Kartik Mekala: A Champion of Sustainability

Feb 29, 2024

As Lippert’s first Director of Sustainability, Kartik Mekala combines his entrepreneurial and engineering background with a passion for the outdoors.

“The RV industry presented a unique opportunity to align my career with my love of the great outdoors and my dedication towards environmental stewardship,” says Kartik. 

Kartik describes his career path so far as “diverse,” explaining that he has gained a variety of educational and professional experiences that encouraged him to advocate for and implement sustainable best practices. 

After graduating from the National Institute of Technology, Warangal in India with a degree in electronics engineering, Kartik later launched a startup company that emphasized sustainability’s role in team building and leadership development. “I found this really exciting, and it gave me the confidence to pursue my passion and let go of the engineering side of my life,” he says. 

After moving to the United States, Kartik pursued a double masters at Chatham University, where he achieved his Master of Business Administration and his Masters in Sustainability Studies. He also gained additional experience from his consulting and corporate roles. “Using my background in electronics, my entrepreneurial journey, and my education, I have applied my skills by elevating a company’s meaningful environmental and social impacts. I also help guide governance matters because any successful company changes start at the top. My career so far has focused on education, leadership, sustainability, ecotourism, and companies’ environmental impact.” 

Since joining Lippert a year and a half ago, Kartik has been tasked with steering the company towards more sustainable operations that benefit the environment and drive financial savings. “My role focuses on unlocking financial savings through implementing more environmentally friendly practices with utilities, waste, or other areas,” he says. 

“My responsibilities also include developing our sustainability strategies by creating company goals such as reducing our carbon footprint, sourcing sustainable materials, and enhancing our products’ energy efficiency. These strategies are about innovating for the future, reducing costs, and passing on those savings to our customers. It’s incredibly fulfilling to lead these efforts that contribute positively to society and encourage our internal teams to find innovative ways to help conserve the natural world for future generations.” 

In addition to sharing these best practices across their business units, Lippert also shares them across the wider RV industry, in part through attending RV Industry Association events like the upcoming Leadership Conference. “We bring examples to share with our supply chain partners,” Kartik explains. “At the end of the day we’re all in it together. Sustainability issues affect each of us.” 

Moving forward, Kartik is eager to help Lippert expand its environmentally friendly practices even further. “My vision for Lippert is to expand our conservation and sustainability efforts,” he says. “We are exploring new projects and partnerships that are aimed at further reducing our environmental impact and increasing our contributions here at home and across our global operations. Financially, these initiatives are not only designed to save costs in the long run but also to create value for our customers and our stakeholders— whoever is interested in our sustainability footprint. “

In addition, Kartik champions eco-friendly technologies and initiatives that are coming down the pipeline. “I’m committed to staying at the forefront of sustainability practices and using my platform to advocate for protection of natural habitats. Our future is ambitious, focusing on integrating cutting-edge sustainable technologies and practices that will ensure we remain a leader in eco-conscious RV manufacturing and making sure we meet our suppliers and our customers’ expectations when it comes to sustainability.”

Along with his responsibilities at Lippert, Kartik has delved even deeper by joining the RV Industry Association’s Sustainability Committee. “This is something I’m really excited about,” he says. “There are a lot of new laws and regulations coming on environmental, sustainable, and governance issues. It’s important to share with the industry what’s coming and keep everyone informed while there’s time to plan. So, when the time comes to meet these requirements, we all know what’s expected. The Sustainability Committee allows me to champion these initiatives that have a direct impact on conservation and sustainable development within the RV industry.”

In addition, at the Leadership Conference next week, Kartik will be presenting important information on cost-saving sustainability measures. “We have been working on setting some benchmarks that encourage both environmental stewardship and financial efficiency. My upcoming presentation at the Leadership Conference will highlight the tangible benefits of these initiatives, showcase how they contribute to conservation efforts, and result in significant cost savings for companies and consumers alike. It’s an exciting platform to share how our work at Lippert is driving positive environmental outcomes and supporting our industry’s economic and environmental sustainability efforts.”