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The future of our planet also poses major challenges for the Swabian automation specialist Festo. On the one hand, it is about supplying the world's population and coping with demographic change, and on the other hand, it is about protecting our natural resources and CO2-neutral production. "With our 'Blue World' approach, we want to express how we can balance these challenges with the help of automation technology and technical education," says Dr Oliver Jung, Festo CEO.

Festo as a suitable partner and enabler for more sustainability

With its technology fields of pneumatics, electrical automation, process automation, digitalisation and artificial intelligence, Festo enables the transformation of industrial production into an efficient and more climate-friendly way of manufacturing, for example in the field of biotechnology. In addition, Festo provides relief for people in the workplace, supports healthcare with its technologies from the LifeTech sector and enables people to learn and use new technologies efficiently with its learning systems. Furthermore, Festo supports the structural change of certain sectors such as the automotive industry and shows how automation technology can better protect the most important resources of water, earth and air. This also includes shortening transport routes and value chains through increased localisation and minimising emissions in this way.

Change to a circular economy through ecological innovations

Festo sees the next development thrust for industrial production in the shift towards a circular economy. "In nature, there is no waste and no wastage. We just have to learn to transfer these principles to our economic activity," Jung demands. Festo's Bionic Learning Network is therefore researching the automated cultivation of biomass. For example, algae offer great potential and an alternative to petroleum: they bind considerably more CO2 than land plants and metabolise components through photosynthesis that can be used for the production of medicines, cosmetics and bio-plastics. "In 2022, we presented our bioreactor 'PhotoBionicCell', which cultivates algae particularly efficiently through automation technology. At this year's HANNOVER MESSE, we will show the scaling of the system and thus the preliminary stage to industrialisation. Our customers increasingly perceive us as a technology partner for biological processes. Together with us, they can drive the transformation of industry. Innovations are the key to more sustainability," Jung continues.

Enabler of sustainable industries and technologies

This is why Festo has made great strides in important innovations, such as digital and intelligent pneumatics, which, depending on the application, offer significant advantages in energy-efficient use compared to conventional pneumatics. "With our energy-saving products, we are the right partner for our customers for energy-efficient and sustainable production operations. In addition, we enabel sustainable industries and technologies with our product and service solutions," says Christian Österle, Vice President Sustainability at Festo.

CO2 neutrality by 2026

Festo wants to massively reduce its CO2 footprint in the next few years. "From 2023, all our buildings in Germany as well as our global production and logistics sites will be CO2-neutral with regard to Scope 1 and 2. From 2026, the entire Festo Group will be CO2 neutral. Even after that, we will continue to work on energy-saving measures and the retrofitting of our heating technology in order to continuously reduce the need for compensation," says Christian Österle. With the decision to become CO2-neutral, Festo is assuming responsibility as a family company.

Lifelong learning as an essential element of sustainable development

As a solution provider for technical education and training, Festo Didactic imparts skills and abilities to master the challenges of the present and shape the future for the benefit of future generations. Festo also attaches great importance to strong training and further education within its own company. In addition, Festo Didactic develops learning content and learning environments for new training professions, based on the increasing requirements in the fields of IT, AI, data science or sustainability.

Blue World Equator

Our Blue Planet presents us with the greatest challenges. On the one hand, it is about the secure supply of the population and support in the demographic change, on the other hand, it is about CO2-neutral production and minimised use of resources. With its "Blue World" approach, Festo wants to show at HANNOVER MESSE 2023 how these challenges can be brought into balance with the help of automation technology and technical education.