Upper Austria is the industrial heart of Austria and generates 25 % of the country’s industrial exports. Since manufacturing is responsible for 44 % of the region’s total energy consumption, its decarbonisation is critical for the energy transition. Much has already been achieved in the last 15 years: greenhouse gas emissions were kept roughly stable despite 57 % economic growth.
Austria’s ambition is to reach climate neutrality by 2040. Already 2.3 billion euros per year are invested in the energy transition, of which 30 % are spent on energy efficiency measures in the industry. However, understanding how to achieve climate neutrality in practice and concretely plan the process for a specific company is a path not yet travelled by many.
The initiative “Industrial Energy Transition Leaders” is strongly contributing to making the industrial energy transition reality. It is based on the cooperation between 15 pioneering companies to develop practical, real-life approaches for achieving carbon neutrality. These 15 Energy Leaders employ over 25,000 staff and generate more than 7 billion euros in annual turnover at 400 locations. As forerunners, they have already implemented many energy efficiency and renewable energy projects within their own companies, thereby reduced their costs and increased their competitiveness.
The “Energy and Climate Balance” tool helps assess how far a company is on its way to climate neutrality. It enables quantifying a company’s CO2 emissions in a simple manner – using only limited input data – and helps prioritise measures. Following a testing phase, it is now offered by the OÖ Energiesparverband as part of the regional energy advice service that is available to all companies.
Company-specific “Energy Transition Roadmaps” are at the very core of the initiative. They are developed in an interactive process and contain goals, measures and technology options. The essence of the Energy Leaders initiative is sharing knowledge and mutual inspiration, e.g. in the context of regular workshops, meetings and company tours.