In process industry, sustainability is no longer a nice-to-have, but rather a must. Why? Because, with regard to sustainability, there are always new requirements that have a direct or indirect impact on strategy, processes, and product development. For example, stakeholders or compliance standards require companies to do business in a more sustainable way. Digitalization helps them to find, steer, and successfully implement the right sustainability strategy.
The challenges facing companies from the chemical, pharma, and energy sectors today are enormous: rising energy prices, water shortages, and limited supplies of raw materials resulting from the disruption of fragile supply chains have forced companies to become more efficient, resilient, and sustainable. What's more, their stakeholders demand concrete evidence of their activities in sustainability reports.
With regard to providers and manufacturers, consumers are placing increasing importance on a green image, responsible use of resources, and sustainable products or services. McKinsey has conducted a survey on this topic. The results: Providers and manufacturers must act and take a greater interest in a circular economy, waste reduction, sustainable packaging, and recycling with regard to the lifecycle of their products.
Whether chemical, pharma, or energy industry: with regard to climate/environmental protection and social responsibility, these sectors must also adhere to certain laws and guidelines. On a global level, the Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations recommend the implementation of 17 sustainability goals. The initiative encompasses economic, ecological, and social aspects that are intended to enable a decent standard of living around the globe and preserve the natural foundations of life in the long term.
Will Europe become the world's first climate-neutral continent? This ambitious goal is the target of the EU Green Deal. The proposed measures are intended to pave the way to a modern, resource-efficient, and competitive economy. As an interim step, the "Fit for 55" program calls for a 55-percent reduction, in comparison to 1990 levels, in net greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. By 2050, the economy should no longer produce any net greenhouse gas emissions, its growth should be decoupled from resource consumption, and there should be a move towards a circular economy.