June 18th, 2019 | Our lens

Industry 4.0 and environmental sustainability: good or bad news?

by Ambienta

Industrial revolutions have brought about tectonic changes in societies throughout history and fuelled debates among researchers regarding positive and negative outcomes. Retrospectively, most revolutions are today considered positive advancements of society and milestones of mankind’s evolution. Nonetheless, they came with many drawbacks, especially in the short term, for at least some sections of society.

This debate has concentrated mainly on employment rates, working conditions and the progressive replacement of people by machines in the workplace, but sometimes the negative effects went far beyond employment. For example, in the 19th century, the coal industry was seen as a great economic opportunity but the environmental impacts were not considered until decades later.

Now, in the early stages of the “Industry 4.0” revolution, we cannot extricate the economic opportunities from the associated environmental risks. In this day and age, we must consider these impacts from the inception of new industrial changes to ensure environmental sustainability for an ever growing population. We must ensure our actions and choices today will not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

The reach of industry 4.0 revolution is so pervasive that the sustainability objective cannot be overlooked. In this newsletter we will analyse the environmental challenges and business opportunities presented by the innovative technologies of Industry 4.0. This is an appropriate moment to also introduce the new name of Ambienta’s newsletters which from now on will be “Ambienta Sustainability Lens”.