Global competition, the digital revolution, the change in consumer attitudes and the evolution of the approach to the use of natural resources are becoming the foundations of the economy of the future. Modern industrial development does not have to affect the natural environment negatively. More and more often innovative, state-of-the-art technologies make it possible to effectively save natural resources. Industry 4.0, which as a rule applies to industrial digital technologies, fits in very well. Those technologies offer many benefits for the environment, including increasing the use of renewable energy in production, reducing carbon dioxide emissions, increasing energy efficiency in industrial activity, or increasing the productivity of enterprises.

Modernization of the infrastructure and modernization of industrial activity must be carried out in such a way as to ensure its sustainable development. An important aspect of the implementation of these assumptions is care for the natural environment and, as a result, the estimation and reduction of the carbon footprint of both organizations and their products.

Estimation of the carbon footprint is already an important part of green strategies in companies. Many industries treat it as a competitive factor and provide information about its size on their products labels, websites, advertisements or in brochures made available to the customer. For banks financing enterprise activity, it is an element of creditworthiness assessment. For these reasons, Industry 4.0 must also take into account its increasing importance.

More and more companies appreciate the fact that the solutions offered by Industry 4.0 provide both direct benefits, i.e. savings related to earlier detection of anomalies, avoiding downtime or reducing the amount of electricity consumed, as well as indirect benefits related to reducing the amount of carbon dioxide emitted to the environment. The more so as the industrial sector is responsible for as much as one third of global final energy consumption and 40 percent of  global CO2 emissions.

Industry 4.0. is also characterized by an increase in the energy efficiency of production processes, which affects, among others, maintaining energy security, reducing energy costs and protecting the natural environment.

There is no turning back from the path of industrial evolution. The climate of our planet depends on how we use the digital industrial technologies. Industry 4.0 offers many opportunities for a symbiosis between industrial activity and the natural environment.

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Written by Hanna Gołaś (ALCO-MOT)