Next Article in Journal
Capital Intensity and Labour Productivity in Waste Companies
Next Article in Special Issue
“When” Does It Pay to Be Good? Attributions Mediate the Way CSR Elements Impact on Consumer Responses, and Are Controllable
Previous Article in Journal
Danube River Cruises as a Strategy for Representing Historical Heritage and Developing Cultural Tourism in Serbia
Review

Environmental Sustainability of Digitalization in Manufacturing: A Review

Department of Industrial and Materials Science, Chalmers University of Technology, SE-412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10298; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410298
Received: 28 September 2020 / Revised: 30 November 2020 / Accepted: 4 December 2020 / Published: 9 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Manufacturing and Corporate Social Responsibility)
The rapid development and implementation of digitalization in manufacturing has enormous impact on the environment. It is still unclear whether digitalization has positive or negative environmental impact from applications in manufacturing. Therefore, this study aims to discuss the overall implications of digitalization on environmental sustainability through a literature study, within the scope of manufacturing (product design, production, transportation, and customer service). The analysis and categorization of selected articles resulted in two main findings: (1) Digitalization in manufacturing contributes positively to environmental sustainability by increasing resource and information efficiency as a result of applying Industry 4.0 technologies throughout the product lifecycle; (2) the negative environmental burden of digitalization is primarily due to increased resource and energy use, as well as waste and emissions from manufacturing, use, and disposal of the hardware (the technology lifecycle). Based on these findings, a lifecycle perspective is proposed, considering the environmental impacts from both the product and technology lifecycles. This study identified key implications of digitalization on environmental sustainability in manufacturing to increase awareness of both the positive and negative impacts of digitalization and thereby support decision making to invest in new digital technologies. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental impact; digitalization; Industry 4.0; manufacturing; environmental sustainability; digital technologies environmental impact; digitalization; Industry 4.0; manufacturing; environmental sustainability; digital technologies
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Chen, X.; Despeisse, M.; Johansson, B. Environmental Sustainability of Digitalization in Manufacturing: A Review. Sustainability 2020, 12, 10298. https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410298

AMA Style

Chen X, Despeisse M, Johansson B. Environmental Sustainability of Digitalization in Manufacturing: A Review. Sustainability. 2020; 12(24):10298. https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410298

Chicago/Turabian Style

Chen, Xiaoxia, Mélanie Despeisse, and Björn Johansson. 2020. "Environmental Sustainability of Digitalization in Manufacturing: A Review" Sustainability 12, no. 24: 10298. https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410298

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop