How much CO2 emissions does a product contain? Manufacturers often do not know it themselves because a large part is produced by suppliers. An association promoted by Siemens is intended to remedy the situation.

With the help of an association, Siemens wants to make the measurement of CO2 footprints much more accurate. The Estainium Association presented on Monday at the Hanover Fair includes 14 other founding members in addition to the Munich group.

There are international corporations such as the Japanese IT service provider NTT Data and the German chemical and pharmaceutical company Merck as well as industry giants such as TÜV Süd.

The association is one of three layers of a system that is intended to make it possible to determine and certify CO2 emissions and, under certain circumstances, to offset them. He operates the Estainium network, in which individual providers are active. Although Siemens is the driving force behind the founding of the network and association, the system is open. “Everyone should be able to build their own interface,” emphasizes Siemens board member Cedrik Neike.

emissions throughout the supply chain

The Munich-based company is represented with its SiGreen platform. It enables the CO2 footprint of a product to be determined, including emissions from suppliers and their suppliers. “On average, manufacturers only control about 10 percent of the carbon footprint of their products. The rest is created beforehand, in the supply chain,” says Neike. So far, average values ​​have mostly been used when determining CO2 footprints for this part. “But you want to reward the company that uses green electricity and didn’t send its parts around the world five times,” emphasizes Neike.

The association should support and further develop the network – and ensure its independence. “The whole thing will be a success if Siemens is just one provider among several,” says Neike. It is also about sensitive information, as Siemens manager Gunter Beitinger explains. The solution: The information is not stored centrally but exchanged decentralized and encrypted between individual partners.

Beitinger is confident that the network will grow rapidly. “We are in talks with many companies. By the end of the year there should be 50 to 100 participants. Much more in the long run.”

Initially, Estainium revolves around CO2, but other aspects are also possible in the long term. “If I think about it further, you can also measure water consumption, lead or recyclability,” says Neike. But he doesn’t think it makes sense to do all of this at once. “If you try to create the jack of all trades, you will fail.”