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Sustainability at COPA-DATA and through zenon

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Software and sustainability 

As the only independent vendor of software solutions for the automation of industrial processes and for the energy industry, we have set ourselves the goal of advancing the topic of sustainability and working with our partners to identify new, forward-looking ways to achieve it.


We not only support our customers in using resources in as efficient and environmentally friendly ways as possible, but we also successively reduce our own environmental impact in our own company. 


We face up to this responsibility and want to make a contribution to a more livable world of tomorrow with concrete measures and investments. 


Our efforts are based on the 17 Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, which form the basis of the guidelines on corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the European Union. The EU obliges companies to demonstrate their contribution to achieving the climate targets. COPA-DATA's comprehensive yearly sustainability report (starting with the year 2022) can be shared on request.




COPA-DATA pays attention to its CO₂ footprint

Calculate, cut, compensate. This is crucial for climate protection in line with the Paris Agreement. The goal: to successively reduce the emissions caused by our business activities in the coming years and to compensate for them in a complementary manner. 


Since 2023, all COPA-DATA locations worldwide operate in a CO₂-offsetting manner. It is not only since its certification as a partner in climate action by ClimatePartner that COPA-DATA has attached great importance to sustainability.


For example, since 2003, 100 percent of our electricity purchased has been green electricity from renewable sources. Several large PV systems ensure an inhouse, sustainable power supply. 


As part of the certification process a company's carbon footprint is calculated. The primary aim is to avoid carbon emissions by the company. It is important that improvement measures are continuously developed and implemented. However, where the avoidance of CO₂ emissions is not (yet) possible, it can be offset by supporting certified climate protection projects.  


Making consumption data visible as part of the certification process is a key step for us in the direction of sustainability – only then can we determine where we can pick up on potential for improvement. That’s important because we are aware: there is always room for improvement! 


When planning the new company building, energy efficiency was placed at the forefront and we also continually work on optimizing energy efficiency in the existing building. 


Most of our CO₂ emissions come from travel and the journeys our team members make to and from work. COPA-DATA continues to work to reduce emissions in this area: 

  • The company fleet is being converted step by step to e-mobility. The changeover is supported by our own PV systems and charging stations in the underground garages.  

  • For employees, sufficient covered bicycle parking spaces and e-bike charging stations are offered to make the switch to cycling to work more attractive. COPA-DATA provides financial support for those interested in purchasing a bike or e-bike for their daily commute.  

  • State-of-the-art equipment for video conferencing and working-from-home enables meetings with international team members or customer appointments to be held virtually. 


For emissions that we are currently unable to avoid, we provide compensation and support a range of projects. You can read about these projects and their emissions offsetting in detail here.  


COPA-DATA's carbon footprint data collected as part of the certification can also be used for Scope 3 surveys by our customers to ensure the sustainability of their supply chains. 




COPA-DATA building in Salzburg: Sustainability and energy efficiency by design



Within 20 years, a small, family-run software company with a handful of employees has become a globally active company with branches from South Korea to the USA. At the Salzburg site, where the headquarters is located, more than 200 people are currently employed.  


In 2022, we opened a new company building not far from the existing headquarters. The new building offers space for up to 120 employees. Ecological sustainability was the focus from the very beginning.


Of course, the burden is not only on the shoulders of the new building. Improvements are also being made to the existing building on an ongoing basis so that energy can be saved and used more efficiently.




Being more sustainable through zenon, is that possible?

Can the United Nations' sustainability goals be achieved while remaining economically competitive?  

zenon can support you in your digital transformation and make you fit for a more sustainable future. 


We are convinced that in the intersection between sustainability and digitalization, a scalable software solution like zenon will help you become more competitive and, at the same time, more sustainable.  


In an ecosystem, everything is interrelated and influences each other. The same is true in the globalized economy, where many processes are intertwined and influence each other.  


Transnational supply chains have become indispensable, but they falter or breakdown as soon as one link in this chain gets out of sync. Sustainable business is, therefore, also always about robustness and flexibility. 


It is about actively addressing and implementing measures and solutions. Digital technologies and industrial automation are crucial for the expansion of tomorrow's industry. In this future world, cost pressure, transparency and the tracking of one's own process data will become new resources. 


In the context of climate protection goals, there is also talk of "net zero manufacturing" or “industrial decarbonization”. This mainly involves reducing harmful greenhouse gases, primarily CO₂, in the manufacturing environment and the entire supply chain (Scope 3). Companies that have both Scope 1 and Scope 2 transparently under control can also more easily ensure the necessary Scope 3 classification as a supplier for their customers. Due to the open interfaces in zenon as well as the extensive possibility to pass on data across companies and production locations by means of the software platform, our solutions support the sustainability initiatives of our customers.




With zenon on the way to a sustainable future

The three pillars by which zenon makes you fit for the future: 


Empowerment: zenon supports users with transparency and traceability of existing processes.  


Possible goals: make data and energy flows visible and derive measures from them. Digitalize and automate paper-intensive procedures. Relieve employees of analog and error-prone paperwork and free them up for more rewarding work every day. Reduce travel with secure and reliable remote work. zenon also helps you with a carbon footprint calculation to obtain possible subsidies or to meet legal or customer-specific requirements. 


Increase efficiency: You can use existing resources more efficiently and plan ahead with zenon.


In this way, you increase productivity in an ecological and economic sense. Identify energy and material savings potential and implement targeted measures.  Implementing an energy data management system allows you to monitor and adjust energy consumption, save costs and reduce environmental impact. 


Renewable energies: Fossil fuel phase-out technologies can be implemented more quickly with zenon.


You can become more autonomous and be your own energy supplier on the way to integrated manufacturing using photovoltaics or wind power. zenon also helps you here – for example, as an energy management system. For many energy suppliers and grid operators, zenon contributes to the energy transition and to a balanced, stable grid.





A best practice approach with zenon

zenon supports you in your daily business with versatility as well as high connectivity and scalability. For example, digital twins can minimize effort in costly small batch production and, thus, streamline development processes. 


In addition, you can reduce setup times and also produce small batch sizes efficiently – right up to "batch size 1". Not only new production lines, but also preexisting plants and production lines can be retrofitted and equipped with zenon.  


Energy networks have in some cases already been running stably and robustly for decades thanks to zenon. Digital substations, which can save thousands of meters of copper cable, are implemented worldwide with zenon.  


In the Success Stories section on our website, you will find user reports from companies where zenon is already being used successfully. On the one hand, these success stories illustrate the versatility of zenon. On the other, they also confirm our mission to make the lives of our users easier. In addition, the stories show how the topic of sustainability is already a long-standing companion in the history of zenon.  


Our best-practice approach reflects the successful symbiosis between software and industry and between the digital and real worlds.  


From energy infrastructure to freshly brewed beer to painkillers – zenon is one platform for many solutions. In keeping with several UN sustainability goals, zenon supports users with its comprehensive capabilities. 



Goal 3: Health and well-being

With zenon, the technology company Merck KGaA was able to implement modularization according to MTP standards in a higher-level Process Orchestration Layer (POL). In addition, numerous machine manufacturers in the life sciences environment operate their machines with zenon, thus ensuring greater production efficiency and data transparency.


Goal 6: clean water and sanitation

 The name Bodensee-Wasserversorgung stands for the highest safety and quality. Drinking water for four million people is kept in constant supply cycle with zenon.



Goal 7: affordable and clean energy

 The energy supplier Azienda Elettrica Ticinese (AET) uses zenon to operate power plants and electricity grids in the canton of Ticino in Switzerland – based on hydroelectric and solar power. 

COPA-DATA develops zenon in Salzburg. The green electricity used for this is generated with zenon in the hydroelectric power plants of Salzburg AG.


Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure 

 Megalopolis is a central node of the national power grid of southern Greece and thus essential for the energy transition there. The substations of the Greek transmission system operator IPTO S.A. are automated with zenon.  

EREMA's recycling machines return plastic products that have already been used to the production cycle. In this way, they contribute to building a sustainable circular economy and avoiding plastic waste. 


Cloud data centers form the backbone of modern office infrastructure and consume a lot of energy in the process. zenon supports well-known providers in operating these large-scale facilities efficiently and securely.


Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

 With a visualization system based on the zenon software platform, the W.E.I.Z. innovation center keeps a better eye on its energy balance. Discover energy management as a service in Weiz: energizing the city.


Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production patterns

 The mills of GoodMills Austria process grain into flour, semolina and baking mixes. At two sites, control technology based on zenon ensures ergonomics, robustness and energy efficiency.


Goal 13: Climate protection measures

 Working together towards sustainability at Carlsberg Srbija. Innovative technologies and resource-saving processes are used to continuously improve production processes.




Sustainability: An ongoing and continuous process 

Based on these projects, the versatility of the zenon Software Platform is evident. It is particularly noteworthy that all stories are based on a successful collaboration with the users. This trust characterizes the interaction between us and our customers and shapes the interplay between the digital software and the real environment. 


Appreciative interaction with each other is an essential part of COPA-DATA. Furthermore, we are firmly convinced that in the coming years and decades, the industrial transformation that is already taking place will continue and intensify. In this process, digital technologies will play a leading role and represent the basis for contemporary business. zenon is ready to accompany you on this path of transformation – sometimes also referred to as a twin transition toward sustainability and digitalization.  


Whatever your sustainability goals, COPA-DATA is your reliable partner in the fields of efficiency, empowerment and the expansion of renewable energies.



Further resources on sustainability

Issue 40 of our customer magazine Information Unlimited dealt with the topic of sustainability, SDGs and zenon in spring 2023.


Already in Information Unlimited issue 36 there were interesting articles on the topic of sustainable business.


In our Melting Blog, we take up topics of sustainability on a regular basis. Here are some exemplary contributions by our industry expert Emilian Axinia.