Learning the Path to Net Zero Operations

The 2023 Hannover Messe event demonstrates how technology and data can be used to reduce a manufacturer’s carbon footprint

What more can companies do as the 2050 deadline for net zero carbon emissions draws near?

Global tech companies, renowned research institutes, and more than 300 startups were expected to help answer that question this week. With a focus on industrial transformation, the 2023 Hannover Messe event is highlighting the use of technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to boost operational efficiency.

Hannover Messe, the world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology, kicked off its 2023 event April 17. It includes the latest innovations and solutions from companies in the engineering, electrical, digital, and energy sectors under the theme “Industrial Transformation—Making the Difference.” The event features a variety of solutions to achieve net zero operations, such as digitalization, automation of production processes, artificial intelligence, hydrogen technologies, and energy management.

Making Net Zero Improvements

The percentage of companies declaring a net-zero target almost doubled between 2019 and 2020. However, as of July 2021, only 10% of the world’s publicly listed companies have aligned with global temperature goals. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has called for global greenhouse gas emissions to reach net zero by the middle of this century. Therefore, companies need to take action to ensure they are aligning with global temperature goals and are on track to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. There are four steps that can be taken to achieve this environmental goal:

  1. Define targets: Companies should set clear targets for reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and work to align their goals with global temperature goals
  2. Set strategy: They also should develop a clear strategy for achieving their targets, including identifying opportunities to reduce emissions across their operations and supply chains
  3. Implement: As manufacturers implement their strategy, they should find ways to reduce emissions, such as investing in renewable energy; improving energy efficiency; and transitioning to low-carbon energy sources
  4. Publish and track progress: To measure performance, companies should publicly report on their progress towards their targets and regularly track and evaluate their strategies to serve as a basis for improvements

Although the world has made progress toward cleaner energy, the use of fossil fuels is also expanding to meet the growing demand for energy. Global energy-related emissions have increased in the past decade, and the share of primary energy from fossil fuels has remained largely unchanged. According to McKinsey & Co., the net-zero transition requires steep and decisive declines in fossil-fuel consumption, but the role of fossil fuels cannot be oversimplified given the continued reliance.

Data-Driven Carbon Reduction

Much of the technology being showcased at Hannover Messe helps manufacturers collect, store, and analyze operational data. This information can play a crucial role in helping process manufacturing companies achieve net-zero operations. Through analysis, companies can identify areas where they have the most significant environmental impact and prioritize actions to reduce their footprint. At the same time, they can improve asset performance, overall production, and ultimately the bottom line.

Advanced industrial analytics software helps engineers establish a baseline for energy and resource use, as well as emissions and waste generation. Engineers then can use these as a basis to set goals to reduce high energy consumers. Industrial analytics also can identify opportunities for energy efficiency, renewable energy generation, and circular economy practices.

Companies can use advanced industrial analytics to find a variety of opportunities to improve production performance and achieve sustainability goals. They include:

The Future of Net Zero

As the 2050 deadline for net zero carbon emissions draws near, manufacturing companies need to take action to ensure they are aligning with global temperature goals and are on track to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. During Hannover Messe, visitors can see how advanced industrial analytics software can help them improve operational performance while achieving sustainability goals. This includes reducing carbon emissions.

With advanced industrial analytics, manufacturers ensure quality production while maintaining a cleaner, healthier, and carbon-neutral future.

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