Markus Mettler, Technical Operations Manager at ebm‑papst and member of the board of the Verbandes Klimaschutz-Unternehmen e.V. (Association of climate protection companies) has addressing the topic of sustainability for years and been involved in many initiatives. Mettler created the training project ‘Energy Scouts’, which has now gone across state borders, and was given an honorary certificate by the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Dr. Robert Harbeck and the President of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry Peter Adrian in Berlin, Germany.
Energy Scouts are trainees who take care of optimizing energy consumption and efficiency in their company alongside their professional training. At ebm‑papst, there has been a group of young people since 2010 formed for the benefit of environmental and climate protection, and it is in its 12th generation. Markus Mettler: “At ebm‑papst, climate protection and energy efficiency have been hugely important since the company was founded. Therefore, for me, it was a labor of love to raise awareness of the topic among our youngest colleagues and to get them on board with a tailored program.”
In the first few years, the Energy Scouts focused on searching for and repairing compressed-air leaks in the manufacturing division. ebm‑papst requires large amounts of compressed air when manufacturing fans. Small leaks occur in the connecting hoses time and again and these trigger a high energy consumption if they are not found and repaired. The Energy Scouts’ identity has been further developed since then. Alongside searching for compressed-air leaks, the group is now working generally on sustainability, developing new concepts for efficient and environmentally friendly operations and taking care of autonomous projects.
With strong support from ebm‑papst’s corporate communications team, the successful project gained a lot of prominence among politicians and the media across different regions. Its nationwide breakthrough came from a joint presentation at the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK). The DIHK was impressed by ebm‑papst’s ‘Energy Scout’ project and decided to develop the implementation of a training concept across the nation in 2014 by collaborating with the medium-sized business initiative “Energy transition and climate protection” for its 80 or so Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Germany.
This has allowed over 10,000 young people from well over 1,000 companies in Germany alone to be trained to become ‘Energy Scouts’ and to look after climate protection and energy efficiency in businesses since then. The project has also been successfully rolled out in parts of Europe. “Our Energy Scouts have been to New York, where they were greeted by the UN, gave a lecture at the German-American Chambers of Commerce and visited schools and companies,” recalls Mettler proudly.
The connection between ecology and the economy has been important for ebm‑papst since it was founded and this has also been continually optimized through products with the GreenIntelligence initiative.