Mechanical and plant engineering still fails to tap potential in the area of conflict between ecology and economy / Only one in four companies sees itself as a green pioneer – Study

June 21, 2022 | News Germany

Nine out of ten companies from Germany’s second largest industry sector still have ecological potential according to the latest study “Green Transformation in Mechanical and Plant Engineering”. Although everyone at executive level agrees that a green future will secure business success, only 23 percent of those surveyed see themselves as pioneers in terms of sustainability. For the study, business consultancy Staufen surveyed more than 150 companies from the German mechanical and plant engineering sector.

“The companies are still at the beginning stage. Yet, time is ticking. Supply-chain problems and high energy costs are increasing the pressure to work more sustainably and resource-efficiently”, says Dr. Björn Falk, Sector Manager for Mechanical Engineering at Staufen AG. Sector-wide costs have been rising in light of the current crisis. However, it is precisely the conflict between ecology and economy that “still offers a great deal of optimization potential for reaching green goals that are also economically viable.”

Up until now, companies in the mechanical and plant engineering sector have primarily implemented their ecological targets as part of their in-house production process. Measures most frequently mentioned by the respondents related to energy savings (84 percent), disturbance and defect-free production (67 percent) and CO2-neutral energy supply (63 percent). According to industry expert Falk, the results of the survey indicate that there is still plenty of unused potential in the area relating to indirect emissions and the supply chain: “The companies must make decisions depending on each situation and allow space for new ideas. This also means: Developing the courage to venture beyond traditional optimization topics like efficiency and waste.”

Within the foreseeable future, many companies will be able to reach the climate-neutral range

The current challenges notwithstanding, there is no way around the transformation toward sustainability in the long term. 84 percent of the respondents agreed with the statement that their company had to advance the green transformation in order to be able to survive on the market. “Admittedly, many market participants are struggling with the fast pace, and even a quarter of them feel overwhelmed, but the plant and mechanical engineering sector is embracing its social responsibility: Nine out of ten companies in the sector aspire to be climate-neutral by 2035,” says consultant Falk.

Despite supply bottlenecks, material shortages and understaffing, the expert in mechanical engineering sees a realistic opportunity to achieve this goal: “If I meet energy crises and material crises head-on, become more local, for example in my supply chains, I will indeed develop into a sustainable company. Because of this, many companies will be able to reach the climate-neutral range within the next ten years.”

Yet, there is still a lot of skepticism in corporate boardrooms: Of the companies surveyed, only 23 percent consider themselves to be green pioneers. “Still, we do have the potential for sustainable change that is also economically viable,” says Björn Falk.

About the “Green Transformation in Mechanical and Plant Engineering” study

For the study, business consultancy Staufen AG surveyed a total of 160 companies from the mechanical and plant engineering sector in Germany on the topic of green transformation. The survey was conducted in the spring of 2022.

The study can be downloaded for free under the following link:


Management Dialog on July 14, 2022, Köngen Castle near Stuttgart

More insights into the results of the “Green Transformation in Mechanical and Plant Engineering” study will be offered in a Staufen AG Management Dialog to be held on July 14,  2022 at 6.00 pm in the Köngen Castle near Stuttgart. Building on this, Dr. Tim Nikolaou (Managing Director at Oskar Frech) and Dr. Thomas Schneider (Managing Director Research & Development at Trumpf Werkzeugmaschinen) will report on how they are shifting traditional system boundaries and why sustainability and economic efficiency are no longer necessarily opposites.

For more information:



Stephanie König
Blumenstr. 5
D-73257 Köngen

Mobil: +49 1522 2887 350


Thöring & Stuhr

Kommunikationsberatung GmbH

Arne Stuhr
Mittelweg 142
D-20148 Hamburg

Mobil: +49 177 3055 194

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