Low Carbon Circular Materials by KONE

KONE, a global leader in the elevator and escalator industry, has set science-based targets for significant reductions in its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by the year 2030. In addition, KONE has pledged to have carbon-neutral operations by 2030. To reach these ambitious goals, we are looking for startups developing innovative materials and circular processes which could help us reduce the carbon footprint of our elevators and escalators.

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A clear majority of the emissions associated with KONE activities occur outside its immediate operations in the value chain. To achieve its product-related emissions reduction target of 40%, KONE will cut emissions from product lifetime energy use and materials by further improving the energy efficiency and material circularity of its products.

KONE is taking strong actions across the whole supply chain. The company is working together with its suppliers to reduce the carbon footprint from raw materials manufacturing, internal production processes, logistics operations and end-of-life to increase the use of sustainable and long-lasting materials, enabling circularity processes (e.g., reuse, recycling, disassembly). The main goals include increasing the materials’ reusability, upgradeability, reparability, recycled material content, and to enable high-quality recycling.

Opportunity Description

We are focusing on greenhouse gas emissions resulting from raw materials manufacturing, internal production processes, logistics operations, use phase and end-of-life of our products.

In the manufacturing phase of our products’ lifecycle (from raw materials production), we are searching for materials that have similar characteristics as the ones we currently use but with a smaller carbon footprint and/or processes enabling reuse of recyclability of current materials. We would like to strongly emphasize material circularity to identify materials suitable for enabling remanufacturing/reuse and high-quality recycling. Ideally, solutions should focus on durability, upgradeability and reparability, reusability, and alternative green packaging.

In the use phase, we are looking for ways to make our products more energy-efficient and/or make sure they use renewable energy.

The examples below represent some ideas that we have in these areas, but please remember that your solution can go beyond them.

Examples We’re Interested In

Low embodied carbon materials through a clean manufacturing process  with high recycled content (e.g., new alternatives to steel/new grades of steel for guide rails and cabin panels, alternatives to rare earth materials in electronic components, alternatives to plastics in packaging, alternatives to Portland cement in counterweight fillers).

Processes to reuse/recycle elevators and escalators materials (e.g., cabin steel, packaging) creating synergies with external industrial partners. Innovative technologies to sort different materials or components. “More with less”, dematerialization.

Lightweight materials, lubricant-free materials, alternative materials and simplified design for the shaft mechanics.

The Next Venture Client Cycle Begins in April

Leave your information with us and we'll be in touch when a good opportunity arises


At KONE, our mission is to improve the flow of urban life. As a global leader in the elevator and escalator industry, KONE provides elevators, escalators and automatic building doors, as well as solutions for maintenance and modernization to add value to buildings throughout their life cycle. Through more effective People Flow®, we make people's journeys safe, convenient and reliable, in taller, smarter buildings.

Revenue (2020)
Global Employees
Countries (2020)

Previous Experiences with KONE

Natalia Rincon
Co-founder and CEO at CHAOS

When matching corporates and startups, one of the most time consuming tasks is finding customers’ real needs. Combient Foundry is the first of its kind to connect startups with customers that have a real and concrete needs. If anything, I would recommend startups to forget about accelerators and focus in customer validation, this is something that Combient Foundry excels at. Highly recommended!

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Tomio Pihkala
EVP, New Equipment Business at KONE

For KONE, Combient Foundry is a strategic gateway to the global tech startup space.

Kristian Rode
CCO at SHUTE Sensing Solutions A/S

We found a good match with KONE’s search for new approaches to predictive maintenance. Combient Foundry has been part of the whole process, from making it easy to join and screening propositions, to hosting the meetings and taking part in facilitating the scoping phase. We have a really good impression of Combient Foundry and their work to help new technology companies meet large industrial companies. In other words, it has been a pleasure working with them.

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Ville Heikkilä
VP, Sales & Marketing of Kaltiot

Combient Foundry’s offering had a great fit with our growth targets and there was a clear focus on getting a common project done.

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Dr. Christoph Amma
CEO & Co-Founder Kinemic GmbH

We build a ground-breaking gesture control wearable company and are honored that KONE chose to go forward and collaborate with us to investigate how we can meet a real-life business need. Combient Foundry is really focused on bringing startups and world-leading corporates together to build lasting value!

Miikka Rosendahl
Founder & CEO of ZOAN

We build the best VR solutions for construction space in Europe, USA and Brazil, and it is truly a privilege to work with a global industry-leader such as KONE on this new front. Foundry served as an essential part of forming great connections between us and KONE decision-makers. Thanks Foundry team!

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The Next Venture Client Cycle Begins in April

Leave your information here and we’ll be in touch when a good opportunity arises.

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