In 2008, the United Nations launched the “Cool UN” campaign, a symbolic initiative for climate change awareness in which the Secretariat Building’s conference rooms would be turned up from 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fourteen years later, climate change remains one of the most pressing challenges of our times. With record-breaking heat every year and glaciers melting faster than before, climate extremes and catastrophic natural events continue to occur on unprecedented scales.
At 75F — the greentech company that took on the month-long campaign’s namesake as an investment towards the future — the fight to build a better world continues to this day. And Mo Alhroub, the director of engineering, knows that what he does as a leader will ultimately set the course for the company’s real-world impact.
“This is a monumental task that will take courage and effort from the entire team in order to make a dent in one of the world’s gravest issues,” he said.
Alhroub manages the largest department at the company, which deploys sustainable smart systems in buildings to help businesses reduce their carbon footprint. 75F’s technical foundation allows him to wield considerable influence as the work his teams accomplish directly impacts every other department.
It’s a great responsibility that enables the success of the company as a whole, but comes with attached challenges: How can engineering turn the company's core mission of saving the environment into reality while making people more productive?
There’s no definite solution, but Alhroub believes adhering to 75F’s values is the right track. Deliver the right product — of the highest quality — on time. To learn more, Built In sat down with him to find out how he intends to see his green vision through.
How do you build team culture at 75F? Why is that important for the work that you do?
Our culture centers around the premise of giving our customers the best product possible. But if you were to get an inside look at how our team works, you will realize that this team is truly on a mission to contribute to something larger than ourselves — saving the planet. Such a mission requires a unique culture that has people who care about extreme ownership, innovation, team play and tenacity.
We are fortunate to be working on a solution that covers so many technologies and domains. This gives employees the opportunity to fine tune their career and align with their interests.
Maintaining a life work balance is also an important goal in order to ensure that everyone on the team is successful and happy in all aspects of life. It is unfathomable to try and save the planet if you can’t also enjoy it.
How do you help your team grow their careers?
One unique aspect to 75F is that everyone is assigned a buddy when they start. That person becomes their coach, to ask questions and to get to know the company. As part of the onboarding process, they go through an introduction session on all company departments so that they are aware of the options available to them to grow their career. In addition, domain training classes that help them understand the product from end to end are expected so they are able to hit the ground running.
“We are fortunate to be working on a solution that covers so many technologies and domains.”
What is something exciting that you are currently working on with your team?
One of the key product innovations we are working on and contributing to the industry is Haystack4. Every commercial building contains equipment from numerous manufacturers, and making a building work smoothly requires knowledge and understanding of equipment from a vast number of providers. Our adoption and strong support of Haystack4 is intended to bring interoperability to the next level. The easier the equipment can communicate with each other, the easier it will be to deploy technology that will make the building significantly more efficient, which will consume less energy and help us deliver on our core mission of saving the planet.
“This team is truly on a mission to contribute to something larger than ourselves — saving the planet.”
What is the employee value proposition for those thinking about joining your company?
At 75F, your abilities and skills will be challenged and you will have a massive opportunity to learn and innovate. We work on a complete system that involves collaboration between hardware, software and firmware teams, as well as teams in the field. Not only will we help grow your career, but you will also be part of a team that works on something bigger — a solution to mitigate the climate change problem.