New Member, UL, is advancing innovation safety, sustainability and connected security

Introducing our newest Associate member, UL, who spent some time telling us more about what they have to offer to the foodservice equipment industry.

1. Tell us about how your business got started.
UL was founded in 1894 by William Henry Merrill Jr., a young electrical engineer, after the conclusion of the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. He had served as an electrical inspector in the Palace of Electricity. Merrill started developing standards, launching tests, designing equipment and uncovering hazards. UL published its first Standard on Tin-Clad Fire Doors in 1903. In 1906, UL introduced the UL Mark to denote products that had passed their testing.

UL has expanded into an organization in more than 40 countries, with over 14,000 employees working in many different industries, from consumer products and appliances to energy and power technologies. It develops from its roots in electrical and fire safety to address broader safety issues, such as hazardous substances, water quality, food safety, performance testing, safety and compliance education and environmental sustainability.

By Empowering Trust® and smarter decisions, UL helps build a better world by advancing innovation safety, sustainability and connected security.

2. What do you love most about the foodservice equipment industry?
The foodservice equipment industry is experiencing great challenges:
• Food waste reduction, natural ingredients and clean menus
• Consumer expectations for fast delivery, prices and good taste
• Increasing hygiene requirements
• Demand for specialized products and innovations
• Connected technologies for remote recipe control and inventory management

This constant need for innovation, adaptation and reinvention is fascinating. The industry has to keep up with the traditions of good food, cost efficiency and quality of service while adapting as customer needs change and regulatory pressures increase. This business is driven by passion in every sense.

3. What is the biggest challenge for your business right now?
As Jennifer Scanlon, president and chief executive officer of UL Inc., stated, “Our ambition is to serve as our customers’ most trusted science-based safety, security and sustainability partner.” Servant leadership will require burnishing our skills of discovery. To focus on serving our customers, we should first discover their needs, then turn our internal capabilities into strengths that address those needs. We continually ask our customers how we can do better, listen to what they tell us and address their recommendations. We must be humble while helping our customers improve the safety of their products and be their supportive safety partner.

4. What are the drawing factors for joining FEA?
UL has developed a large set of services specifically adapted to the foodservice equipment (FSE) industry that can help European appliance manufacturers exporting to different regions of the world, such as North America, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. Our main area of competency is compliance testing for electrical and gas safety, sanitation, performance evaluation, energy efficiency measurement, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and wireless compatibility, cybersecurity and environmental impact evaluation.

Find out more about UL at