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How do German manufacturers react to the increasing societal pressure for decarbonisation?

  • From the perspective of manufacturing companies, the political, media and economic discourse on decarbonisation in the recent years manifests itself as an increasing social expectation of action. In Germany, in particular, this discourse is also being driven forward by powerful companies, respectively sectors, most notably the automotive industry. Against this background, the present paper examines how German manufacturing companies react to rising societal pressure and emerging policies. It examines which measures the companies have taken or plan to take to reduce their carbon footprint, which aspirations are associated with this and the structural characteristics (company size, energy intensity, and sector) by which these are influenced. A mix methods approach is applied, utilising data gathered from approx. 900 companies in context of the Energy Efficiency Index of German Industry (EEI), along with media research focusing on the announced decarbonisation plans and initiatives. We demonstrate that one-size-serves-all approaches are not suitable to decarbonise industry, as the situation and ambitions differ considerably depending on size, energy intensity and sector. Even though the levels of ambition and urgency are high, micro and energy intensive companies, in particular, are challenged. The present research uncovers a series of questions that call for attention to materialise the ambitions and address the challenges outlined.

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Author of HS ReutlingenKönig, Werner
Erschienen in:Applied Sciences
Place of publication:Basel
Document Type:Article
Year of Publication:2022
Tag:carbon footprint; carbon neutrality; decarbonisation; energy consumption; implementation; manufacturing; net-zero; product carbon footprint; resources
Page Number:22
Article Number:543
DDC classes:600 Technik
Open Access?:Ja
Licence (German):License Logo  Creative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International