Smaller footprint, bigger impact

By Matthias Rebellius, chief executive, Siemens Smart Infrastructure.

Like the rest of the economy, industrial firms are emerging from a year dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic – some in a better position than others, on account of geography or their specific industry.

Irrespective of how they have weathered the year, right now we have an opportunity to move forward as part of the post-pandemic green recovery. Particularly as this year of uncertainty has shed a bright light on the other urgent challenge facing the world: climate change.

This article was originally published in Enlit Europe’s Guide to season 3 – A just transition.

And so, we have reached a tipping point, with consensus solidifying around the need for significant concerted action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This applies equally to the industrial sector – even energy-intensive processors and manufacturers.

Action from this sector is crucial, given that industry accounts for a third of total energy consumption. Not only that, while other sectors, such as power generation, agriculture and households have begun reducing their emissions of greenhouse gases, industry has hardly budged, even in a country like Germany.

Three levers for emission reduction

To address this, I see three levers to help industry pursue emission reduction and decarbonisation. The first is bringing greater flexibility in how energy is used, for example by adopting storage solutions and enabling virtual power plants.

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