Growth and climate protection are not contradictory, even in times of an overall subdued economic situation. This is shown by the current economic survey of Green Tech Valley. “Technology companies were able to increase the green share of their sales nominally by 22 percent to a total of 7.6 billion euros. This is a new high,” says Green Tech Valley Managing Director Bernhard Puttinger. 85 percent of sales are generated internationally and the majority are expecting increases in sales, investments and employment this year.
Plus 22 percent in green sales
In Green Tech Valley, the more than 20 global technology leaders and a total of around 300 cluster companies demonstrated once again in the past fiscal year 2022 that the focus on sustainability and climate protection has long been a decisive economic factor. All the more so, as current forecasts[i] by the IHS or also the WIFO continue to assume a subdued to stagnating economic situation. For example, the current economic survey[ii] among Styrian and Carinthian technology companies shows that a nominal increase of 22 percent in environmental technology sales could be achieved in 2022 compared to the 2021 financial year. “That’s 7.6 billion euros – a new high,” explains Green Tech Valley Managing Director Bernhard Puttinger. In total, the sales of these companies, including other industries, amounted to 18.3 billion euros. With 5.7 billion euros (plus 26 percent), the “Renewable Energy” sector accounted for around 75 percent of green sales, around 1.1 billion were generated by these companies in the “Environmental Technology in General” field (plus 9.8 percent) and around 700 million euros were generated in the “Waste/Substance Flow Management” segment (plus 16 percent). There was a particularly strong increase in sales of 39.2 percent in the “Soil” field (3.5 million euros in sales), as well as in the “Water/Wastewater” field with almost 26 percent (140 million euros).
Seven percent increase in green tech jobs
The current 26,500 employees also represent an increase of seven percent and a new record in the field of energy and environmental technology (in total, Green Tech Valley companies employ around 58,000 people). The largest job growth was in the “Water/Wastewater” field, up 23 percent, but more than half of all jobs are in the “Renewable Energy” field, with nearly 15,500 employees. “Green tech jobs are booming. For the current year, too, around 60 percent of the companies surveyed expect clearly rising employment figures, only eight percent anticipate declines, and the remaining ‘third’ expect the number of employees to remain roughly the same,” Puttinger said.
Research increases by 7.2 percent
Innovations and solutions for a sustainable future are in demand worldwide, with 85 percent of sales generated internationally in fiscal 2022. “Here, the survey revealed the U.S. as the most important single market for the field of ,Renewable Energy,” Puttinger said, referring to the new investment offensive in the U.S.. By continent, Asia ranks well ahead of Europe, followed by South and North America.
This can be justified by the sometimes large innovation lead in Europe or Austria, according to the cluster managing director: “The companies increased their R&D expenditures by 7.2 percent in 2022.” The top three “export hits” of the Green Tech Valley companies are technologies for renewable energies, followed by water/wastewater and waste/material flow management.
Positve Outlook & Statements
In the current fiscal year 2023, the mood is definitely positive, reports Puttinger: “90 percent of the companies surveyed are talking about increasing or unchanged investments. In terms of sales, 75 percent expect increases, and only 12 percent expect decreases.”
Regional Minister for Economic Affairs Barbara Eibinger-Miedl, Styria: “With the development of green technologies, the companies and research institutions from Green Tech Valley make an important contribution to value creation and create valuable jobs. At the same time, they contribute to the energy transition and impressively demonstrate that economic growth and climate protection are not mutually exclusive, but go hand in hand.”
Technology Officer LHStv.in Gaby Schaunig, Carinthia: “The products and services created here are exported all over the world. The positive outlook for the coming business year also enables important investments in green technologies and thus in the climate change.”
Business survey Green Tech Valley Cluster: Survey period May to July 2023 for the business year 2022; Sample: 54 environmental technology companies Styria & Carinthia