3 questions to Yves Gregnanin, Leader of the Energy / Environment working group of the « Fédération des Ascenseurs »


A century-old organization, the « Fédération des Ascenseurs » (Federation of Elevators) is part of the transformation and development of the city on a daily basis. Elevators, mechanical devices, freight elevators, vertical mobility plays an essential role in the development of cities.
With 170 member companies, the Federation now represents 90% of the sector. Whether on issues of accessibility, energy or even urban efficiency, the engagement of these companies in the energy transition is efficient. However, innovations and sustainable development solutions are still sorely lacking in visibility.
Member of PEP ecopassport since June 2020, his ambition is to promote the investment of its players in environmental issues. Meeting with Yves Gregnanin, leader of the Energy Environment working group of the « Fédération des Ascenseurs ».


How would you define your current environmental policy?

It is above all important to remember that the definition of an environmental policy is a business specific to each company. As a Federation, our goal is to involve industry players in the process. We see more and more the will of our members to move forward on issues of energy sobriety and the environment. The « Fédération des Ascenseurs » is therefore there to give them the means to understand the business constraints, the entry points but also to help them understand the subject of energy and share a philosophy, a vision.
In fairly common examples around energy, we talk about the carbon footprint, energy transition: these are issues on which, of course, all companies are working. This objective is shared but depending on their structures or their sizes (international dimension or not), these subjects are at very different levels. Today, we know how to make “0 kWh” elevators… It's very motivating to know that in 2020, we can afford to have elevators that are powered by solar, by wind, on which we are going to put batteries… The bill for the end consumer will ultimately be very close to 0 kWh!

Why did you join the PEP ecopassport program and what are your expectations?

It was a must! Many of our member companies are present in Europe, some even internationally. The E + C- program was the trigger. With the objective of RE2020, these are two levers that made us realize that in France it was necessary to work on the subject, to invest in it, and to respond positively to it. Thanks to the E + C- experiment, the "elevator" technical package has finally been taken into account in the energy issues of the building. For years, whether through the energy transition law of 2015 or through other environmental directives, the profession has been asking that lifts be included in these discussions. E + C- has opened 3 or 4 technical batches which were not previously in RE2020. We are now considered. We therefore had to bring out our own French file.
This environmental approach is a real struggle for the sector. We often talk about heating and electricity, but rarely about the elevator. Somehow we can value the innovation of the profession. Because for a long time, fundamental work on energy consumption has been carried out. With the environmental declaration, the building's life cycle analysis is also taken into account, which has enabled us to integrate a broader environmental scope.
Today, a new elevator consumes 6 times less than in the 1960s. This aspect was not visible in France.
The objective is also to highlight technological innovation in environmental terms: traction cables become polyurethane belts minimizing the loss of friction energy; more compact and more efficient motors consuming very little energy ... The compactness of the products has, in fact, freed up square meters in buildings. No need to build a specific entrance to the elevator on the rooftop, for example! Strictly speaking, a carbon impact has thus been improved in the construction of the building over a few square meters.

Ideally, what would your environmental policy be in 5 years?

We would like this highlighting to resonate beyond the PEP ecopassport program site or the Inies base. Perhaps the manufacturers who were already working with Environdec will set up their individual sheets on certain products in France ... but this is still everyone's own strategy!
The second challenge concerns all SMEs which may also be required to install equipment that is not of their own production. The learning curve will be slower. But we are optimistic that it will develop little by little.
Our desire is to go beyond the notion of consumption, to have a societal approach throughout the value chain. Our technicians travel by gasoline-powered car, they travel miles to get to and from the site ... Some companies in the sector have switched their intervention fleets to electric vehicles, for example. The goal would be to extend this environmental vision to everything that revolves around it. This could mean the relevance of the right intervention at the right time. Digital must also help in this. Waste treatment is also problematic. When we do maintenance on technical equipment, we necessarily collect used parts. How to treat them then?
In short, reducing our impact on the environment in all aspects: this is our future!