Use renewable energy for purchased electricity, reduce lifetime CO2 emissions of products in the design phase, implement Industry 4.0 technologies for factory efficiencies, and invest in greener buildings and production sites are just four of the 30 action items identified in a new report by global technology intelligence firm ABI Research. The report, Industrial & Manufacturing: 30 Action Items for Reducing Carbon Emissions, Water Use, and Waste, provides an actionable enterprise-level framework for reaching net-zero carbon emissions, with best practices and company use cases for sustainability collected across multiple industrial conglomerates.
“The most efficient companies in the world generate product revenues and value for their customers while using minimal resources,” explains Kim Johnson, Sustainable Technologies Principal Analyst at ABI Research. “Reducing carbon emissions in the industrial sector is also critical for reaching global climate targets.” According to the World Economic Forum, more than 30% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the industrial and production sectors, consuming nearly 40% of the world’s energy production. Industry and manufacturing are ripe for more efficient operations, and the use of technologies, digital platforms, and well-structured sustainability programs are key to the responsible use of resources and a lower carbon future.
ABI Research considers six categories as critical to industrial and manufacturing sustainability—renewable energy, material sourcing and eco-design, technology use and eco-efficiency, waste reduction and circularity, green buildings and vehicles, and reporting and governance. Within these categories, 30 individual action items have been identified as specific steps industrials can take to reduce their environmental impact. For each action item, ABI Research aggregates best practices and company-specific use cases and highlights and introduces top vendors, or solutions providers, to help enable each action. For example, to improve the tracking and reporting of Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions, ABI Research profiles the environmental data and reporting of several industrial sustainability leaders while recommending carbon accounting and carbon management software tools for automating the reporting process and for meeting mandatory climate disclosure requirements that are already in effect, or process, in the United Kingdom, Japan, United States, European Union, and other countries.
Moreover, ABI Research has previously published an unbiased Industrial & Manufacturing Sustainability Index, ranking ten leading industrial conglomerates for sustainability efforts at the corporate or group level. This report expands on that research and goes deeper into the technologies and applications that reduce carbon emissions, water use, and waste. Some areas of exploration are: Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platforms, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)-driven analytics, 5G and sustainable applications, product lifecycle assessment (LCA) tools, Electronic Data Automation (EDA) and power budgeting tools, factory efficiency solutions, digital automation and robotics, additive manufacturing, Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR), packaging analysis, supply chain programs, and digital twins for comprehensive product and process evaluations.
“With ABI Research’s sustainability service, we are doing more than just identifying sustainable technologies. With each action item in the report, we explain the technology or application, assess its ability to reduce energy use or waste, and aggregate best practices for companies using the technologies. In further reports, ABI Research directly compares vendors (by sustainability capability) and analyzes the costs and benefits from investments in the technologies or programs. Many companies want to make their operations more sustainable, but the investment case must be made.” Johnson says.
Finally, global targets for climate change will only be met when the industrial sector engages in an actionable roadmap for reducing carbon emissions. “There is no silver bullet for a company becoming carbon neutral or reaching net-zero emissions in its value chain. A series of action items, however, can provide a framework for the critical steps, such as switching to renewable electricity, investing in energy-efficient manufacturing equipment, using AI-enabled solutions for energy savings, transitioning fleet vehicles to Electric Vehicles (EVs), and facilitating comprehensive sustainability programming that encourages the responsible management of resources and reduction of emissions at the corporate level and across industries,” Johnson concludes.
These findings are from ABI Research’s Industrial & Manufacturing: 30 Action Items for Reducing Carbon Emissions, Water Use, and Waste report. This report is part of the company’s Sustainable Technologies research service, which provides actionable research and data designed to help companies by identifying technologies, suppliers, and programs that accelerate sustainability efforts, such as reducing carbon emissions and waste.
About ABI Research
ABI Research is a global technology intelligence firm delivering actionable research and strategic guidance to technology leaders, innovators, and decision makers around the world. Our research focuses on the transformative technologies that are dramatically reshaping industries, economies, and workforces today.
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