efficient and climate-friendly continues to be a priority.
Danfoss’ expertise lies in food refrigeration, air conditioning systems, controls for electric motors, heating systems for buildings, hydraulic systems and components for powering mobile machinery, as well as components for renewable energy, including solar and wind energy. So, when we connected with sales director, Dan Scott, for our #ComeBackStronger series, we delved into the businesses focus on sustainability, as well as how green and growth are working in tandem for them, and what they’re doing to contribute to the government’s goals of reducing emissions to reach the Paris Agreement ambitions.
This is what he had to say…
How are you accelerating company growth in the current climate?
We’re really focusing on the things that matter the most, regardless of the current climate and the pandemic being a large part of that. While the pandemic has been the focus across the media for the last few months, climate change is still a major challenge globally which is why the team here at Danfoss has continued to focus on opportunities that contribute to meeting the net zero targets.
The Paris Agreement, which was developed in 2015, set out a global framework to limit global warming and strengthen countries’ abilities to deal with the impacts of climate change. As part of this, the UK government has set targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 68% by 2030, which we’re working hard to support.
Climate change is a relentless force that is moving at a rapid pace, it requires us to take action today. As such, in recent months we’ve really focused on reaching our customers through digital touchpoints, rolling out relevant content that informs customers on the solutions available that can assist them in achieving their sustainability goals.
Where do you see your future opportunities lying?
Via the extensive range of solutions we offer, Danfoss has an important part to play in the green recovery. Considering that heating and cooling in buildings accounts for more than 50% of energy consumption in the EU, we can see major opportunities for us to contribute to a greener future.
The breadth of products we have offers huge opportunities within the residential and business markets, with a particular focus on decarbonisation utilising district energy networks.
However, there are some quick wins that are much easier to implement on a large scale, such as effective balancing of residential and commercial heating systems in conjunction with upgrading room temperature controls.
What are you most optimistic about?
There’s lots to be positive about! It has of course been a challenging year, but there are signs that things are on the up. The vaccine has officially been approved and has started rolling out across the UK, confidence is being restored in the market and the economy is showing strong signs of recovery.
Decarbonisation in itself will heavily contribute towards the economy, potentially driving the creation of thousands of jobs, therefore we’re feeling incredibly positive about how Danfoss can contribute towards this. It’s particularly exciting for young people starting their careers too, as they could spend a significant proportion of their life working towards something that will improve the quality of the planet for everyone.
What are you looking forward to implementing/changing?
We’re not focusing too much on significant changes right now. Our primary focus remains on continuing to do what matters most to our customers. We’ve put a substantial amount of effort into preparing our business for the future and have probably never been more relevant than we are now.
We’ve been executing business plans that focus on how we’re going to be part of this decarbonisation journey, while supporting our team and customers to get there together.
What opportunities have you seen arise?
One of the biggest opportunities I see is to build on the great work we have already done to switch to digital ways of communication within the team internally and with our customers. Due to COVID, this enforced way of working has highlighted some best in class practices that have increased the quantity and quality of communication.
Just seeing how the team has come together has been amazing and everyone has been working incredibly hard to communicate better with each other.
We’ve also put a bigger focus on upskilling the team through webinar activity, designed and delivered by individual team members. Everyone has really been taking the time to learn about what the other areas of the business are focusing on.
How are you remaining positive?
On a personal note, I exercise more than I ever have done in the past, which has really increased my energy levels and positive thinking, not to mention the health benefits. As a business, we have taken part in a few health/fitness-focused initiatives creating a little bit of competitive team spirit. This has created a great opportunity to give back to our supported charities.
On the business side, we have an enormous purpose related to decarbonisation, that creates an opportunity that is difficult not be positive about. We are all extremely excited about this within Danfoss.
How are you maintaining a work/life balance and ensuring family time?
While I have been at home most of the time, I have been working hard to ensure my hours aren’t longer and that they remain somewhat regimented. It doesn’t hurt to steal a bit of time to give back to people every now and then, especially when you consider the extensive hours that can be worked at times. It is especially important to give back time to your family and children, and really switch off from business challenges.
What have been your key learnings from the last few months?
We have learnt so much over the past ten months which has required some adaptive changes - it seems clear to me that some of these changes will become best future practices, as we continue to recover.
The pandemic has accelerated digitalisation, resulting in us now being more aware of how we can achieve our goals and improve productivity through digital channels. The importance of staying well-connected and communicating with each other is essential for not only maintaining an effective team, but also relationships with customers.
What else are you doing to prepare for the future?
One of the key things for us is to continue accelerating digitalisation within the business. As the pandemic took hold, Danfoss was able to transition to a remote home-working environment very quickly as our entire team has portable equipment. Our next step has been to rollout digital tools to our customers that enable them to transact their daily business with Danfoss through online ordering.
These solutions enable our customers to operate more effectively in a digital world, while developing our own digital tools has allowed us to look at how we interact with customers and our supply chain, also offering them more support. We have lots of other things in the works too, however this is one of our key focus areas for now.