Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0: the keys to bending the curve of the linear economy toward the circular
The Climate 4.0 Economy will be achieved only when global warming is held to 1.5°C above the pre-industrial-era level is achieved -- and well within this century. The UN’s 195-member-country Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) sets the target year at 2050.
Given the scale of Climate Change problems and the speed with which they are observably advancing toward the catastrophic, the degree of difficulty and the costs of mitigating and abating are daunting at best, it seems. The Climate Economy is one that, when achieved, is carbon-negative (not just “zero”), circular, sustainable, reparative of the past, and regenerative for the future.
What makes it truly the Climate 4.0 Economy is when it is achieved simultaneously with the Industry 4.0, Digital Transformation of the global economy now well-underway. It is our view that Climate 4.0 is, very likely, only achievable by and through Digital Transformation of the global economy now underway -- but with full-on Carbon-Negative/Climate Positive sustainability as a core value.
It is well understood that Digital Transformation unlocks vast new global value and wealth creation and unprecedented possibilities for global prosperity. A key “first principle” of Digital Transformation has to be sustainability. It should be unnecessarily redundant to say “sustainable Industry 4.0.”
If it isn’t measurably -- at scale and velocity -- driving carbon (and other greenhouse gases) out of energy emissions and out of GHGs embodied in materials, construction, manufacturing, products, processes and services, then I would argue it is, indeed, impoverished Digital Transformation unworthy of the name.
It is only truly transformative when it not only creates a sea-change in the activity, but simultaneously, infusing it with the value-creation potential of digitalization and all that entails.
The mission of the SmartNations Foundation’s Climate 4.0 Project is to enable, support, and tell the stories of programs and projects at all scales where Industry 4.0 Digital Transformation technologies are:
- being directly applied to projects and programs where the goals are measurably mitigating and abating climate-change contributors within those programs.
- where the net result of the digital transformation mitigates and abates carbon/GHG, both as emissions and as embodied, while generating new value over anything experienced in the past. What Tesla, Amazon, Microsoft and others are continuously proving.
The Climate 4.0 Project of the SmartNations Foundation is a fusing of these two ideas, which we see as inseparable. Smart, Industry 4.0, and Digital Transformation envisioned and designed to benefit Planet Earth’s biosphere, inclusive of human societies and economies.
The only way to transform to the circular Climate 4.0 Economy -- one that is thriving and flourishing and generating new wealth, new value and unprecedented new prosperity is through digital transformation with the simultaneous goal of the circular, climate positive, regenerative biosphere.
While a growing number of industry leaders are beginning to understand what is at stake in this new enterprise, the journey will be hard, long and uneven. Regardless of what you choose to call it, the Climate 4.0 Economy will require profound change at every level.
We want to hear and help tell those stories and support and encourage those conversations. We want to know what you think, what actions you and your organization are taking, and what your experience has been. Will you share those with us?
Please let us know at 'firstname.lastname@example.org'