Toward a Climate-Neutral Future

Focus Topic of EM-Power Europe

As of last year, CO2 now only comes bubbling out of a bottle at the mineral water bottling company Ensinger Mineral Heilquellen. Coca-Cola seeks to achieve this in Europe by 2040. Both of these companies are representative of a trend which gained even more traction last year: More and more companies of all sizes have set themselves the target of becoming climate-neutral, or at least reducing their energy demand and emissions.

Once every six months, the University of Stuttgart publishes an energy efficiency index (EEI) which is based on an efficiency strategy survey among German industrial companies. According to the latest results from fall 2020, 30% of companies are planning to optimize their energy demand, 63% want to reduce their CO2 or greenhouse gas emissions, or even their entire environmental impact. Only 5% have no optimization plans at all. Compared with figures from 2019, the average emission reduction goal for 2030 was 26%.

Climate conservation pays off

Climate conservation and sales or production growth are not mutually exclusive. This was demonstrated in a current study co-published by the data portal Statista and the German economics magazine Capital. For the study, the carbon emissions of 2,000 listed companies, medium-sized companies and family-owed businesses were analyzed. At the top of the list is Zalando, an online retailer that was able to reduce the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions, i.e. emissions in relation to sales, by 41% over the last four years. Among manufacturing companies, the most successful was Gardena with an emissions reduction of 35%. Coca-Cola Germany achieved a 21% reduction of CO2 emissions in relation to sales.

The rising carbon prices in both German and European emissions trading, are making climate conservation measures more and more financially viable.

Based on its EEI survey, the University of Stuttgart calculated the additional charges for energy-related emissions (excluding electricity) that German manufacturing companies will have to pay in the coming years. According to these figures, even a small company would now have to pay an extra €7,200 a year on average, increasing to an extra €16,000 per year by 2025. Large companies would have to expect to pay €78 million this year, and €172 million in 2025. Over time, this adds up to a substantial sum of money, which could be invested in renewable energy, improved energy efficiency and fewer emissions, or even becoming climate-neutral.

All the knowledge and technology that companies need to achieve this – from renewable energy generation to storage and energy management to efficient energy use – can be found at The smarter E Europe Restart 2021 with its four parallel exhibitions Intersolar Europe, ees Europe, Power2Drive Europe and EM-Power Europe.

Next year's EM-Power Europe (May 11–13, 2022) will highlight this topic even more with the special area “The path to a climate-neutral company”, where experts will be on hand to explain how emissions can be balanced, reduced and offset, and much more.