Germany must reduce its CO2 emissions by 65 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 in order to become climate-neutral by 2045. The industrial sector plays a key role here with a share of around 15 percent. Production itself accounts for about 30 percent, while the upstream and downstream processes account for more than 70 percent in many industries and business models. In the "Climate Solution for Industries" (CS4I) project, Fraunhofer IPA, together with its partners Intense AG, Objective Partner AG, Digital Renewables, Gerolsteiner Brunnen GmbH & Co. KG, Döhler GmbH and SAP SE, investigated how CO2 emissions can be reduced economically can become.
CO2 emissions across company boundaries
Not only the production itself, but the entire value chain was considered beyond the company boundaries in order to achieve this goal. When creating a bottle of apple juice spritzer, for example, not only the production processes themselves are relevant, but also the CO2 emissions that occur, for example, through the transport of apples. CS4I therefore addressed various aspects, from the procurement of the starting material to investment decisions and delivery, so that companies can take sustainability and profitability into account at the same time.
Challenges in the industry, ideas and possible solutions were discussed in workshops in the project consortium. The result was prototypical digital applications that can be used via the SAP cloud infrastructure. They include, among other things, a scenario analysis developed by Fraunhofer IPA using a Monte Carlo simulation. This method runs through a large number of scenarios in order to determine the probability of different outcomes and thus to quantify uncertainties in complex problems.
Decision-making aids through digital images
With the help of one of the developed apps, the company can request a digital image of the machines and systems as a basis for a decision, instead of exchanging written offers, as in previous processes. Then only energy prices in different scenarios have to be determined. The app then shows which system or machine is best suited for the company in the individual situation. Furthermore, the transport costs influenced by fluctuating energy prices can be considered.
The scenario analysis helps to make the transport as economical and sustainable as possible. The focus is also on the so-called "True Carbon Footprint", which is used to analyze which emissions a specific product batch causes beyond the company's borders - for example through the transport of apples.
Transparent CO2 consumption
In the future, all companies will have to be transparent with regard to the CO2 emissions they have produced. This is the only way they can understand and reduce environmental impacts and comply with regulatory requirements such as the Supply Chain Act. However, this transparency also helps to identify potential financial risks and opportunities and to strengthen the trust of customers and investors. In this way, companies are living up to their social responsibility to combat climate change. Every company can already decide today in which machines to invest and how the transport should be as sustainable and economical as possible.
The solution developed in the CS4I project creates better transparency with regard to sustainability and offers companies optimal, individual decision-making. The applications are currently still in the prototype stage. They are being tested at Gerolsteiner and will soon be commercialized. They are already showing what the transparent value chains of the future should look like.