Manufacturing and technological advances are vital for a growing, healthy economy, but in recent years the demand for overseeing good stewardship of nature — of preserving Mother Earth — has taken the forefront. There was a time when people gave little thought to protecting the environment and our resources. It just seemed like there was an endless supply of everything, and that waste wasn’t a problem. Not anymore. Today, we’re finding out just how much damage we have done, and many companies are taking the lead in preserving and conserving. One such leader is KONE Elevator India. The wholly owned subsidiary of Finland-based KONE has launched a campaign to call attention to key environmental issues. The new program started in India’s National Capital Region (NCR), where KONE commissioned huge, outdoor murals calling attention to how discarded plastics are befouling water. Trash-filled lakes and rivers may not be the first notion for artwork, but KONE’s paintings are impossible not to look at. And, the message is clear: we must do better at preserving our environment.
“Our commitment to the society is an integral part of our value system and we, at KONE, have always engaged ourselves in various efforts to give something back to the society,” said Amit Gossain, managing director of KONE India. “As an environmentally conscious organization, this campaign is aimed at the betterment of the community through measures that will bring in sustainable development.”
I’ve been seeing a lot of optimism for 2021 lately, with vaccines beginning to be distributed and a nightmarish year coming to a close. As we celebrate the holidays, it’s a good time to think of and thank those working on the front lines of the pandemic.
KONE’s story of its technicians working overtime to help turn a Hubei, China, medical center into a 1,000-bed hospital in 48 h for COVID-19 patients was an early example of what so many in our industry did in 2020 to help the healthcare workers who sacrificed so much to care for those who fell ill. In the technicians’ case, they overcame many difficulties to prepare 18 of the elevators in the facility for handover within 24 h. One, Gao Wei, had some good advice for any year: “The secret was to focus on tackling problems rather than letting your emotions take control. That’s all.”
News outlets, especially more sensational ones in places like the U.K., love reporting on elevator and escalator incidents involving people — especially young children — finding themselves in dangerous situations. Sometimes, fingers and toes are ripped off. In one tragic case, escalator steps crumbled, causing a woman to fall into the mechanisms below to her death. One recent escalator incident, reported by outlets including Yahoo News, had a far happier ending, with a young boy emerging unscathed after riding up the entire length of an escalator at a mall in Thailand — gripping the handrail with his small hand as his older brother looked on. Although properly manufactured, maintained and installed elevators and escalators are indisputably a very safe mode of transportation, a mall representative observed that this incident, captured in the video below, serves as an excellent reminder that parents should ALWAYS keep a close eye on children, especially around vertical-transportation equipment.