Alberto Chiappinotto is working to reduce our energy and water consumption globally throughout manufacturing and engineering to shape living for the better for Electrolux and also the next generation. This is the sixth in a series of stories where we spotlight employees who have been nominated by their co-workers as role models in how to shape living for the better.
When looking back at what he has accomplished in his 19-year career at Electrolux, Alberto Chiappinotto considers himself lucky. He gets to work at a company he loves, figuring out how we can reduce our energy and water consumption. Even his biggest on-the-job challenges have ultimately given him a real sense of accomplishment.
The Global Sustainability Specialist for Industrial Operations has worked in a variety of engineering and manufacturing roles over the years as well as in all the plants in Europe and in many different factories.
Now working in Porcia, Italy, he lives in an area that is famous for its asparagus and “Raboso del Piave” wine. His green commitments even carry over to his cooking. Last year, he was one of four finalists in the Electrolux Italy Masterchef competition and to promote sustainability, he called his dish spirito verde or green spirit. “The idea was to create a plate with low CO2 emissions, so I used herbs from the field behind my house, eggs from my chickens, and asparagus.”
In his nomination to become an Electrolux purpose ambassador, his colleagues said: “Alberto is a real role model. He includes social and environmental responsibility in his actions and decisions. He shares and discusses experiences and ideas about sustainability. He imagines new sustainable ways to improve our solutions. He is a great representative of Electrolux in terms of energy conservation and utilization, as well as developing and sharing with colleagues the best practices of energy efficiency. His high level of engagement in coordination and collaboration is inspiring people working together with him.”
What does shape living for the better mean to you?
To live life with passion every day and trying to always improve. It also means learning from others and being an inspiration for them.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
I like challenges. When the company asks you to do something, I think you have to be ready and do your best. To that end, it is important to understand what expectations are. If I feel I have the commitment from the company for me, than I am 100%. No one can stop me.
Another aspect of the job that I enjoy is the entire project management process. In the beginning phase, you have to plan what, who, how and the strategy with the team. During the project you have to check the status of the activity, have open discussions with team members, check results, understand the root causes if there are delays or issues, and together define actions for recovering. At the end, we together celebrate the results.
Finally, Teamship and coaching are also important to me. I like learning by doing, as well as giving and receiving feedback. If we are to do our best, we need support. When there are problems or delays, the real teamship comes in. We have to grow together. We are working for the same target, for the same team, but sometimes that can be hard. You have to have respect for other’s thinking—accept others opinions and try to understand them.
I seem to have several favorite parts of the job!
Why are you passionate about your role?
I work in engineering/manufacturing and sustainability and see a strong connection between them. As I am working for sustainability at a global level, I try to shape sustainability in manufacturing. Sustainability provides us with a lot of important information or indicators to work toward meeting.
As I work with energy and water, our KPIs are about how we are performing or where we are using our resources, when there is waste to eliminate in our processes, and more. If I see where we can eliminate waste, I can do something for our manufacturing that will effect safety, quality, cost and delivery. For me, these things do not run parallel but across each other. If our manufacturing processes are best in class, we are acting sustainably. Furthermore, we have many best practices already implemented around our sectors and we have to work in order for these best practices to become standard practices in our plants. Of course, we are always searching for new technology.
What do you think it takes to succeed at Electrolux?
Working at Electrolux is like playing for a top football team. It’s a big company with a lot of people and different languages, but we are all on the same team. So always try to do your best.
We also have to be ready, respect your team members, and accept and learn from failure. Be honest with yourself and your colleagues, be an example for your team, involve everyone in the game and be a good team player. Never give up and remember that we win and lose together.
Of course, much like in sports, it’s not easy to always be on top, so don’t be afraid to ask for support when needed and don’t be afraid to say that you don’t understand something or that you have a different opinion.
(I am very engaged in sports and am a member of the Italian Volleyball Federation. Also, I am Communication Director for the “Volley Grifone” team and one of my tasks is to lead team building sections for junior and master players.)
Tell us about a particular time when you knew you were in the right role.
In September 2014, I was the Manufacturing Engineering Manager at the Nyíregyháza, Hungary, plant. It was a difficult period as we were introducing several new models in the factory, there were not enough people in the engineering department and the maintenance team was under pressure due to an equipment breakdown and new equipment installation.
Thanks to strong teamship, learning by doing and working together, we won together. Ultimately, it led to 2015 being a fantastic year.
At the time, I did not know I was the right person for the job, but I do know it now. We were in the middle of a big tsunami with a lot of issues to solve. And we not only survived, we excelled. This was one of the best years of all for me in terms of satisfaction. It was a fantastic team, I had something to offer and it was a fantastic feeling. I tell this story to my volleyball players as well as it’s a real example of how a difficult moment can be the first step toward victory.
What has been your biggest success?
I hope my biggest success will come tomorrow. I cannot compare the successes I have had in my long career because they came at different periods and when my experience, position and responsibilities were different.
What do you want to accomplish in your role?
I consider myself very lucky because in this role as I can improve the company, generate better experiences for our customers and give my contribution for our planet and the next generations.
I really like working for Electrolux as it is a company that I respect and love. It has allowed me to grow as a person and an individual.
Finally, what does someone in your role do?
I work with different business sectors and factories globally to develop improvement plans and determine capital requirements for energy, water and renewable energy. To help develop standards for our buildings regarding energy, water and renewable energy, I work with our Global Green Spirit program. I also work to develop standard requirements for new equipment and processes to drive best-in-class energy and water performance.
As for me, I will be curious and continue to learn and make available the experiences done in manufacturing.