The sustainable energy transition and Industry 4.0 characterise significant commonalities that can be interconnected to establish a sustainable energy transition. Such interconnectedness can be optimally utilised to address the Sustainable Development Goals for energy, climate action, wastage and beyond. The sustainable infrastructure through Industry 4.0 technology adoption and regulations are potential enablers for new business models and driving sustainability.
The shift from legacy would soon be mainstream addressing the traditional gaps in the production system as well as at the enterprise level. However, the Industry 4.0 transformation focusing on climate change and green environment & consumerism will involve retrofitting existing technologies with more sustainable solutions. Regions that are laggards in adopting Industry 4.0 systems and tools can include sustainability now, while charting a road map for the industrial system. The traditional industrial process and environmental sustainability are intertwined thus Industry 4.0 plays a crucial role in building a sustainable framework. According to United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) the approach to industrial system would focus on three interrelated thematic priorities: creating shared prosperity, advancing economic competitiveness and safeguarding the environment. In the future, connected production systems and supply chain will connect workers, machines, materials, logistics components along with environment creating the “Green Economy” concept. Digital technologies could offer solutions addressing the persisting challenges of integrating renewable energy sources into small and large power grids which requires a grid management framework. In addition to these Industry 4.0 concepts for environmental impacts, digitisation of manufacturing processes is another key characteristic which can help in energy saving pertaining to industrial systems. The implication of Industry 4.0 should now shift from production efficiency to a more comprehensive outlook on how business and engineering processes are deeply integrated enabling production to operate in a more flexible, efficient and sustainable way comprising the Sustainable Development Goals.
Read more on the article “Emerging Tech and Sustainability – A Missed Opportunity” published in IIoT-World on the different aspects that can contribute to a positive sustainable industrial strategy implementation, policy regulations and procedures along with organisational culture.