| Written by Mark Buzinkay

The history of humankind is a history of innovations and disruptions. The digitalisation of the world opens possibilities that could lead to massive reductions of wasted resources.

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The potential of technology

Main technology trends affect how and where manufacturing takes place: Artificial intelligence, cloud computing, in-space manufacturing. Similar developments are observed in other sectors along the global supply chain: energy and mining invest heavily in autonomous vehicles and processes, shipping lines and ports integrate their processes digitally and the service sector experiments with robots and artificial intelligence.

In most developed countries, resources as energy, materials, knowledge and workforce increase in value as they become a scarce commodity. The idea of sustainable processes and production goes along with the idea of reducing and avoiding wastefulness, the main reason for depleting natural and human resources at a record pace. The speed of wastefulness endangers the natural capacity of recovery - forests, coastlines, entire oceans and the inhabiting species are put in danger of destruction and extinction.

Sustainable investment

There is a moral responsibility to avoid this scenario now. It does not mean to wait for declarations and policies to get into action; it lies in our hands to change the way we use resources. As we will continue to evolve, we need intelligent ways to get more out of our processes and to reduce the necessary input. Sustainable investment is not greenwashing but the way to go forward immediately. On a big scale in manufacturing, energy creation, food production, logistics and traffic, and as well in our own private lives how we consume products.

Technology is on our side as we try to increase efficiency. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has created great potential for manufacturing processes. We have put context, history and outlook of IIoT in production plants in a separate article for you. We invite you to join us in our quest to reduce wastefulness in the global supply chain and improve the usage efficiency of resources wherever you can.