I spent the past week in Monte Carlo, Monaco, for the European Power Transmission Distributors Association annual convention. Two topics in the meeting’s discussions stuck out to me as noteworthy:
1 -The focus on designing, manufacturing and selling more environmentally friendly products. Global manufacturer SKF was the most visible in this initiative at the convention, touting the benefits of its product lines that reduce energy consumption (and therefore save customers money) when used in manufacturing processes. While the construction markets are seeing more and more of this as building “green” becomes the norm rather than the exception, I believe going green will grow in importance on the industrial side as customers seek to cut costs and comply with a growing number of environmental regulations in the U.S. and abroad.
2 -The EPTDA has adopted the international non-profit organization UNICEF as its designated charity for member companies. It raised more than 12,000 euro (roughly US$17,000) for the agency by asking its convention attendees to donate when they registered for the event. UNICEF is focused on the health and well-being of children throughout the world, promoting girls’ education, immunization against childhood disease, prevention of HIV/AIDS among children, and protecting children during times of emergency (such as war or natural disaster). The EPTDA will raise money specifically for the organization’s Schools in Africa initiative. A representative from UNICEF spoke to members on the convention’s second day.
I am impressed with EPTDA’s commitment to UNICEF and to giving back. The Gases and Welding Distributors Association in the U.S. has done similar work, choosing to support various projects in different states each year in its GAWDA Gives Back program.
Not only is it good to give back to the community, EPTDA members told me, it’s also good for the image of their companies, a great way to get your company’s name out in the community and beyond, and is a boost to employee morale as they rally behind a specific cause. Employees also feel a stronger pride in their work.
I commend all organizations and companies that have chosen to give back in some way to their communities, locally and globally.