Hi, I am Francesco
I'm Francesco Perrone, a graduate in Management Engineering from Politecnico di Milano, specializing in Innovation Management. My exciting journey with UNITECH began in 2021. I seized the opportunity to participate in an enriching exchange program at RWTH Aachen University in Germany and following this incredible experience, I embarked on a new adventure as an intern at Danfoss. As my internship drew to a successful close, I was honored to receive an offer to stay on board. Today, I am a Procurement ESG & Tools Project Manager at Danfoss!
Can you provide an overview of your current role and the company/industry you're in?
I work as Project Manager in Procurement for Danfoss, after I have finished my UNITECH intership there. My role has two hats: I manage a part of Danfoss decarbonization journey, which is reducing supply-chain emissions by helping Danfoss suppliers to act in decarbonization activities. Moreover, I take care of the updating and maintenance of our Procurement Negotiation toolbox, which includes various templates to help our procurement people to negotiate with suppliers.
What are some of the most significant shifts you've observed in your industry, and how have you/your organization adapted to them?
I have observed several significant industry shifts. In Procurement, we have seen our responsibility towards environmental sustainability raising more and more. Being compliant with regulations coming from governments and institutional bodies and striving towards reducing CO2 emissions has become more important and will become license to operate eventually. Therefore, ensuring that our whole value-chain keeps up the speed of the world evolving in this direction is critical. In Danfoss, we are trying to embark our suppliers in our own sustainable journey, guiding them towards more eco-friendly practices and using our expertise to work with them using various carbon abatement levers. In the future, the CO2 element will become an important decision-making point also in the supplier selection process, and in Danfoss we are opening the path that leads to more environmentally conscious choices, which also requires effort to improve our supply chain transparency and data quality.
What are some of the challenges you are currently facing in your role?
I face several challenges in my new role. Firstly, engaging with suppliers aligned with our sustainability goals is a significant challenge that demands extensive collaboration. Secondly, the transition to renewable energy sources poses challenges in terms of availability, scalability, and cost-effectiveness. Lastly, integrating sustainability into our decision-making process requires cross-functional collaboration, effective communication, and change management. Addressing these challenges requires strategic planning, strong partnerships, continuous innovation, and a proactive approach to drive sustainable procurement practices within Danfoss.
How has our program contributed to your professional growth and development since graduating?
The UNITECH program has helped me a lot in my professional growth and development. Thanks to the many networking initiatives organized, UNITECH helps students get in touch with the job market in a very dynamic way, putting them at the very core of the program itself and giving them the chance to showcase their talents. In this way, I learned to approach companies in different ways, displaying first who I am and what I expect from a role to allow myself to express my full potential. Moreover, working on the business cases with my fellow UNITECH students has given me the chance to have a sneak peek of what it means to work in global companies that have great ambition for the future. This has helped me a lot when I had to approach my first challenges.
What advice would you give to current students who are considering a career in your field?
I would give three main pieces of advice to students that are considering a career in sustainability: first of all, cultivate effective communication and collaboration skills to drive sustainability initiatives across stakeholders. It’s also very important to stay updated on industry trends and innovations through conferences and workshops, so embrace the chance to join them and never neglect continuous improvement. Finally, I highly suggest keeping the constant learning mindset that is taught at university and don’t ever be afraid to ask questions, this will help you out to steer yourselves in this VUCA world we live in and have success in ever-growing and dynamic environments like the sustainability field.