Siemens and the environment
The company has set up a board to oversee and measure its broad environmental goals.
Wed, Oct 06, 2010 at 04:00 PM
When it comes to Siemens and the environment, the company’s dedication to sustainability is motivated by both its altruistic and profit outlook.
In an effort to ensure the best possible efforts, Siemens has set up a Sustainability Board with Barbara Kux as the chief sustainability officer. The members of the Sustainability Board decide on the ongoing development of Siemens’s sustainability strategy and adopt the appropriate measures and initiatives. They also coordinate the company’s sustainability activities across Sectors and functions, and promote the implementation of these activities in their own specialist functions.
Below the Sustainability Board is the Sustainability Office which is responsible for both recommending policies to the Sustainability Board and implementing the Sustainability Board’s decisions. Providing information and recommendations to both the Board and Sustainability Office is the Siemens Sustainability Advisory Board. The Advisory Board is comprised of ten people from a range of disciplines and backgrounds from within the scientific and business communities.
These groups have developed four key goals that are the foundation for Siemens’s sustainability practices leading to 2011. The first is a 20 percent improvement in carbon dioxide (CO2) efficiency. The second is to reduce their customers’ CO2 emissions by 300 million tons. The third is to increase water proficiency within the company by 20 percent. The fourth and final goal is earning $34.5 billion in profits from its environmental portfolio.
To see all this at work, consider Siemens’s factory of OSRAM Opto Semiconductors in Regensburg, Bavaria. The factory manufactures the optical semiconductor ships for LEDs. LEDs are an increasingly popular alternative to conventional incandescent lamps for their energy saving and lower CO2 emission properties. Here is a product that Siemens manufactures that helps to lower CO2 across the globe.
But the factory that produces these chips also contributes to the CO2 reduction. The Regensburg plant uses not only the excess heat produced by its machines to heat the building, but to help cool it, the building uses hybrid coolers that take the air outside and use it for air conditioning. Likewise, hot air is taken in by a refrigerating absorption machine to cool it and circulate it throughout the plant. The plant, using these processes, has prevented 5,200 metric tons of CO2 every year since it open in 2003. It has been so successful that a new facility in Malaysia will be based on the Regensburg plant.
Siemens’s work to protect the environment isn’t just limited to making its facilities green. In addition to its development of smart grid technologies, Siemens supports those communities that can’t connect to a grid. In Mbita, Kenya on Lake Victoria, Siemens has set up a power station called Umeme Kwa Wote, or, translated as Energy for All.
Constructed in 2008, the goal of Umeme Kwa Wote is to supply the community with rechargeable batteries for lamps at a cost they can afford instead of using kerosene lamps. Umeme Kwa Wote supplies power to these lamps and battered with a roof constructed entirely of solar panels that supply up to 10 kilowats of electricity a day. Because of the solar panels, the electricity that Umeme Kwa Wote produces is CO2-free. Due to its success as both an environmental cause and a business enterprise for Siemens, a station like Ymeme Kwa Wote will be constructed in India. Here, again, Siemens’s goals of sustainability and profit intersect in ways that benefit all those involved as Umeme Kwa Wote lowers CO2 emissions while not adding any to the environment.
But coming up with the green technology and the products to utilize it isn’t enough. Siemens wants to be involved with others. In the words of Peter Löscher, CEO and President of Siemens, the goal must be “Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate.” And Siemens does just that. Siemens is partnered with a variety of organizations dedicated to the environment, including the United Nations Global Compact, The World Business Council for Sustainable Development, World Economic Forum, and econsense – Forum for Sustainable Development. Siemens has also founded the Future Dialogue conference, which brings together scientists, politicians, and businesses for a conference to discuss environmental goals.
As one of the best sustainability companies in the world, Siemens is always looking for new ways to help the environment while creating profit for its stakeholders. Siemens will achieve its fourth goal, that of earning $34.5 billion in profits from its environmental portfolio, before 2011. The other goals can’t be far behind.
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