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Siemens
Gap Score: +14.1
#bestglobalgreenbrands
  • Siemens consumed about as much energy in 2013 as it did in 2012. The consumption of electricity, when compared with oil and natural gas use, declined 1%. Similarly, direct greenhouse gas emissions have decreased 1%, while electricity and heating emissions have decreased by 3%, and business travel emissions reduced by 6% due to increased use of electronic media.

  • The company reduced its waste by 4% in 2013 due to a reduction in non-hazardous waste produced by its energy sector. However, its waste recycling rate also decreased to 83% from a high mark of 85% in 2012.

  • In 2013, Siemens water consumption fell by 8%, mainly due to lower production volume.

  • Siemens has developed a technology to use waste heat, which previously had gone unused, to generate electricity. The solution employs silicone oils, which have a lower enthalpy of vaporization than water, and is needed because waste heat produced in industrial plants or power stations often does not have enough energy to drive a turbine with steam. Siemens recently introduced its "Organic Rankine Cycle" module. Under this solution, the working medium drives a turbine, and then cools and reverts to its initial liquid state. Thus, electricity can be generated without the additional use of energy or raw materials, and without producing additional carbon dioxide emissions.

Working Together

Siemens recently secured a deal with Cobra Energia to expand its onshore wind power fleet in Peru. The new wind power plant is the second project that Cobra Energia, a Spanish wind developer, has executed with Siemens and the project aims to provide more than 90,000 households in Peru with clean, renewable power. After partnering with Arava Company in 2012 (Siemens owns 40% of the company) to build Israel’s first medium-sized solar field, it was recently announced that six such new projects will be launching over the next couple of years. One of the six fields to be built, the Shoval Sun, is projected to offset approximately 162,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide over the next 20 years, with emission reductions equivalent to the planting of 233,000 trees.

The Green Advantage

After falling to the 18 spot in last year’s report, Siemens has experienced another significant drop. Despite maintaining consistent performance as a leading sustainable brand, expanding its onshore wind power, creating building solutions responsible for the tallest green building in the world, and an environmental portfolio that accounts for 43% of total revenue, Siemens has slipped dramatically in perception. Earlier this year, the company was denounced by protestors for its role in a hydroelectric project, which is potentially “damming” to Latin America’s future by depriving local communities of access to river water. Siemens took a $1 billion loss after failing to sell its solar energy division, raising questions about its strategy in the process. Furthermore, still dealing with the fallout of the high-profile bribery scandals of 2008, Siemens’ legal department was forced this year to speak openly about changing the culture of bribery that had been entrenched at Siemens and was seen as a way of doing business. To regain credibility and avoid further decline in perception, Siemens must now work to align its business practices and messaging with continued improvements in sustainability.

Links

Siemens Sustainability Report
Siemens and Cobra Energia working together in Peru
Siemens partnering with Arava for solar fields