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Digitalization Makes Industrial Carbon Neutrality Tangible

Reading Time: 3 Minutes 01.02.2022 Currents & Trends

Here's how industrial companies can use digitalization to reach climate targets

More and more companies consider carbon neutrality their top priority. In doing so, they deal with a prominent issue. After all, topics such as climate change, sustainability and the protection of the environment have never been more relevant. Digitalization yet again enables us to face these challenges.

A Bitkom study (only available in German) shows that implementing digital technologies can contribute over a third of the efforts necessary for Germany to achieve its climate targets for 2030. The largest potentials lie in industrial manufacturing and in mobility. We talked to Michael Finkler, our managing director for Business Development about possible measures for companies.

"Carbon neutrality in industrial companies requires digitalization",
Michael Finkler, managing director at proALPHA Business Solutions GmbH



  1. How can production become more digital and sustainable at the same time?
    Digitalization and carbon neutrality don't contradict each other. On the contrary: sustainable carbon management even requires an extensive digitalization, including AI. This means, ERP, MES, TMS (transport management systems) and other corporate applications are at the center of digitalization and carbon management.
    As the single source of truth and specialized in resource management, the ERP system is the central success factor for determining the carbon footprint and introducing counter-measures.
  2. Can you give us an example?
    With the deep integration of carbon management software like Planetly, you can follow through with a plan for carbon neutrality. Based on the data from ERP, MES and TMS, such software, which is specialized in carbon neutrality, provides extensive initial analyses of the carbon emissions.
    Reductions in all relevant areas can be achieved on the basis and with the help of the ERP system. This includes, for example, materials planning, sales planning, product development, supply chain management, vehicle fleet, transport systems, and, of course, production planning.
    Companies can extensively reduce resources in various fields, e.g. procurement processes, consumption of energy and paper, business trips, packaging and production material, operating resources, and production waste. Moreover, surplus production can be avoided as sales and material planning are improved.
  3. But what if all potential has already been exploited here?
    Manufacturing companies can then improve their carbon footprint through compensations. This can be achieved with the help of partners, for example with local or international projects for the purpose of afforestation, humus replenishment and the generation of humus certificates, or the renaturation of moors. Other options include, for example, a contribution to the reduction of plastic waste and the pollution of the oceans.
  4. But aren't you supposed to do good and then talk about it?
    Absolutely! Carbon footprints can be communicated internally and externally on the basis of international standards or benchmarks. Products can be rated in terms of carbon neutrality. By constantly monitoring all processes, you can reduce the impact on the environment. Thus, continued carbon management becomes an integral part of every ERP, MES system and further corporate software.
  5. Is there anything companies should keep in mind?
    Carbon management must be embedded in the whole corporate organization. There are four steps to a successful implementation: understand, reduce, compensate, and communicate the carbon footprint. As the central data and process hub and the single source of truth, the ERP system lays the groundwork for all analyses and measures to achieve an integral carbon management and eventually become carbon neutral.

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