Implenia Innovation HUB
Three gains for sustainability
Implenia launched its Innovation Hub in 2019, laying the foundations for a future-oriented innovation culture at the company. One of the main aims is to involve the company’s 7,500-strong workforce in the drive for innovation and provide space to develop their ideas. To this end the Innovation Hub team runs the “Kickbox” process, which uses an online platform to host ideas and new solutions from around the company.
Together with the Sustainability Committee, the Innovation Hub launched the “Sustainable Implenia” competition in autumn 2021. Employees were able to submit project ideas that support one or more of Implenia’s 2025 Sustainability Goals – in areas such as the circular economy and climate protection. Participants were given the opportunity to work out their ideas during work hours, with access to internal experts and innovation coaches where required.
A pitch event was then held at Implenia’s head office in December, with participants presenting their concrete ideas to a high-ranking jury. “The proposals submitted are very diverse and demonstrate a significant potential for greater sustainability,” said Head Division Specialties Anita Eckardt on behalf of her colleagues on the jury. “Most of them also offer added value for our customers.”
In the end, three projects came out on top:
- “Excavation with Potential” is a concept developed by Bernd Riemensperger. It reduces the need for transportation to landfill by setting up a plant directly on site to transform excavated spoil into building materials. This eliminates emissions from truck journeys and cuts expensive landfill costs.
- “Net Zero Buildings”, a project developed by Nicolas Fries and Christian Bandi, seeks gradually to integrate the results of new research on sustainable, CO2-neutral buildings into Implenia’s operations.
- With “The Tree”, Patricia Fayet-Clivaz wants to use local tree-planting in Switzerland to offset the CO2 emissions that all of Implenia’s own development projects generate in excess of the target values set out in the SIA Efficiency Path 2040.
The winners are now entering the second round, used by Kickbox for the most promising projects. In this “BlueBox” phase, the feasibility of the projects is investigated under real-life conditions in pilot tests. It will be exciting to see which of these good ideas make it through to the final Kickbox phase – the GoldBox – where they are ultimately embedded into the company’s day-to-day operations or offered as a service to customers.
- “Targeted promotion of innovative ideas”Implenia is encouraging its employees to try new ways of doing things, and is giving them the tools and resources to do so. A “Kickbox” process is helping innovators take their ideas through to implementation.
- Successful circular economy assessmentThe construction and real estate industry moves a lot of material around, so circular economies can have a particularly big impact in the sector. Implenia began exploring the great potential of the circular approach some years ago, launching a whole series of pilot projects. Seeking to maintain progress down this path, the company agreed with respected certification agency SQS to test the new circular economy assessment scheme “Circular Globe”.
- “Sustainability is a priority”André Wyss talks to Schweizer Illustrierte about sustainability topics that affect him as the CEO of Implenia and personally.