There is a ‘critical relationship’ between digitalisation and sustainability – study

Posted on 3 Mar 2022 by The Manufacturer

A "critical relationship" exists between digitalisation and sustainability, a new industrial transformation study has found.

According to the “Billions of better decisions: industrial transformation’s new imperative” study by ABB, 96% of organisations believe digitalisation is “essential to sustainability,” yet just 35% have implemented Industrial IoT solutions at scale. This gap shows that while many of today’s industrial leaders recognise the important relationship between digitalisation and sustainability, the adoption of relevant digital solutions to enable better decisions and achieve sustainability goals needs to accelerate in sectors like manufacturing, energy, buildings and transport.

ABB’s global study, which polled 765 decision-makers, also revealed that 72% of companies are increasing investment in Industrial IoT specifically to address sustainability aims.

The ABB study examines the current take-up of the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) and its potential for improving energy efficiency, lowering greenhouse gas emissions and driving change. The goal of the research is to spur discussion within industry regarding opportunities to leverage the Industrial IoT and empower companies and workers to make better decisions that can benefit both sustainability and the bottom line.

“Sustainability goals more and more are a crucial driver of business value and company reputation, and Industrial IoT solutions are playing an increasingly important role in helping enterprises achieve safe, smart and sustainable operations,” said Peter Terwiesch, President of ABB’s Process Automation business area. “Unlocking insights hidden in operational data holds the key to enabling literally billions of better decisions throughout industry and acting upon them, with significant gains in productivity, reduced energy consumption and lower environmental impact.”

Why are industrial companies focusing on Sustainability? According to the ABB study, “future competitiveness” is the single greatest factor – cited by 46% of respondents.

Other key study findings:

  • 71% of respondents reported greater priority given to sustainability objectives as a result of the pandemic
  • 72% said they are “somewhat” or “significantly” increasing spending on Industrial IoT due to sustainability
  • 94% of respondents agreed the Industrial IoT “enables better decisions, improving overall sustainability”
  • 57% of respondents indicated the Industrial IoT has had a “significant positive effect” on operational decision-making
  • Perceived cybersecurity vulnerabilities are the #1 barrier to improving sustainability through the Industrial IoT

Your industrial data inevitably holds powerful insights that could help with your decision making. Are you taking advantage of it to its fullest? Join us in Birmingham for The Manufacturer’s fifth annual Industrial Data Summit and discover how you can start harnessing the power of your data. Register now: