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Manitowoc celebrates World Environment Day

World Environment Day is a global day of awareness that encourages the protection of the Earth and all its ecosystems. It has been celebrated by a variety of companies and countries since 1973.

Manitowoc has made great strides over the last five years in improving its operations to be more sustainable, which includes being more energy efficient and producing less waste. More details on this progress can be found in the annual Manitowoc Sustainability Report.

As Manitowoc celebrates World Environment Day 2024 on June 5, we check in with Felicie Chaume, VP of environmental sustainability, to learn more about Manitowoc’s sustainability efforts. The key to success, it turns out, has been engaging every single member of the global Manitowoc team.


Felicie Chaume
Felicie Chaume

Looking Up: What is the significance of World Environment Day for Manitowoc?

Felicie Chaume: Manitowoc recognizes its responsibility towards the planet. It’s about integrating environmental consciousness into our daily operations. This includes modifications in how we manage operations, interact with suppliers, and communicate with customers to reflect a significant shift towards more sustainable business practices. World Environment Day serves as a great reminder to keep on improving these practices.


LU: What are some of Manitowoc’s recent achievements in sustainability?


FC: We’ve made significant advances, including a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in manufacturing processes and a 68% reduction in waste disposal to landfills in the last five years. These achievements stem from our continuous improvement philosophy, The Manitowoc Way, and adapting existing processes to enhance sustainability.


LU: How important is it for Manitowoc employees to engage in these efforts?


FC: Our employees are very engaged with our sustainability initiatives. We have a “Lessons Learned” program and we run Kaizen challenges to improve our operations and make them more efficient. Every Manitowoc employee contributes to improving the company’s sustainability footprint.

Our team members around the world also compete for the WorkGreen Award, which is selected by our CEO, Aaron Ravenscroft. The first award went to the Wilhelmshaven plant in Germany. The team there led a project to replace the factory’s old air compressors with new-generation compressors with heat exchangers to reduce our energy footprint.


LU: Can you describe how Manitowoc's products are designed with sustainability in mind?

FC: In our industry, the longevity and recyclability of products are key. For example, our cranes are designed to be highly repairable and recyclable. We strive to use recycled materials in manufacturing and support the construction industry’s push toward sustainability. We have conducted lifecycle assessments on models from three product lines to understand the environmental impact at each stage and then learn from this baseline to improve the footprint of our next crane models.


LU: How are Manitowoc’s suppliers and customers responding to your sustainability efforts?


FC: We have discussions with our stakeholders to develop alignment with our sustainability goals. Suppliers are proactive in adopting new, more sustainable manufacturing processes, reaching out to collaborate on these initiatives. In the steel manufacturing sector, for example, companies are pushing for energy efficiency and recycling.

Customers are also increasingly demanding sustainable solutions and practices. In some cases, regulation is driving this. In Europe for example, regulations on raw materials like cement or low emissions zones are influencing construction practices, pushing us and our clients towards more sustainable methods and materials.


LU: What is the importance of aging crane fleets in the context of sustainability?


FC: Addressing aging fleets is crucial. It enables us to focus on refurbishing and recycling parts, extending the equipment lifecycle with good maintenance. This conserves resources and, thanks to our digital solutions like Grove CONNECT or Potain CONNECT, helps us and our customers develop a better usage of our cranes.  

Manitowoc’s EnCORE service is a great way for companies to extend the life of their cranes while reducing waste and helping to reduce raw materials consumption. This program enables companies to have cranes rebuilt, repaired, or refurbished.


LU: How does Manitowoc view its role in the broader push for sustainability within the construction industry?


FC: Our commitment to sustainability enhances our brand reputation, making us a preferred partner in the construction industry. Through collaborating with suppliers and customers, we contribute to a more sustainable construction ecosystem. Our initiatives, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and waste in our manufacturing processes, moving towards using more sustainable materials, and improving the energy efficiency of our products, help set new standards.


Newsweek named Manitowoc one of “America’s Most Responsible Companies” in both 2022 and 2023.


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