Eco-branding: SIEMENS

Even though the color of their logo is “petrol” (a shade of green from Pantone), they can still go green: Siemens, a supporter of DESERTEC, is one of leading companies in the field of clean energy.

According to the Siemens Energy website’s “Clean Energy” page, the company is focusing on many aspects of alternative energy, including renewable sources such as wind power, steam turbines, and solar-thermal power; efficiency increases aimed at reducing CO2 emissions; “gasification,” focusing on low-carbon power generation; and environmental systems and services that offer performance enhancement and maintenance in order to reduce pollution generated by power production.

Siemens is one of the largest electronics and industrial engineering companies in the world, and is the largest such company in Europe. Headquartered in Germany, the global company has operations in three main sectors: Industry, Energy, and Healthcare. These are subdivided into 15 separate categories, including industry automation, drive technologies, building technologies, OSRAM, industry solutions, mobility, fossil power generation, renewable energy, oil and gas, energy service, power transmission, power distribution, imaging and IT, workflow and solutions, and diagnostics. 

Founded in 1847 in Germany, the company initially manufactured and installed telegraphic systems. An American subsidiary was established in Chicago in 1892. In 1923, the company began producing radio receivers for the consumer market and established a Tokyo subsidiary, Fuji Denki (later Fuji Electric). In the 1960s, the company underwent a major reorganization and all subsidiaries fell under the control of the parent company, then called Siemens AG. In 1978 Siemens became GE’s main rival, and in 1992 the company joined with IBM and Toshiba to develop 256MB chips for microprocessors. During the 1990s, the company underwent major restructuring before finally being listed on the NYSE.  

According to some sources, Siemens struggled for a long time with poor management. The company even faced a bribery scandal that emerged between 2006 and 2008. When the dust finally cleared, Siemens had lost two things: a huge amount of money in fines, and the trust of its stakeholders.

However, Siemens’s recovery was a fast one, thanks to the “Speed, speed, speed” approach espoused by new CEO Peter Löscher, who he joined Siemens in 2007. After reorganizing and restructuring the company, Löscher concentrated on developing Siemens’s involvement in technically advanced infrastructure like energy and transport systems, as well as in areas where the company could bundle products and services together, such as health care and energy controls for buildings.

Löscher also took Siemens in an entirely new direction—a focus on renewable energy, especially wind power. In 2005, when Siemens only had 5 percent of the global market in wind energy, the company prioritized the development of offshore wind turbines instead of trying to compete directly with the existing leaders in wind technology. This strategy proved highly effective; the company is the biggest supplier of offshore turbines, and its share of the total market has grown.

As Löscher recently told Businessweek, Siemens is “the company with the biggest, deepest, and broadest green portfolio.” Apparently, it has achieved its current success by cleaning up its operations from the inside out.

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