Dutch companies positive about becoming more sustainable with electrification and digitalisation

08/01/2024
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Research among 250 Dutch companies shows that electrification (77%) and digitalisation (78%) are seen as proven and effective means to become more sustainable.
Large and medium-sized companies use their data more actively than small companies in their sustainability process.
Only 1 in 3 Dutch companies measures water consumption and does something with this data (32%), while 76% does with energy consumption.
Dutch companies are positive about using electrification and digitalisation to become more sustainable. This is according to research by IPSOS commissioned by Schneider Electric, a leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation. Despite complex challenges such as grid congestion and investment costs, 77% of Dutch companies cite electrification and 78% digitalisation as proven and effective ways to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

This new survey shows where 250 Dutch companies are in their sustainability journey. Part of the survey is the extent to which businesses are betting on electrification and digitalisation, as these means can help companies operate more energy-efficiently.

Electrification fleet and energy-efficient equipment most popular initiatives
3 in 4 Dutch companies think replacing fossil fuels for electric technologies is important. The most popular electrification initiatives they deploy are the transition to energy-efficient equipment (76%), fleet electrification (71%) and the promotion of alternative means of transport (48%). In addition, the transition to a renewable energy infrastructure (64%) is mentioned as an important initiative among companies with more than 250 employees.

As many as 77% of Dutch companies indicate that electrification has helped them decarbonise. Companies do indicate that they experience challenges with electrification. These include high investment costs on the one hand (40%), but also practical issues. For instance, 61% of large companies indicate that the full power grid is a problem.

Digitalisation in the sustainability process
In fact, 78% of all companies indicate that digitalisation initiatives have helped them decarbonise. The top three digitisation initiatives of the surveyed companies are digitising documentation and administration (91%), moving data storage and software applications to the cloud (74%) and using sensors and automation systems to optimise energy use (68%).

Besides investment costs (29%), companies face several challenges in their digitalisation process, such as a building that is unsuitable for implementing sustainable digitalisation initiatives (29%) and cyber security concerns (29%).

"In the Netherlands, too often the conversations are about problems with energy supply, while too little is about what we can do to reduce energy demand," said Alexandre Golisano, Country President of Schneider Electric Netherlands. "Fortunately, like me, many Dutch companies are already optimistic about the possibility of betting on digitalisation and electrification to operate more energy efficiently and decarbonise."

Large to medium-sized companies use their energy data more actively than small companies
Only 49% of Dutch companies have currently set sustainability targets. In addition, the study shows that 60% of the companies surveyed collect and use data to identify energy saving opportunities. Of these companies, 81% use the analysed data to set energy reduction targets, 75% to map energy waste and 56% to monitor carbon emissions.

Small companies (up to 50 employees) lag behind when it comes to measuring data on energy consumption, water consumption, waste production and carbon emissions compared to larger companies. Of all companies, 3 out of 4 (76%) say they measure energy consumption and actively use this data. Interestingly, measuring and actively using data focused on water consumption is only done at 1 in 3 companies (32%).

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