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Case study

Global Emerging Markets case study: Advantech

27 October 2020 |
Active ESGImpact
In this case study, we demonstrate how current holding Advantech is creating positive impact aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Theory of Change

Advantech offers technology that supports and enables sustainable industrialisation, green transportation and renewable power generation.

 SDG alignment:

  • SDG 9: Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure
  • SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy
  • SDG 11: Sustainable Cities & Communities

Advantech offers its clients differentiated IT solutions, spanning sustainable industrialisation, green transportation and renewable energy. It is a global leader in Internet of Things (IoT) intelligent systems and embedded platforms.

Advantech’s Industrial IoT (IIoT) business benefits from a strong position in the industrial PC market. It develops technologies that improve efficiency in industrial plants by facilitating enhanced data management and communication. In doing so, Advantech is, among other things, establishing traceability along supply chains, predictive maintenance and automation as well as achieving workforce safety. For example, it helped Taipower to build a smart-grid intelligence facility1 and Beijing International Airport to adopt system management measures for energy conservation and environmental protection2, thereby increasing their efficiency and helping them become more sustainable3. These examples serve to demonstrate that IIoT is a key enabler of sustainable industrialisation and innovation (that is, SDG 9) – and for Advantech, IIoT accounts for about a third of its sales4.

One of the IIoT vertical industries the company targets is energy and environment – and this includes renewable energy (thereby serving SDG 7). For example, Advantech offers technology solutions to manage solar power plants, which in turn improve their operational efficiency through data accuracy and optimise the management of the assets. It also plans to devolve resources to develop more software and artificial intelligence (AI) products for the solar and wind sector in recognition of the fact that the global appetite for a greener economic system presents new opportunities for its business.

Within Advantech’s Service IoT business, a number of vertical markets also contribute to the attainment of the SDGs – and, in our view, we believe this segment has strong potential to grow (it currently accounts for approximately 8% of the group’s revenues). Its intelligent transportation systems unit sells products and solutions for railway transportation, traffic management and road/railway safety. In doing so, it serves SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities) because railway transportation can play a key role in sustainable mobility as the electrification of transportation reduces the consumption of carbon and increases safety5. What’s more, traffic management reduces congestion, which in turn reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Advantech is also a leading player in the global healthcare market. It’s iHealthcare Service IoT division assists hospitals with advancing patient-centred healthcare. By connecting various departments and exchanging data on integrated platforms, Advantech provides monitoring solutions, information centres and other products that help create ‘smart’ hospitals.

Connecting our way to a sustainable future

Many of Advantech’s technologies are cloud enabled, which means they do not require clients to have in-house server rooms or data centres. Indeed, outsourcing data centres to specialists has many benefits: it allows for better capacity utilisation, fewer idle resources, more efficient cooling systems and increased energy savings, which in turn translate to more environmentally-friendly business practices.  

Advantech’s vision is to enable ‘an intelligent planet’ – and by offering IoT architecture to various sectors, it assists its clients in connecting their value chains. In turn, this enables them to communicate, run smoothly and improve results. The company has also added energy star labels, the US government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, to many of its products – a strategy that can help its clients become more sustainable.

This case study will feature in the Global Emerging Markets: ESG Materiality, Q4 2020 newsletter which will be published in the coming weeks. 


Risk profile

  • This document does not constitute a solicitation or offer to any person to buy or sell any related securities or financial instruments.
  • The value of investments and income from them may go down as well as up, and you may not get back the original amount invested.
  • Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results and targets are not guaranteed.
  • Investments in emerging markets tend to be more volatile than those in mature markets and the value of an investment can move sharply down or up.

1“Smart-Grid Intelligence Facility for Taipower’s Tashan Power Plant in Kinmen,” published by Advantech in August 2019.

2“Advantech’s Power and Energy Management Computer Seamlessly Connects the Energy Consumption Management System in Beijing’s International Airport,” published by Advantech in May 2020.

3The company publishes a rich list of case studies to highlight how its technologies support a vast range of activities, including wastewater treatment, product safety and traceability in the food industry, eco-friendly dyeing and printing for the textile industry, or tracking healthy beehive population. For more information, see: https://www2.advantech.com/industrial-automation/casestudies/.

4“Advantech 2020 2H Analyst Meeting,” published by Advantech in August 2020.

5According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), rail is among the most energy efficient modes of transport for freight and passengers. And with three-quarters of passenger rail transport activity taking place on electric trains today, the rail sector is the only mode of transport that is widely electrified.

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