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An industrial giant doubles down on energy efficiency.

Energy use lies at the heart of Siemens’ business: the industrial giant’s broadly defined “environmental portfolio”—ranging from “smart grid” systems to Amtrak locomotives to wind and gas turbines—generates 43% of its $87 billion in annual revenues. So CEO Joe Kaeser has spotlighted energy efficiency as Siemens’ stock-in-trade, with an aggressive pledge, made just last year, to cut its own carbon emissions in half by 2020—and become “carbon-neutral” a decade later.

For a company that uses power to make very big things (not just to keep the office lights on), that’s no small feat. Siemens, which employs 348,000 at 289 plants in 190 countries, is seeking to erase 2.2 million metric tons of carbon output a year—about what’s generated by the city of Copenhagen. Kaeser, a climate-change apostle, says his company will do this by spending $110 million to cut fossil-fuel use in its factories (its Sacramento rail plant already gets 80% of its power from on-site solar panels) and its 45,000-vehicle fleet, while closing any deficit in meeting its goal through purchases of renewable energy and “carbon credits.”

Kaeser projects the investment will pay for itself just five years after Siemens goes carbon-neutral—and save $20 million annually afterward.

Company Information

Impact Segment
Environmental Impact
Industrial Machinery
Josef Kaeser
Company Type
Revenues ($M) (Last Fiscal Year)$87,660
Profits ($M) (Last Fiscal Year)$8,338
Market Value ($M)$100,809