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Tech and sustainable production


A new White Paper published on the eve of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting sets out a framework for harnessing sustainable production methods.

The WEF paper, produced in collaboration with Accenture, provides governments and businesses with the tools to ‘identify ways to transform their production systems, achieve sustainable growth and contribute toward the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’.

“This collaborative effort demonstrates how to harness the technological progress of the Fourth Industrial Revolution for sustainable innovation and value creation in four manufacturing industries and across major global regions,” writes Helena Leurent, Head of Future of Production System Initiative, Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum, in the foreword to the paper.

The automotive, electronics, food, and textiles industries are the four manufacturing areas the study looks at.

The White Paper ultimately ‘serves as a pragmatic, forward-looking approach to achieving a world where environmental well-being and business competitiveness go hand in hand’ says Arancha González Laya, Executive Director, International Trade Centre (ITC), Geneva.

She continued: “In addition to the promise of technology-led gains and efficiencies, one of the key drivers ensuring that the Fourth Industrial Revolution benefits everyone is its delivery of more sustainable production and consumption around the world.

“Far too often, sustainability has been viewed as a cost. That perception needs to change to ensure we collectively understand that it can also represent a major business opportunity, and should be an important component of any modern business plan.

“The ideas represented in [this White Paper] are a natural extension of the theme of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2018: Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World.”

The White Paper – Driving the Sustainability of Production Systems with Fourth Industrial Revolution Innovation – is available online now.

Follow the WEF Annual Meeting, which takes place this week in Davos, Switzerland, from 23 to 26, on social media using hashtag #wef18


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