The exact number of all refrigerators in the world is not known.

But there are a lot.

They consume electricity and their CO2 emissions have a negative impact on the climate.

If the efficiency of the devices could be improved, that would be a huge lever in the fight against global warming.

The German technology group Siemens has therefore made the open refrigerators of a British supermarket chain.

According to Siemens, these devices account for at least one percent of the total electricity consumption in Great Britain.

"With our digital technologies, a high-performance air blade was developed that controls the cold curtain and keeps the cold in the fridge," says Siemens board member Cedrik Neike of the FAZ 5,000 stores in Great Britain have already been converted.

This would save around 1200 terawatt hours of energy per year and 300.

000 tons of CO2 avoided.

If all supermarket fridges in the UK were converted, the savings could power up to 800,000 homes for a year, according to Siemens.

Sven Astheimer

Responsible editor for corporate reporting.

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"Technology can make a huge contribution to climate protection," says Neike, who is responsible for business with industrial customers.

More and more companies were looking for technical solutions to reduce their carbon footprint.

This often happens with a "digital twin", i.e. the development of the product in the digital world, which can simulate all properties.

Siemens is also doing the same on its own behalf: The Siemensstadt in Berlin, a huge construction project, is initially being built entirely in the “metaverse”, as it has recently been called.

This is how you prevent inefficient planning errors, explains Neike.

The digital twin is not a new idea, German industry was early on in this area.

But now, according to Neike, the next step must follow.

"We need transparency and comparability in the carbon footprint of products and collaboration on traceability in the value chain," said the manager at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

He wants to work towards this in various rounds of talks in the Swiss mountains.

This year, the war in Ukraine is the dominant topic in Davos and has pushed a number of other topics into the background in the public eye.

This also includes the fight against climate change, especially since the Swedish activist Greta Thunberg has not given the issue a face this year.

Luckily, says one participant, we can finally talk objectively about content.

The beacon of hope of such rounds is Greentech.

What is meant is the use of technology to combat climate change.

A portion of courage is required

Jean-Pascal Tricoire is in his element on this subject.

As CEO of the French Siemens competitor Schneider Electric, he has successfully aligned his group to sustainability, which is generally recognized.

He also sees increases in efficiency as a promising way to save the climate.

However, he does hold his own profession accountable: "A CEO usually knows his IT costs very well, but hardly anyone knows the energy costs," complained the Frenchman during a discussion at the World Economic Forum.

In his group, he fully relies on networking and data transparency, which would reveal enormous savings potential.

In the next step, the cooperation must now go beyond company boundaries, which is why Tricoire also wants to open its data platforms to third parties.

Christian Klein wants to turn this approach into a business model.

As CEO of the software group SAP, he is in contact with a huge customer network.

Klein wants to link them together and look for overarching solutions for entire industries.

"The problem is too big for one person alone," says the manager, and the task must be understood as a team sport.

On average, only 20 percent of CO2 emissions occur directly in the company, the remaining 80 percent in the supply chain.

With the Catena-X data exchange platform, on which industry heavyweights from Deutsche Telekom to Siemens to Bosch are represented, the right vehicle has already been found for the automotive industry, says Klein.

Even the big manufacturers BMW, Daimler and the Volkswagen group are taking part.

the aim is

to deliver an ecological footprint across the entire value chain.

With the sports shoe manufacturer Allbirds, SAP can refer to a reference project.

Customers can read on the packaging how sustainably the sneakers are produced.

This is made possible by the software from SAP, which links all the information from the supply chain.

Consumers accept the higher prices for this service.

Klein is convinced that this will become the standard in the future.

The use of new technologies is often associated with high costs, which usually only pay off much later - if at all.

This is especially true for infrastructure projects.

"But without a modern infrastructure, there can be no digitization," says José Álvarez-Pallete, CEO of Telefónica, and remembers that the capital market was not enthusiastic about every investment.

Today, however, a modern 5G telephone network can be operated with 20 percent of the energy consumption that occurs for a 4G network.

From the point of view of SAP boss Klein, managers are often faced with the question of whether the capital market will punish them for green investments.

He's still waiting for the headline: "The margin is under pressure, but it's nice that SAP's data centers are now being operated with green electricity."

It takes a bit of courage to make such investment decisions anyway.

Álvarez also believes that such steps are essential given the urgency of climate change.

"We all see the message on the wall - but we think it's for someone else."