Wibu-Systems and the ecological potential of technological innovation
The green path envisioned by Wibu-Systems supports innovation within its team, environmentally conscious design for its products, and a sustainable future for smart industry
Wibu-Systems, the IT security, protection, and licensing pioneers, is enjoying its first year in its new headquarters in Karlsruhe. The new facilities, with a vibrant community inhabiting attractive workspaces in modern, eco-friendly spaces, draw inspiration from the latest design, quality, and environmental principles.
Sweeping one’s own yard: Doing the possible to achieve the impossible
Goethe’s famous dictum that the whole world would be clean if everybody only swept in front of their own door serves as a reminder that every individual and company should do their part to improve our environment’s prospects, however insignificant or far removed they may seem.
Wibu-Systems’ products, services, and business practices are designed with this quiet commitment to sustainability and care for our environment in mind. This extends from small and seemingly insignificant choices of product design to the fundamental principles of the company. The designers and product developers of Wibu-Systems are known for their attention to detail and careful work, and part of that attention goes to the optimal choice of materials and cleverly economical hardware design. The recent change in the design of Wibu-Systems’ packaging for its dongles reflects its eco-friendly nature.
The same thinking motivates larger business decisions taken by the company, such as the dedication to long-standing partnerships with local and other national enterprises, including Infineon, the supplier of the smart card chips embedded in the hardware-based license containers, one of the most sustainable companies in the world. Furthermore, Wibu-Systems made the conscious decision to maintain its tried-and-proven technological approach to hardware and software security, namely advanced encryption techniques integrated in an ecosystem of hardware, software, and cloud products and services, instead of following the trajectory of other cybersecurity businesses and using notoriously energy-hungry blockchain technologies. As cryptocurrency mining and other blockchain-related activities are beginning to threaten the energy security of entire countries, time is confirming Wibu-Systems business decisions, while its CodeMeter protection technology remains unbeaten both in hacking contests and real-world operations.
Wibu-Systems’ new Karlsruhe campus: A smarter place
Wibu-Systems recently moved into its new headquarters on the purpose-built campus in Karlsruhe. An ambitious project in every sense, the new campus combines office spaces, production and development facilities, and the House of IT Security, a unique space dedicated to development in cybersecurity with co-working and co-innovation opportunities for other enterprises and institutions active in the field. From the outset, Oliver Winzenried, the company’s founder, CEO, and mastermind behind the new campus, had a vision of a greener, more inspiring, and all-around better place to work.
The green credentials of the new campus are not limited to the evident and visible, like the inclusion of solar power or electric vehicle charging stations from the outset. Wibu-Systems also took the conscious, but less conspicuous decision to connect the new buildings to Karlsruhe’s distance heating system, which leverages economies of scale for a more efficient and thereby greener way to heat many buildings at the same time. Even more impactful are other architectural and design choices, such as the use of smart and eco-friendly materials, a sophisticated lighting and shading system that maximizes the local environment’s ecosystem and minimizes the need for air conditioning or artificial lighting.
Beyond climate protection: Thinking bigger
Wibu-Systems’ efforts do not stop with environmentally conscious products and business practices. Instead, the company understands its core business as contributing to a better and more climate friendly world.
As the industrial world has finally acknowledged and accepted the opportunities offered by automation, digitalization, and smart manufacturing, Wibu-Systems has seen a shift in its own outlook. The company’s long-standing experience in software and data protection increasingly found new applications in helping enable, secure, and monetize the infrastructure that makes smart industry possible. With its encryption technology helping to protect invaluable IP, like product designs or production data, and its software and hardware increasingly working in the networks that connect manufacturers and their clients or in the controllers that keep smart factories running, Wibu-Systems and its CodeMeter family of IT security, protection, and licensing solutions are doing their part to make the vision of modern, digital manufacturing possible.
Oliver Winzenried sees Wibu-Systems’ biggest environmental contribution on this manufacturing side: “We have done our homework, but for me, the new industrial age we are seeing now will be a greener age. Smart factories will be key to overcoming many of the wasteful practices of the old economy that has brought us to this place.” Indeed, the advent of genuine customization with additive manufacturing – 3D printing writ large – or made-to-order production has the potential to break with the paradigm of mass-scale production of cookie-cutter products. This can mean more energy efficiency in industry with tools and machines truly made and scaled to match their needs or even a move away from unsustainable consumer habits, potentially replaced by more customized and longer-lasting products. Wibu-Systems’ products and innovations, like smart data marketplaces, can be part of this transition.
Oliver Winzenried: “I am, by nature, a tech optimist. Technology is to blame for many of the world’s ills, but I know that technology will also be our way out. And on the modest scale possible to us, we will continue to do our bit to make this happen.”