Sustainability has long since become a social movement. We spoke with Peter Mohnen, CEO of KUKA AG and with Alexander Tan, CFO of KUKA AG about corporate responsibility and how modern technologies could ensure a more sustainable future.
The motto of the current KUKA Sustainability Report is “Thinking Forward”. As CEO, what do you associate with this term – and how does it fit with KUKA?
Peter Mohnen: Sustainability also means taking a long-term view: making decisions today that must be sustainable and responsible in the future. Thinking and acting forward is especially important for a technology company like KUKA, because we are active in complex areas of the future such as robotics and AI. Let us take, for example, our largest development project at present, the new iiQKA operating system, with which we are making robotics and automation simpler and more intuitive: As part of this “Mission 2030,” we are thinking forward, considering how we will work and live in the future – and aligning our products and solutions accordingly.
So sustainability and technology go hand in hand – you can’t have one without the other?
Peter Mohnen: Exactly. New technologies such as digitization, robotics and AI are able not only to make our lives and work easier, but also help us on our way to a more sustainable future. For example, CO2 emissions can be reduced thanks to digitalization. Smart intralogistics avoid empty runs or optimize routes, a digital twin for planning a plant saves resources, and an intelligent building saves energy. As an innovation company, KUKA is on the lookout for ever more sustainable solutions. In this way, we help our customers to leverage technologies in order to save resources.
Alexander Tan: And more and more people are operating in an increasingly automated environment, after two years of the COVID-pandemic we are seeing that more than ever before. Factories and logistics facilities worldwide need robotics and automation. This of course offers great business opportunities for KUKA – but obviously not only for us. By taking over dangerous or stressful tasks, robots can provide better working conditions. And automated logistics can ensure the supply of important goods.
When more and more people work with robots and automation is required for many daily processes, this also entails responsibility. How does KUKA handle this responsibility?
Peter Mohnen: As a global automation company, we naturally have a corporate and social responsibility. Furthermore, the requirements in terms of sustainability are also becoming greater. We also see this when talking to our customers. Sustainability is a necessary requirement that we wish to address in all areas. To this end, we work together with our customers to find solutions.
Read the full interview here in the new KUKA Sustainability Report.