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Unsplash, author: Markus Spiske (c) 2018

EREK Quarterly #1- Digitalisation and Resource Efficiency

Posted on: 20.09.2018
by The EREK team

Industry 4.0 is a buzzword now.

New digital technologies and artificial intelligence are changing what we do at home, at work and on the move. They are increasingly important to innovation, optimisation, and in boosting competitiveness and growth. Perhaps a lesser known benefit of Industry 4.0 is that it helps companies slash costs through a more efficient use of materials, water and energy, and by reducing their waste streams and environmental footprint.

Is this potentiality of technological progress being exploited? While the resource-saving benefits offered by digital technologies are manifest, not many SMEs appear to be profitting from them. A survey of 600 companies of all sizes in Germany revealed that only a fifth of them are well digitised with regard to efficiency measures (e.g. process optimisation, implementation of new techniques). A further 20 % reported moderate digitalisation efforts, while more than a third showed no progress at all in this area. The vast majority of companies actively engaged in Industry 4.0 resource efficiency practices appear to be large companies. This survey suggests that SMEs are either ill-informed as to digital material-saving options, or reluctant to implement them.

In this very first edition of the EREK Quarterly, we focus on the role of Digitalisation - or Industry 4.0 - in improving resource efficiency. We aim to provide inspiration to SMEs, as derived from expert interviews, practical company examples, information about government support, and a host of other relevant tips and information.


Read the EREK Quarterly #1!