Sustainability in B2B: turning from efficiency optimization towards environmental solutions

19 February 2020

Topics around environment, sustainability and climate change gained enormous momentum in the past months. Before, market researchers would have received raised eyebrows and a weary smile on the topic in expert interviews – now, it became top priority. Sustainability is no longer a vehicle for efficiency optimization only, but is actively pursued for necessity to take action.

After years of focusing on efficiency gains, the topic finally reached mainstream in the “business world” as well. Commercial enterprises, genuinely being followers to the public and political endeavors on environment and climate protection, even push the debate with their own initiatives.

Although the so-called Green Deal plans announced by the EU Commission to transform Europe into a CO2 neutral region by 2050 pre-shade implications, actual impacts of regulations are still moderate. Yet, there are partly very ambitious voluntary commitments of industry players.

Several large groups aim at reducing their carbon footprints, even making it
top management priority. Most prominent example indicating long-term consequences are the announcements of automotive OEM that they will hold their suppliers responsible to take care about their carbon footprint. It should be noted that this is not a question of shifting responsibility, but of involving suppliers in the overall process.

Furthermore, many retailers announced to drastically reduce plastic waste and to increase the recycling share.

It is very likely that these developments will not only have a short-term effect but much rather trigger fundamental changes throughout whole value chains of industrial production.

However, how realistic are the self-imposed targets? What technological alternatives exist to implement the changes cost-efficiently and fully functional?

In the upcoming months, we would like to dig deeper into the changes that will come with sustainability, environment protection and climate change prevention.

On a monthly basis, we will shed some light on the following topics:
  • Change in consumer awareness about sustainability, environment and climate and their expectations towards manufacturers in various consumer markets
  • Upcoming regulations regarding plastics and recycling requirements and their impact on manufacturers of e.g. packaging or hygiene products
  • Reactions to increasing requirements in the chemical industry in various segments, e.g. energy efficient and low VOC technologies for coatings, circular economy approaches for BEV batteries
  • Update on opportunities and technologies to reduce CO2 emissions, such as carbon capture technologies (CCU, CCS)
  • Impact of automotive OEM climate footprint requirements for suppliers to the industry
  • Strategies and measures of industrial companies to drastically reduce their carbon footprint or to become even carbon neutral

© Schlegel und Partner 2020
Your contact person
Dr. Thorsten Böhn
Director Materials


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