Transparent consumption: Syntegon offers certified CO2 calculation for own machine portfolio

  • Comprehensive consulting services based on certified methodology
  • Profound data for CO2 assessment in food and pharmaceutical production
  • Optimization of resource efficiency across the machine portfolio

Syntegon offers companies in the pharmaceutical and food industries full transparency on the carbon footprint of all Syntegon machines with a software-based approach certified by TU¨V Rheinland, a German Association for technical inspection. The calculation, which was developed by Syntegon, covers parameters such as electricity, compressed air, media, and packaging materials. Both packaging and processing equipment can be examined with this flexible methodology. It relates the defined parameters to the individual CO2 emissions, identifying consumption in a holistic and customer-specific manner. “Our analysis covers the machines’ lifecycle, from manufacture and transport to use. The latter accounts for around two thirds of the entire equipment lifecycle,” explains Steffen Carbon, responsible for eco-friendly product design at Syntegon. “With the collected data, we effectively support customers in improving their machines and processes in terms of sustainable production and cost reduction.”

Certified approach
Syntegon developed the methodology in 2021, also with its own sustainability goals in mind. By 2025, the company wants to reduce the consumption of particularly energy- intensive equipment by 25 percent – and achieve a consumption that is below industry standards for around 80 percent of the equipment in its own portfolio. Consumption plays a central role across the entire lifecycle of a machine: more than two thirds of the CO2 footprint is generated in the operational phase. The newly developed calculation is part of the so-called Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), an evaluation of machine data across the entire lifecycle. 

In 2021, Syntegon initiated an LCA project to record the CO2 emissions of its machines and reduce them in the long term. “We are extending our offer by another important module. It enables our customers to achieve their sustainability goals,” explains Marc Braeuninger, responsible for quality management and product compliance at Syntegon. “By knowing the exact consumption and emissions of our machines, we can optimize them continuously – and make a further contribution to greater sustainability.” The demand for this kind of evaluations is particularly high among pharmaceutical customers, as Braeuninger explains. Syntegon is also represented in a working group of the German engineering association VDMA to help describe the methodology for CO2 calculation in mechanical engineering. 

Syntegon tested an initial model of its consumption analysis in autumn 2021 with the Elematic 3001 case packer and the GKF 720 capsule filling machine. The company presented the results of the test phase at the Expo Lounges 2022 in Karlsruhe, Germany, for the first time, followed by the certification by TÜV Rheinland in July 2022. Data aggregation and preparation conform with common international standards such as ISO 14067 and enable the use of the calculation model beyond the test equipment. “Our approach allows us to examine all machines in our portfolio, as well as various production scenarios, on demand – and thus gain further insights into CO2 values beyond the pilot phase,” Carbon emphasizes. 

Sophisticated analysis
For data collection and analysis, Syntegon relies on tested software from the Institute for Environmental Informatics (ifu) in Hamburg and a comprehensive database from the Zurich-based non-profit organization ecoinvent. Along with other initiatives, the development helped Syntegon to improve its result from bronze to silver in the EcoVadis sustainability rating in 2022. Syntegon now ranks among the 25 percent most sustainable companies with more than 1,000 employees assessed by EcoVadis.

Following the successful pilot phase and certification, the Life Cycle Assessment is however still in an early stage. In the coming months and years, Syntegon intends to expand its service portfolio continuously, among others with a solution for identifying consumption and CO2 values that will provide customers with useful information on how to reduce emissions and support them in their CO2 reporting. The internal use of the generated data will also be intensified, for example in the new or further development of machines for the pharmaceutical and food industries. For Syntegon, the direct cooperation with its customers is crucial: “We need to apply the calculation models in concrete projects to optimize them for customer-specific use – to the benefit of both sides,” Carbon concludes.