Revolutionizing Sustainability with a Data-Driven Approach with Fraunhofer IPT

Transatlantic Collaboration

In today’s competitive landscape, sustainability has become an increasingly important component for companies of all sizes. Beyond global climate commitments like the UN’s Sustainable
Development Goals, financial institutions, stock exchanges, and the media are placing growing emphasis on sustainability. It encompasses ecological, economic, and social dimensions,
and for manufacturing companies, it hinges on reducing energy consumption, CO2 emissions, resource use, and toxic material substitution.

In 2020, the U.S. ranked second globally in greenhouse gas emissions, with 24% stemming from the industrial sector. Surprisingly, few companies have comprehensive sustainability systems. Transparency issues plague standards and norms, further complicating matters. While Europe prioritizes climate change, the U.S. has only recently joined the fight, allocating substantial funds through the Inflation Reduction Act.

Yet, neither the U.S. nor Europe offers a holistic, data-driven method to assess sustainability maturity in manufacturing. Fraunhofer USA CMA aims to change that. In partnership with the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT, we have developed a data-driven sustainability maturity assessment for manufacturing SMEs, enabling benchmarking, identifying sustainability potential, and tailored development plans. An online tool will house standardized criteria, with automatic updates based on evolving standards. We also seek to uncover
innovative business models and services for post-research projects.

We target manufacturing SMEs globally, offering progress monitoring, impact assessment, and industry-wide best practice sharing. Societally, this approach promises an evidence-based method to boost sustainability and improve regulation. For Fraunhofer, it means a stronger presence in the U.S. and the opportunity to pioneer new services to one of the largest global markets.

In summary, we’re embarking on a transformative journey toward a data-driven sustainability future. It’s a journey that promises to empower businesses, revolutionize industries, and lay the foundation for a more sustainable world