Industry 4.0 offers opportunities to improve environmental sustainability

April 26, 2022
A new study investigates the potential of Industry 4.0 to support decarbonization and dematerialization objectives.

Industry 4.0 needs more political clout if it is to realize its full potential, say the authors of a recent study published in Sustainable Production and Consumption.

The Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), Potsdam, Germany, carried out the study to investigate the potential of Industry 4.0 to support the decarbonization and dematerialization objectives needed for industry to meet sustainable development goals (SDGs). It also generated empirical data to “reflect on the few and ambiguous assumptions about the effects of Industry 4.0 on environmental sustainability currently existing in the scientific literature.” The IASS is a research and consultancy group focused on helping organizations and the United Nations (U.N.) meet their SDGs.

Lead author Grischa Beier and his co-workers started their study knowing little empirical evidence exists to substantiate the assumption that digitalization will make industrial production more sustainable. Beier has a background in mechanical and systems engineering and heads up the IASS research group on digitalization and impacts on sustainability.

To learn more, read "Can Industry 4.0 Drive Sustainability Goals?" from Chemical Processing.

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