IMELCO event celebrates the power of partnerships to amplify sustainability
ABB Conversation Blog by Vincent Hurel, Group Distribution Channel Leader for ABB Electrification
This year, IMELCO’s Convention took place in Dubrovnik, Croatia, from 28-29 September. I was pleased to be invited to represent ABB in the main panel discussions on how manufacturers and distributors can collaborate for omnichannel success, and industry success in the circular economy and ESG.
Attending the annual IMELCO Convention is always a highlight of my calendar year. Distributors like IMELCO, which is the largest global co-op of independent electrical wholesalers, are an extension of our team. And partnerships with them are not only key to increasing the market reach of our products, but also to achieving our ambitious sustainability goals.
By 2030, ABB’s objective is that at least 80 percent of its products and solutions will be covered by the company’s circularity approach1. This means not only reducing carbon emissions in our own operations but ensuring that the supply chain of ABB’s emission-saving products and solutions is equally green, something we can only achieve by working with distributors to put appropriate processes in place across their networks.
Earlier this year, IMELCO recognized ABB for its efforts in introducing new business opportunities, particularly in the e-mobility sector, with a Global Supplier Award. As a Platinum Partner at the IMELCO Convention, we had the opportunity to deepen our partnerships with distributors through team-building activities, networking events and panel discussions.
One topic our team focused on was the potential of the e-mobility market, which is currently experiencing unprecedented growth. It is estimated that an investment of approximately $590 bn is needed in EV charging infrastructure by 2040 to meet global emissions targets2. And while ABB has the charging technology ready to go, from home charging to larger systems at retail and hospitality sites, partnership with key global distributors, such as IMELCO members, is critical in helping support the rapid rate of infrastructure roll out which is required. During our first networking session, we explained the business opportunities available for every player along the e-mobility value chain.
In recent years, ABB has also seen great success in embracing digital ways of working across the business, including how the sales team interacts with distributors. The second networking session we hosted focused on the importance for distributors of defining their online presence and activating an efficient digital sales strategy to drive more traffic and increase e-commerce sales volumes in today’s challenging and fast-changing business environment.
Our partnership with wholesaler Ahlsell, an IMELCO member, shows the full potential of what can be achieved by working together. In March, Ahlsell committed to converting its Swedish fleet to more sustainable modes of transport, and ABB is enabling this transition with the supply of its Terra high power charging solution for an electric vehicle pilot in Hallsberg. At present, the pilot is enabling a CO2 emission reduction of 40 tons per year.
But the sustainability efforts at Ahlsell are bigger than that. With the help of several partnerships with ABB, the two organizations are working together to ensure that the entire business will be fossil-free by 2045. They are discussing everything from packaging sizes to how customers can be influenced to make more conscious sustainable choices.
I left the IMELCO Convention this year satisfied that we had cemented existing partnerships between ABB and our distributors and given them valuable tools to help them succeed in today’s challenging business environment. We want our distributors to stay ahead of shifting market dynamics and to meet increasing customer demands. Working together, we adapt and thrive, grow our market share, evolve our business, and write the future of safe, smart and sustainable electrification.