One-in-three manufacturers on track to meet sustainability targets

01 November 2022

New research from Schneider Electric and Omdia shows that 57% of industrial companies have carbon-neutral targets. However, almost half are yet to fully deploy initiatives to achieve their sustainability goals.

The finding was part of a study to better understand manufacturers’ sustainability goals and the maturity of their sustainability initiatives.  

Over half of respondents to the survey are aiming for net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. They are most likely to name reduced energy consumption as the key factor in their decision to invest in operational sustainability initiatives, and 49% also expect improved performance and cost savings. 

However, almost half are yet to fully deploy their sustainability initiatives, and less than one-third are on track to meet their goals. 

The research surveyed hundreds of industrial companies in the food and beverage, life sciences, semiconductors and electronics, chemical, oil and gas, and automotive industries, across North America, Europe, Middle East & Africa, and Asia. Respondents also represented a range of company sizes. Leaders across these industries understand the value of technology in measuring and reducing their environmental impact.  

Industrial companies are exploring a range of solutions to improve their sustainability, either directly or indirectly. They have identified the top five technologies that will have the biggest impact on their sustainability initiatives. These are: 

• More efficient automation 
• Energy management systems
• Cloud technologies
• Supply chain tracking
• More sensors

Investment in these areas is already taking place, with 54% of respondents already using digital twin technology to (re)design facilities with sustainability in mind, and more than 50% predict they will have deployed energy management and renewable energy systems within three years. Other types of projects being pursued include environmental management and sustainability performance management. 

 The research also highlighted that organisational barriers need to be overcome. Nearly one-quarter of respondents named competing priorities as an issue, while cultural change is a challenge for 19%. Many noted that sustainability initiatives require a driving force behind them, with 78% of respondents reporting that a C-level executive is responsible for their organisation’s efforts. 

For industrial companies to deliver on their sustainability goals, they will need a clear strategy and the data to back it up. Technology will be a key enabler, including improved sensing and visualization tools to capture sustainability data and derive actionable insights.  

“There is a huge opportunity for industrial companies. Many have energy-intensive operations and waste to contend with. Making use of renewables, recycling, and circular models will not only benefit the environment but also deliver meaningful return on value,” said Alex West, Senior Principal Analyst, IoT and Sustainability, at Omdia. “Armed with the metrics to prove the impact of their sustainability initiatives, sustainability leaders can attract employee buy-in and justify further investment – it's a virtuous cycle.” 

For a full copy of the study contact: global.pr@se.com  


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