Singapore, 12 November 2009

Investments in green technologies to grow post-crisis, predicts Siemens survey

Sustainable development, green revolution and financial regulation needed to fix the economy, say experts



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The financial firestorm that hit the world over a year ago will leave one positive outcome in its wake, with experts predicting that it may pave the way to a more sustainable future for the world, according to an international survey commissioned by global technology powerhouse Siemens.

In findings released by Siemens during the APEC CEO Summit in Singapore today, more than half of the 270 leading practitioners polled said the economic crisis may stimulate progress towards sustainable development, with 86% anticipating an increased investment in green technologies. Three-quarters also pointed out that the crisis will lead to new paradigms of managing both the environment and the economy.

The survey conducted by global research firm GlobeScan Incorporated is of particular relevance to this year’s APEC CEO Summit as it examines the policy issues surrounding sustainability in the context of the global economic crisis, one of the central themes of this year’s event. Three-quarters of survey participants reside in APEC economies, and interviewees included experts from the government, private sector, academia and non-profit organisations.

Other possible upshots of the economic crisis, according to interviewees, include the adoption of more environmentally sustainable lifestyles, the start of better cooperation among national governments to create binding international agreements, and an impetus for governments to reform fiscal policies to recognize environmental impacts.

When asked for their ideas for fixing the world’s economy, 22% of the experts suggested solutions that centred on new approaches to development, including sustainable development and the “triple bottom line”, which takes into account ecological, social and financial performance. Respondents also recommended overhauling energy systems, including switching to renewable and low-carbon sources and improving energy efficiency, while some called for better regulation of the financial markets and banks.

“The concept of sustainability is not a zero sum game. Everyone stands to gain if we work towards generating long-term value in every area of our society,” said Mr Peter Löscher, President and CEO of Siemens AG.

“The global financial crisis has presented us with huge challenges but it has also brought along vast opportunities for us to set things right. For example, it will allow us to create an economic system with a healthy balance between finance and services and a viable industrial base. It will give us the chance to build sustainable economies that engender prosperity and protect resources with leading-edge and environmentally viable technologies. We can also bring hope and prosperity to people in developing countries based on a powerful industrial base, innovative strength and fair global trade.”

Other survey highlights:

  • A strong majority of experts think that improved energy efficiency and a switch to renewable energy sources are important in fostering a “green industrial revolution.”
  • Seven in ten experts believe that a green industrial revolution will improve people’s living conditions in general and create jobs.
  • Nine in ten experts feel that the current public stimulus programmes should be more focused on activities that foster a more environmentally sustainable future.
  • Just over half of all experts said that in the foreseeable future economic growth will be possible without harming the environment.
  • Sustainability experts are split as to whether a paradigm shift toward a more sustainable way of living will take place in the next five years. Opinions range from very optimistic to very pessimistic.
  • Experts predict that the United States and China will supplant Germany as leaders in green technology over the next ten years.

“These important insights prove that sustainable action is key in tackling the world’s crisis –and that climate protection is intricately woven into any sustainable success formula. It offers a triple win: economic benefits for consumers, higher quality of life for society, and superior growth for the economy as a whole,” said Mr Löscher. “At Siemens, we strongly believe in these values and we base our strategy on the business potential derived from the megatrends of climate change, urbanization, demographic change and globalization.”

The company has been a world leader in environmental technologies, with almost 25 per cent or €19 billion of its revenues in this sector. This year, it is a major partner of the APEC CEO Summit, the most highly anticipated business forum in the world, and will share its experience and expertise on the subject of sustainable development at the event.

The full survey findings of the “Economic Crisis and Sustainable Development” report are available at www.siemens.com/apec.

 
For media interviews :
Oliver Martin
Director, Global Development
GlobeScan, Toronto
Office: +1 416 969 3073
oliver.martin@globescan.com

Siemens AG (Berlin and Munich) is a global powerhouse in electronics and electrical engineering, operating in the industry, energy and healthcare sectors. The company has around 410,000 employees (in continuing operations) working to develop and manufacture products, design and install complex systems and projects, and tailor a wide range of solutions for individual requirements. For over 160 years, Siemens has stood for technical achievements, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality. In fiscal 2008, Siemens had revenue of €77.3 billion and a net income of €5.9 billion (IFRS). Further information is available on the Internet at www.siemens.com.

GlobeScan Incorporated is a global survey research firm providing strategic advice to companies, multilateral institutions, governments, and NGOs, on reputation, sustainability, and corporate responsibility. The company is a world leader in conducting comprehensive survey research in all regions of the world amongst general publics and stakeholders.