Conclusion: Toward continuous transformation
No one is suggesting that achieving sustainability is straightforward. But while businesses face one of the most challenging transitions to a greener economy, a combination of ambition, imagination and practical thinking can result in progress.
Siemens’ own example is a case in point. In 2015, it was among the first large industrial companies to declare a goal of achieving net zero CO2 emissions by 2030. By 2021, it was more than half way toward that target. Siemens has accelerated that commitment and enhanced it to the entire value chain by joining the Science Based Targets initiative last year to be in line with the 1.5-degree target. Commitments for 2030 include a 100% electric vehicle fleet; to use only renewable energy; to own or lease only net zero carbon buildings; and to reduce suppliers’ emissions by 20%, targeting a net zero supply chain by 2050.
There will be new obstacles along the way. For example, digital transformation will require increased use of energy-intensive data centers, which add to the organization’s carbon footprint rather than reduce it. But here, too, there are potential solutions: in Estonia’s capital Tallinn, for example, Siemens Smart Infrastructure and Greenergy Data Centers have built a new data center incorporating software and operational technology that will lower energy usage, ensure thermal protection, and deliver resilience.
The key is to recognize that shifting to sustainable growth is an exercise in continuous transformation – and that digital technologies will enable and accelerate every stage of this process. As organizations plan their change, execute on this strategy, and evaluate their achievements, digital solutions have the potential to create continuous improvement.
Moreover, this will be a shared endeavor. Critical partners, a strong ecosystem, and access to industrial business platforms will give every organization, however large or small, the ability to leverage the expertise and experience of multiple providers to build comprehensive solutions – and to do so quickly and at scale.
Digitalization will put sustainability within reach, and now is the time to get started. You can take the initiative by:
- Planning for sustainability with shared goals. Agree your sustainability objectives and align them with the business’s strategic agenda for digital transformation.
- Implementing the right tools. Focus on how a combination of digital solutions will accelerate progress toward sustainable growth.
- Measuring for optimization. Create feedback loops that provide continuous improvement.
- Renewing the value proposition through innovation. Focus on how digital transformation can drive business-model change and create new value for sustainable growth.
- Creating an ecosystem. Explore partnerships and platforms such as Siemens Xcelerator to accelerate your digital transformation and sustainability strategy.