In the run-up to electronica, an online survey of German participants was carried out to investigate some sustainability aspects of the electronics industry, which will meet from November 15 to 18 in Munich at the world’s leading trade fair and conference for electronics. This year, the focus is, among other things, on the future vision of an all-electric society based on CO2-neutral energies.
“The results of the electronica Trend Index emphatically underline the focus of our trade fair: The vast majority of those surveyed, 89 percent, attribute a high value to the electronics and digital industries because they pave the way for future topics such as climate protection,” explains Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer, CEO of Messe München. ZVEI president, Dr. Gunther Kegel, adds: “The majority of those surveyed use digital processes to save resources and nearly half manufacture products that contribute to climate protection. electronica offers an established platform for presenting these future technologies and exchanging about current topics.”
The online survey was completed by 760 electronica participants—both visitors and exhibitor representatives from all relevant areas of the industry. The survey was designed by Messe München together with the Association of Germany’s Electro and Digital Industry (ZVEI), and carried out by independent market research institute IfaD in September 2022.
With the Sustainable Finance Taxonomy, the European Union aims to classify economic activities with regards to their sustainability. The companies from the electronics and digital industry surveyed make a high contribution to the taxonomy-compliant environmental goals, in particular to climate protection (56 percent) and to avoiding pollution (55 percent). Above all, the digitization of processes is an important lever for conserving resources (64 percent). The companies’ other activities for achieving the climate goals comprise recycling and waste management (59 percent) and the acquisition of green electricity or their own renewable energies (50 percent). After all, almost half of those surveyed (48 percent) stated that their company manufactures products that help users to save energy or conserve resources. Although they contribute to it, more than half of those surveyed cannot yet assess the EU regulation, while 32 percent currently see it as an opportunity—especially the employees of large companies (500 or more people).
When asked about the most important measures for achieving climate neutrality in the EU, the vast majority of those surveyed named the expansion of renewable energies (85 percent), followed by investments in research and development (76 percent) and increasing energy efficiency (72 percent). What’s notable is that only 28 percent of those surveyed from the electronics industry see electric mobility as an important lever here. When asked what the biggest hindrance was to achieve this climate goal, those surveyed named bureaucratic hurdles (78 percent) and geopolitical tensions (73 percent), followed by unclear or contradictory legal conditions (58 percent), supply bottlenecks (57 percent) and a lack of acceptance in society (53 percent).
Companies need to act sustainably in order to remain competitive. Those surveyed consider the greatest opportunity that these measures offer to be the fact that, with them, companies can reduce their energy costs (70 percent). Other important goals mentioned include retaining customers in the long term (50 percent), building resilient supply chains (47 percent) and getting the younger generation enthusiastic about the industry (44 percent).