Siemens is currently preparing this European Green City Index in cooperation with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Headquartered in London, the EIU is a world leader in economic analysis. The new study aims to determine the extent to which the 30 cities’ environmentally compatible infrastructures – in the areas of energy supplies and building, traffic and water systems, for example – have already been developed or can be further developed. In addition, the study will present best practices in climate protection and sustainability from which other cities can learn. Barbara Kux, Member of Siemens’ Managing Board and the company’s Chief Sustainability Officer, explained Siemens’ commitment this way: “This is just one of the ways in which our company is helping major European cities become ecofriendlier.” The study’s findings will be published before the end of 2009.
After London, Siemens, in partnership with an independent research institute, looked at sustainable climate protection in a second city in the study “Munich – Paths toward a carbon-free future,” and suggested concrete ways of reducing CO2. The Bavarian capital is in a position to reduce its CO2 emissions by up to 90 percent by the middle of the century without impairing the population’s living standards. Although the initial investments in efficient, energy-saving solutions will sometimes be high, they will not only benefit the environment, but will also pay for themselves. So while over the next few decades it will cost EUR 13 billion to improve the energy efficiency of almost all Munich’s buildings, at the same there will be a EUR 30 billion decrease in energy costs. Based on a sample district of Munich, the analysis describes the changes in the infrastructure and technology that will create a nearly carbon-free city. The main levers are energy-efficient solutions for buildings, greater use of public transport, electric vehicles and increased reliance on renewable energies involving low CO2 emissions.
Since 2007 over half of the world’s population has been concentrated in cities – and today these are already responsible for 80 percent of CO2 emissions. This is why environmental investment is particularly necessary in conurbations. “As well as industry, cities in particular must play a pioneering role in climate protection. They are currently not only the main cause of climate change, but will also suffer most from the consequences,” said Barbara Kux. “Urbanization and climate change are two megatrends for which we can provide valuable solutions with our innovations. With the largest Environmental Portfolio in the world, which in fiscal 2008 generated sales of some EUR 19 billion and accounted for around a quarter of Siemens’ total revenue, we are able and willing to make a substantial contribution towards meeting these challenges,” explained Kux.