Green Automation How Process Control Solutions Will Help Meet the Challenges

Editor: Dr. Jörg Kempf

Megatrends such as climate change, urbanization, and limited resources of oil and water will significantly influence our world in the coming decades. Social, economic and especially environmental responsibilities are key areas that will help us build a sustainable world. Siemens has answers in the form of solutions for energy, emissions, water and waste — the major pillars of a sustainable world.

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Every day we read about how our climate is changing, how we need to reduce carbon emissions, how global warming is affecting our planet, and how we need to switch to renewable energy to preserve our planet’s natural resources. Recent storms in Europe and the US have resulted in loss of life and will probably cost the global economy billions of euros. Experts are now arguing that this severe weather is a direct result of climate change.

By 2025 our planet will be home to an estimated eight billion people — two billion more than today — with many living in giant “megacities”. In addition, life expectancy in both developing and developed countries continues to increase. The world of tomorrow will be shaped by this increasing urbanization and demographic change. We will have to ensure adequate supplies of energy, water and other necessities, while guaranteeing security, healthcare and industrial production. But we cannot stop there; we also have to improve our care of the environment, reduce emissions, including greenhouse gases, and safeguard our valuable reserves of fossil fuels and water.

So what can be done to address these issues? The answer is sustainability. Promoting sustainability in our environment means:

  • reducing the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases we emit;
  • investing in cleaner technologies; and
  • reducing the amount of waste we produce.

Sustainability for our planet’s natural resources means:

  • improving energy efficiency and energy management;
  • providing clean, safe and renewable water supplies;
  • implementing renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and wave power; and
  • improving process efficiency by reducing raw material usage.

And it is not just sustainability of the environment that we need to be concerned about. We also have to ensure a sustainable and well-balanced global economy while at the same time improving our social responsibility.