The paper aims to explore the gaps and overlaps between statements of intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) working at the intersection of climate change, sustainable energy, and industrial development regarding the role of Industry 4.0 for climate change mitigation and the scientific literature addressing the energy and resource efficiency of Industry 4.0. To fulfill this objective, we conduct a two-tier review of relevant literature from both IGOs as well as academia. The analysis of documents from IGOs shows that Industry 4.0 is strongly associated with energy efficiency potentials that could contribute to climate change mitigation and more sustainable energy use in the industrial sector. Based on a review of the scientific literature, however, the paper concludes that it is currently not possible to validate this assumption and provide concrete figures since analyses providing a more comprehensive picture of potential energy savings, including possible negative effects and rebounds, are lacking. We suggest that these issues be addressed in further research, e.g., through concrete case studies that go beyond the assessment of single Industry 4.0 technologies. Furthermore, efforts should be strengthened to communicate findings from technology-centered research into political strategy-building and decision-making processes and, at the same time, raise awareness in the technological domain for the information needs of policymakers.
- Publication Year
- Publication Type
- Academic Articles
Fritzsche, K., Niehoff, S., & Beier, G. (2018). Industry 4.0 and Climate Change—Exploring the Science-Policy Gap. Sustainability, 10(12): 4511. doi:10.3390/su10124511.
- Staff involved
- Projects involved
- Junior Research Group ProMUT: Sustainability Management 4.0 - Transformative Potentials of Networked Manufacturing for Humans, the Environment and Technology Digitalisation and Impacts on Sustainability