Only one in three machinery and plant engineering companies is pursuing a clear green transformation strategy/Industry aims to be sustainable and climate-neutral in just a few years

April 6, 2022 | News Germany

According to the current study “Green Transformation in Mechanical and Plant Engineering,” only 35 percent of German mechanical and plant engineering companies have a green strategy that is also vigorously being pursued. By comparison, this ratio is at 46 percent in the automotive industry. In order to achieve the declared goal of climate neutrality by 2035, there is still much to be done. For the study, business consultancy Staufen surveyed more than 150 companies from the German mechanical and plant engineering sector.

“According to their own statements, around half of machinery and plant engineering companies even want to be climate-neutral by 2030. This green enthusiasm is commendable and could prove advantageous in international competition,” says Dr. Björn Falk, Industry Manager for Mechanical Engineering at Staufen AG. “But to ensure that ecological change does not remain just lip service, the plans must also be backed up by a targeted corporate strategy. And this is where our study clearly shows the deficits in the companies.”

Although there are a number of successful pioneers in the medium-sized mechanical engineering sector, many have not yet fully worked out the roadmap toward sustainability. Of the companies surveyed in the study, for example, only 35 percent have a green strategy that they are determined to pursue. In contrast, 13 percent are not consistently implementing their green strategy, while 33 percent are still in the development phase. 19 percent admit that they have not yet planned their approach to sustainability. Staufen Consultant Falk: “The mechanical and plant engineering sector is lagging behind the automotive industry, where almost half of the companies are successfully pursuing a green strategy. Automotive is leading the way: Starting with the company’s own production, the ESG approach also extends deep into the supply chain. Once the ball is rolling, a sustainable mindset will spread throughout the value chain.”

Companies see themselves as responsible when it comes to sustainability

But the pressure on mechanical and plant engineering to define and then achieve sustainability targets is growing. 71 percent of the companies surveyed cite social responsibility as the main driver of green transformation. These are followed closely by the factors of laws, regulations and political pressure (64 percent) as well as market opportunities and competitive advantages (60 percent).

“The public, along with legislators, has become a powerful voice for green transformation of the economy. Of the study participants, only very few companies indicated that they do not yet feel this pressure. For many, however, the targets announced by policymakers are too volatile. Finding orientation is therefore difficult,” says mechanical engineering expert Falk. Moreover, given the social vehemence with which the issue is being pushed, many companies not only need to formulate goals for climate neutrality but also actively implement a clear sustainability strategy.

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 February 2022. Download the study for free with the following link:

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