Energy and environment
The Swiss mechanical and electrical engineering industries make a significant contribution to energy and resource conservation, not only by continuously improving their own production processes, but also by developing and manufacturing environmentally friendly products.
The MEM industries develop key technologies that contribute to the efficient, environmentally compatible production, distribution and use of energy. Demographic developments and economic growth are driving an ongoing in demand for electricity. This trend is reinforced by increasing automation and a shift away from fossil fuels. The withdrawal from nuclear energy approved by Parliament and the federal government in 2011 therefore represents a major challenge to future electricity supplies. The decision brings new market opportunities for innovative businesses and their suppliers, but it will also cause higher electricity prices and jeopardize security of supply.
Climate change is probably the greatest environmental policy challenge facing the world today. The MEM industries develop technologies for climate protection, energy efficiency and an environmentally friendly energy supply. Thanks to their strong export orientation, they can achieve a much greater global impact this way than by merely improving their own production processes. A responsible climate policy can open new market opportunities for industry. However, such a policy must not place it at a disadvantage vis-à-vis either other sectors or foreign competitors.
The MEM industries are committed to the sustainable use of resources. They play a key role not only because they use energy and materials in their processes, but because they provide the technologies needed to improve environmental protection and resource conservation. MEM companies are active as "cleantech" players at both levels, by optimizing their production processes and by applying "ecodesign" to develop more efficient products. The MEM industries need a strong framework within which to develop their innovative potential.