Achieving sustainability through innovation

Innovation is in Coor’s DNA and is a vital part of our business. Jenny Lindgren, Senior Vice President Operational Development and Digitalisation, and Linus Palmkvist, Vice President Service Development Property, talk about how innovation is helping to make us truly sustainable.
How does innovation promote sustainability?
“Working on innovation is part of our improvement work that adds value in our three sustainability dimensions. In addition to saving on costs and nature’s resources, this may involve replacing heavy or unsafe tasks with drones or robots,” Jenny Lindgren explains.

“Innovation can be a path to sustainability but it is never the whole solution. Through innovations, we can optimise maintenance and carry out tasks faster and in a smarter way. But to become truly sustainable, we also have to make sacrifices and change our eating habits, reduce consumption and recycle more,” Linus Palmkvist adds.

How does Coor work on innovation?
Over a number of years, we have built strong partnerships with start-ups, customers and suppliers that are helping us to shape tomorrow’s facility management. Innovation is in Coor’s DNA and is a vital part of our business. It is also one of the reasons why I applied to work here. Here there is courage, inquisitiveness and a desire to develop sustainable services that benefit us as well as our customers and society as a whole,” says Jenny Lindgren.

“In addition to a deep-rooted drive to develop, we have a strength in our knowledge of the industry and our collective expertise. We test all solutions and remove the ones that don’t work before they reach the customer. It could be that the solution needs to be improved or isn’t good enough or that the timing isn’t right,” Linus Palmkvist explains.

What were customers looking for in 2023?
“Like us, many customers want to reduce their carbon footprint. As buildings account for around 35 per cent of the world’s energy use, many are interested in our SmartEnergy service, which reduces energy use in existing buildings by approximately 20 per cent for an average customer. A customer who also changes their lighting and introduces smart control systems can reduce their energy use even more,” Linus Palmkvist says.

Which of Coor’s services have the greatest potential to contribute to a more sustainable society?
“Several of our services, such as SmartEnergy, SmartLighting and SmartCharge, help companies to reduce their energy use, making them more sustainable. An important area for development is more efficient control of lighting, cooling, heating and ventilation systems. More and cheaper sensors enable a higher degree of monitoring as well as offering the potential to move towards predictive maintenance services. The supervision becomes more efficient and automated, enabling us to carry out the right maintenance at the right time and deliver more sustainable maintenance,” Linus Palmkvist explains.  

“In addition to the services Linus already mentioned, I would like to highlight Remote Support, where an expert is connected to a technician and gets help to troubleshoot and correct errors using augmented reality (AR), which is a combination of reality and computer generated content. This type of service, which allows experts to help more people in less time and to operate across larger geographical territories, is set to become more common,” Jenny Lindgren says.

In which area is customer demand for smart services strongest?
“Lighting, or what we call Coor SmartLighting, is the area where we are seeing the strongest demand from customers. In September 2023, new EU legislation came into force that will start the process of phasing out all fluorescent tubes. We are helping our customers to replace all their lighting, which can reduce energy use for lighting by more than 90 per cent. The Coor SmartLighting service includes modern lighting systems where each light fixture is equipped with a sensor. The sensor detects presence and daylight and thus creates a more energy-efficient lighting system without compromising on quality. This has a big impact on total energy use and reduces our customers’ carbon footprint while allowing Coor to use a more data-driven maintenance model,” says Linus Palmkvist.

“An additional benefit is that Coor SmartLighting is good not only for the environment but also for the employees. Good lighting not only enables the employees to see better; they also work better and feel happier. By simulating daylight, SmartLighting can affect melatonin and cortisol levels in the body, which helps the employees to sleep better and feel better while also making them more productive and creative,” Jenny Lindgren concludes.