Balancing the needs of society, the environment and the economy

ABB has a long history in sustainability and ambitious, yet clearly defined and achievable targets for its 2030 sustainability strategy. ABB will achieve these by building deeper relationships and higher growth powered by collaboration, a commitment made by ABB to its partners, customers, and overall business.

Representing ABB on panel discussions at EUEW 2021, Vincent Hurel, Group Distribution Channel Leader for ABB, debated ‘Fragility to sustainability: the role of the circular economy’ with Luca Zanella, Global e-commerce Distribution Channel Lead for ABB, considering ‘Digital, Data-fueled: responding to distribution disruption’.

Tackling Global challenges

Our ambitious 2030 sustainability strategy is based on three pillars covering our full value chain: enabling a low-carbon society; preserving resources; and promoting social progress.

Reducing carbon emissions in our own operations is key, but the biggest impact we can have is through our emission-saving products and solutions. We recognize the threat posed by global resource over-use, and have developed a comprehensive approach to embedding circularity in our business. Together with our distributor partners we can amplify our sustainability impact.

Sustainable leadership

Sustainability has always been at the foundation of our business. To this end, we have established a framework of concrete targets and plans that cover our own operations (net zero), our upstream suppliers, and our downstream distributors and end customers. We believe that the biggest impact we can have as a company is through our emissions-saving products and solutions.

As part of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, ABB announced the ABB Formula E Climate Initiatives, underlining our commitment to raise the profile of issues relating to climate change.
As title partner of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship and previously of Solar Impulse our commitment reflect our focus on sustainability at all levels (such as our OTDC switch disconnector, which can reduce power losses up to 64% and received a Solar Impulse award for energy efficiency)

By 2030 80 percent of our products and solutions will be covered by our circularity approach, but it is about much more than this. ABB can provide a best-in-class green energy offering yet this is only of value if we also work with distributors to ensure the supply chain is equally green while delivering competitive advantage.

We do not have all the answers yet and recognize that we are at the beginning of a decade-long journey towards a more sustainable company and value chain. However, we have a clear ambition level, direction of travel, and strategy – underpinned by a set of quantitative, measurable, objective targets – and look forward to working with distributors in the coming months and years to develop a more sustainable landscape of electrical equipment and infrastructure.

Digital routes to market

We have seen great success in switching from multiple touch points to digital routes to market. We have embraced digital ways of working across the business – in our day-to-day interactions, how we manage our processes and how we interact with distributors – that have proved very successful.

We support distributors in bringing value to the market. This means not just a good integrated supply chain but how we provide the right training, support, and innovation so they achieve a level of expertise across a broad range of topics to facilitate their omnichannel journey with the end customers.

Proven e-commerce capabilities

There are various ways to enter in the e-commerce arena and we have identified two main formats allowing us to develop our e-commerce enabled sales volumes: supporting distributors developing their online presence and developing a relationship with "pure" online players (e.g. e-tailers, marketplaces).

Luca Zanella, Global e-commerce Distribution Channel Lead for ABB says: “ABB actively support distributors, e-tailers and online-distributors to grow ABB e-commerce enabled sales volumes. We empower distributors to be recognized in the market as the right partners with the specific domain expertise customers expect”.

We put huge effort into sharing information and data through digital routes to improve distributors web-shops and ensure that our products are optimally presented to the market and end customers. We provide distributors with product information, from data through content to product images, to raise our online presence on their platforms.

Supporting distributors in developing their online presence, such as web-shops, enable us to reach a large number of low-volume customers who visit trusted retailers online. This attracts many customers, some of whom have had no previous exposure to ABB.

e-commerce and Digital Transformation

e-commerce is crucially important for ABB’s partners. Digital sales transformation and e-commerce offer a vast opportunity. With digital choices, end customers demand is evolving. Solutions and service are requested in addition to products. Innovation is key - it is so much easier for end customers to buy and distributors to sell new technologies. A switch on its own is not a very interesting product, but if it supports an innovative new function or drives customer benefit, it becomes exciting.

Global approach, delivered locally

We combine ABB’s industry-leading products and technology innovations with delivery by trusted local experts who know our customers best. We tailor our offering to the country characteristics.

We work with our channel partners to grow together through a joint strategy. Respecting the decades of relationships between the manufacturers and the channel, we seek the right balance in increasing our online presence while not disrupting the channel.

Trusted relationships

Our focus on our partners enables us to deliver success together. Through trusted relationships, we continue to provide an excellent service to our end customers. It is about empowering our distributor network, enabling them to offer more solutions and services. Working together, we are riding the wave of change and will emerge stronger, better, and united.

For the full article by Vincent Hurel in Edit Magazine, follow this link. For more information on ABB Distribution Channel visit the website. For more information on ABB Electrification click here.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a leading global technology company that energizes the transformation of society and industry to achieve a more productive, sustainable future. By connecting software to its electrification, robotics, automation and motion portfolio, ABB pushes the boundaries of technology to drive performance to new levels. With a history of excellence stretching back more than 130 years, ABB’s success is driven by about 105,000 talented employees in over 100 countries.

ABB’s Electrification BusinessArea is a global leader in electrical products and solutions, operating in more than 100 countries, with over 200 manufacturing sites. Our 50,000+ employees are dedicated to transforming how people live, connect and work by delivering safe, smart and sustainable electrification solutions. We are shaping the future trends of electrification, differentiating through technological and digital innovation while delivering an outstanding experience through operational excellence for our customers across utilities, industry, buildings, infrastructure and mobility. For more information visit


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