17 Dec 2021, 12:23
Charlotte Nijhuis

Germany needs faster digitalisation to ensure sustainable, competitive industry – SAP board member


If German industry is to remain competitive and become more sustainable, the process of digitalisation needs to be much faster, writes Thomas Saueressig, executive board member of software company SAP, in an opinion piece for business daily Handelsblatt. Germany needs so-called ‘industry 4.0’, in which the virtual and physical worlds are combined and manufacturing processes are highly automated, he writes. This would make it easier to map and control the carbon footprint of production processes and products, and more transparency along the value chain helps in making sustainable decisions, Saueressig writes. “Industry 4.0 means digitalisation that must be socially sustainable and, against the backdrop of the climate crisis, ecologically sustainable at the same time.” Germany can be a role model for other countries, he adds, because it “has the opportunity to set standards and thus secure its competitiveness and technological sovereignty.”

German industry has called on the new government to quickly set the right framework to enable the “greatest transformation in Germany’s history” that would get the country on the path to climate neutrality by 2045. Additional investments of about 100 billion euros annually are necessary to reach the 2030 climate target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 65 percent, industry association BDI said.

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