Companies' answers to this question will vary widely depending on, among other things, their business area, their market, their structure, and the importance of energy costs in their overall calculations.
Question: How do we as a company respond to the cost explosion?
There are three possible options:
Option 1: Evasion. Many companies with energy-intensive production are currently considering relocating (further) parts of their production to countries where energy costs are significantly lower than in Germany. While this solution often makes sense from a business perspective, it is questionable from an economic point of view - not only because of the loss of jobs, but also because it further increases the dependence of the German economy and society on foreign suppliers and the smooth functioning of supply chains.
Option 2: Reduce. For months now, almost all companies have been thinking about the question of how we can make our production or infrastructure more energy-efficient; in other words, they have been looking at their organization and the processes they use for potential savings. This is a good thing, but it does have one drawback: the potential savings to be made by optimizing what already exists are usually limited. Therefore, although such efforts often reduce cost pressure in the short term, they do not lead to a sustainable solution to the problem.
Option 3: Replace. In this option, companies fundamentally question both their product range and their manufacturing processes. For example, they ask themselves:
- Can we also produce the metal parts we need using 3-D printing? Or:
- Can we also cold dye the technical textiles we manufacture?
The goal here is to achieve a quantum leap in energy consumption by changing the pattern of problem-solving or task-solving - and to do so in a downward direction.