Siemens at Forefront of Sustainability in Manufacturing Industry

Manufacturing

András Simon

The Budapest Business Journal talks with András Simon, energy efficiency expert at Siemens Zrt., about the company’s successes and plans regarding sustainability.

BBJ: How does Siemens support the implementation of circular economy principles in the manufacturing industry?

András Simon: Siemens is committed to using resources responsibly and recognizes that the circular economy offers highly beneficial opportunities for business, the environment, and society. We want to accelerate recycling and a circular economy. Using software and simulations, our technology offers sustainable approaches for the design phase of products and solutions for both our customers and ourselves. We have developed a new standard for the design of environmentally friendly products that incorporates clear product design criteria and is intended to cover 100% of relevant product families. We also focus on resource efficiency over a product’s entire life cycle. In addition, we promote the decoupling of the consumption of natural resources from economic growth by increasing purchases of secondary materials. One of our commitments is that, by 2025, we will reduce our landfill waste by 50% from the 2021 baseline year.

BBJ: What steps has Siemens taken to reduce the environmental impact of its manufacturing facilities?

AS: Siemens has become a pioneer in digitalization and sustainability by using what we sell. For example, the World Economic Forum has designated the Siemens Electronic Works factory in Germany, which produces 17 million SIMATIC products annually with more than 1,000 product variants, as a Sustainability Lighthouse. It acknowledges the proactive approach to drive the future of sustainable manufacturing with energy and resource-efficient operations. The factory is nearly CO2 neutral. Also, this is the origin of the SiGreen solution: it measures and exchanges CO2 data along the supply chain to obtain a product’s true carbon footprint. The blockchain-based software is open to Hungarian companies as well. This could help companies on their way towards carbon-neutral production and helps eco-conscious customers to choose products based on valid emission data, and thus their sustainability efforts can become a competitive edge.

BBJ: Globally, Siemens plans to achieve a 55% physical CO2 reduction by 2025 and a 90% reduction by 2030. How will the company work towards achieving these goals in Hungary in the next decade?

AS: To implement our carbon-neutral program, we have detailed a plan that includes, for example, CO2 emission reductions across the supply chain. Locally, we count on our dedicated sustainability team but also on each of our employees. Our efforts include, for example, nullifying plastic and paper waste and using our energy-efficient solutions in building tech, among other things.

BBJ: How can the company contribute to the energy efficiency and safety of buildings and infrastructure?

AS: We have a network of experts leveraging advanced technologies and building analytics to deliver a comprehensive portfolio of sustainability, e-mobility, and smart infrastructure services. In building management, it’s essential to ensure that properties remain fit for purpose for years to come while managing resources and costs more effectively. We combine the latest technologies with advanced analytics and digital services, capabilities that deliver new levels of building performance. In doing so, we help real estate actors meet their strategic and operational goals. One of our latest solutions is the microgrid that helps office parks, communities, and factories manage distributed energy resources, increase energy reliability, and thus save CO2 emissions.

BBJ: What is Siemens’ long-term vision for sustainability in the manufacturing industry, and how do you plan to achieve it?

AS: By combining the real and the digital worlds, we’re helping our customers to accelerate their digital transformation, reinvent their companies and industries, and to become more sustainable. Siemens’ technologies help decarbonize sectors that today account for nearly three-quarters of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Siemens initiated its corporate policy of responsibility toward the population and environment 50 years ago by establishing an environmental protection department. Some 25 years later, the company presented its first Environmental Report, the forerunner of today’s Sustainability Reports. Sustainability is a strategic pillar of Siemens; our 360 Degree framework encompasses all elements of sustainability, and we follow it at every step.

One quote Ernst von Siemens made in 1971 speaks more than a thousand words: “We also want to preserve a free and intact natural world, which we all need to live a meaningful life.”

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of March 24, 2023.

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