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.”
At an undisclosed location in London, a KONE escalator now is tweeting the details of its working day and conditions. “Escalators are the unsung heroes of cities. They move millions of people a day and, of course, they need to perform safely and smoothly,” said Max Alfthan, executive vice president, marketing and communications at KONE.
Social media is a powerful tool that serves many in different ways. It can empower the powerless; it can spread information at a “viral” pace; and, as everyone should know by now, affords public officials the opportunity to get their messages out directly to their constituents (for better or worse) without the filter of the professional news media. It in essence gives a voice to the voiceless. To that end, KONE has developed a social media presence for its vertical-transportation (VT) equipment. Specifically, The Dispatch-Argus reports, the VT giant has given one of its escalators a Twitter account, all part of its 24/7 Connected Services. The escalator — “At an undisclosed location in London,” the source notes — offers real-time updates of its performance through the handle @JustAnEscalator. A virtual reality and 360-degree video enhance the program. Are you wondering what an escalator has to tweet about? The recent screen grab at right gives a sample, plus, maybe, an idea of the technology’s potential. Like, say, alerting commuters when specific escalators are out of service or back in operation. That might be worth a tweet.
Last year, I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to Helsinki, courtesy of KONE, to tour their newly remodeled underground high-rise elevator test laboratory and shaft, the deepest in the world. While that was clearly a highlight of the trip, the magic of Helsinki was on full display at every turn, including at the hotel where KONE put up its journalist guests. Located in a historic building steps away from Helsinki’s South Harbor, it is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World and has hosted the likes of the Dalai Lama and Kylie Minogue. It is a beautiful place with an interior that reminds one of a fairytale castle. Attention is paid to every detail, including its elevator, an impressive installation by Schindler that features a stainless steel and rich wood cab that travels in a black-cage shaft in the center of a white marble staircase. I should have videotaped its smooth, elegant operation, but these pictures will have to do!
The Schindler elevator in Hotel Haven has a stylish stainless-steel and wood cab.