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Caroline Bergmann

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Cars and environmental protection - do they go together?

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Cars and environmental protection - a first reflex: that doesn't go together. Traffic jams on motorways, searching for parking spaces in the city. A third of inner-city traffic is people looking for parking spaces. Not exactly environmentally friendly and the exact opposite of less traffic to protect the environment.

Transparent supply chains have the potential to improve the eco-balance in production.

Transparent supply chains have the potential to improve the eco-balance in production. © Telekom

Intelligent traffic planning with an intelligent interplay of the different means of transport is one contribution to more sustainability. But the car itself - for many of us an important part of our individual mobility - also makes "its" contribution. It is changing; it is becoming more sustainable, more digital and more climate-friendly. Cars need less fuel and the number of e-cars increases. And if you look at the production of the car, there also is the potential to improve the eco-balance. Keyword: more sustainability through transparency in the supply chains. What does that mean exactly? 

What - When - Where from: Transparent supply chains for more sustainability

CO2 emissions do not only occur in the factory where the individual components are assembled. CO2 emissions occur even before that - during the production of the individual parts. Depending on the industry, a large part of the CO2 emissions are caused by these individual parts, their production and transport. So in order to assess the carbon footprint of a product, you need to look at the supply chain in total. At every single step that is necessary to manufacture a product. At all resources, materials and transport routes. 

For the automotive industry, this is an extremely difficult task. Because hardly any machine is as complex as a modern car. A car manufacturer obtains its individual parts from about 1,000 different suppliers. Well over ten million parts are processed in production every day. Bringing together the information on each part systematically and transparently poses a particular challenge to the automotive sector with its extensive supply chains. 

Catena-X an alliance of the automotive industry:
Working together for secure data exchange

Most companies are convinced of the benefits of networking the supply chain. From start to finish, from production to recycling. However, data sharing has failed so far for various reasons. Besides a multitude of different data formats, these are especially security concerns. The fear of sharing important data with other companies. This trust gap is large because there is a lack of instruments that ensure data sovereignty, i.e. that each company decides for itself with whom and for what purpose it shares its data. 

This is exactly where Catena-X comes in: an alliance of the automotive industry for secure, sovereign and standardised data exchange. The number of members is growing continuously. From carmanufactureres like BMW, Mercedes Benz or Volkswagen, to research companies like the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, to IT suppliers like SAP and Telekom. From small and medium-sized enterprises to corporate groups. Europe-wide. Their common goal: to create a platform for all participants in the automotive value chain to jointly tackle current challenges such as sustainability, resilience or even geo-politics. This approach was also endorsed by the environmental organisation Greenpeace at the 26th World Climate Conference in Glasgow. "In principle, this is exactly the right way to go," said Viola Wohlgemuth, expert on resource conservation, in an interview. "Transparency is absolutely necessary and the critical point to measure and precisely reduce greenhouse gas emissions in supply chains."

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