Launch of the “dekarbN” Decarbonization Network

Large industrial companies get serious: from energy efficiency to climate protection.

Many years of experience in energy efficiency networks have demonstrated the potential of this cooperative approach. The exchange of experience promotes competence building among local implementers and lowers transaction costs in increasing energy efficiency. The newly launched decarbonization network “dekarbN” transfers these networking advantages to industrial companies’ ambitions to significantly or entirely avoid their greenhouse gases.

Due to its high share of energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Germany (about one-third of all energy-related GHG emissions), the industry will play a significant role in achieving climate protection goals. Decarbonization is used in this context in the sense of defossilization, i.e., complete use of climate-neutral final energy sources. So far, transformation pathways have mainly been developed for the energy-intensive industries such as the steel, chemical, or cement branches. However, the ambitious goals of the German government to achieve the Paris climate protection targets will require the decarbonization of all industrial sectors. To achieve this goal, every single company, including those with less energy-intensive value chains, will have to contribute. This requires an individual decarbonization strategy tailored to the specifics of each company and its production sites.

Against this backdrop, the dekarbN network is now officially launched. On February 25th, 2021, network participants met for a digital kick-off event organized by the network sponsor FfE. Representatives from ALTANA AG, BMW Group, Canon Production Printing, Clariant AG, HAWE Hydraulik SE, Himolla Polstermöbel GmbH, MAN Truck & Bus SE, MTU Aero Engines AG, Papierfabrik Palm GmbH & Co. KG, Rosenthal GmbH and W. L. Gore & Associates. came together in a half-day workshop to get to know each other and share their experiences, challenges, and successes in the field of decarbonization.

Furthermore, the FfE presented the participants with the methodology for developing a decarbonization strategy as well as the elements of the decarbonization toolkit that are appropriate for each step. The network aims to provide each participating company with a tailor-made decarbonization roadmap that can be implemented in concrete terms at the end of the three-year network period.

Photo: Participants of the decarbonization network dekarbN

The next step to this goal is to analyze the status quo. This will be done through bilateral meetings with experts from FfE, who are essential for a common understanding of the status of decarbonization work and planning in the company. The first appointment of this kind took place last Friday, March 12, while the appointments with the ten other network participants are each spread over the next two months.

Based on the status quo analysis, concrete goals for the next three years in the network will be defined. Once the status quo and goal analysis are complete, the network moves to the next phase: skill-building workshops.

In each of these quarterly workshops, a rotating team of FfE subject matter experts will provide a deep dive into methods and technologies from the decarbonization toolbox that are important for designing and implementing a decarbonization strategy. After each workshop, participants can apply another new tool in their company’s individual context before sharing their implementation experiences at the next workshop.

With each extension of the decarbonization toolkit, participants can take further steps towards completing a concrete decarbonization strategy. At the end of the three-year network, each participant will have the skills needed to define their goals, identify and evaluate possible measures to achieve them, and anchor this information in a concrete, time-ordered strategy.