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The European Machine Tool Industry drives sustainability into the heart of manufacturing under the Blue Competence Initiative

The European Machine Tool industry, represented by CECIMO, launches a European initiative on sustainability: the Blue Competence Machine Tools initiative. The machine tool industry is the first mechanical engineering sector to embark on a broad-based campaign on sustainability at European level.

Machine tool builders which participate in the Blue Competence Machine Tools initiative commit themselves to optimize the use of energy and other resources to enable faster, better and higher quality manufacturing in end-user industries. Martin Kapp, President of CECIMO, states: "This landmark initiative underlines the willingness of European machine tool builders to make a leap forward towards a better and greener manufacturing perspective. Production technology and equipment supplied by the machine tool industry is the key enabler of resource efficient processes in all other manufacturing industries. Now, our manufacturers are taking on a firm commitment to align, in a holistic approach, their products, processes and business models with sustainability principles."

The Blue Competence Machine Tools initiative aims to trigger a mindset shift in the machine tool industry and beyond. The underlying principle suggests that the industry increasingly builds its competitiveness on ecological performance. This does not represent a shift away from traditional elements of competitiveness such as precision, speed or reliability, but it adds up to these strengths a new core element: ‘sustainability'.

Manufacturers which start operating under the principles of the Blue Competence Machine Tools initiative agree to meet pre-determined ecological, economic and social values and principles, while implementing sustainable production solutions in their production plants, products and business services with the aim of achieving greener manufacturing. The initiative keeps in line with EU policy developments and priorities.

Filip Geerts, Director General of CECIMO states: "Blue Competence Machine Tools is about ‘competitiveness', ‘environment' and ‘quality of life'. It highlights the contribution that the machine tool and other manufacturing industries are making to economic and social life as well as to the protection of environment. CECIMO expects the initiative to profoundly influence business and manufacturing practices in the sector; to stimulate technical innovation; and to raise awareness about the role of manufacturing in driving sustainability. Blue Competence Machine Tools is an excellent example of partnership in which industries work together to tackle the common challenges we face in Europe."