More Sustainability in Industry through Industrial Internet of Things?
Industrial production plays an important role for achieving a green economy and the sustainable development goals. Therefore, the nascent transformation of industrial production due to digitalization into a so-called Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is of great interest from a sustainable development point of view. This paper discusses how the environmental dimension of a sustainable development can potentially benefit from the IIoT—focusing especially on three topics: resource efficiency, sustainable energy and transparency. It presents a state of the art literature analysis of IIoT-enabled approaches addressing the three environmental topics. This analysis is compared with the findings of a survey among Chinese industrial companies, investigating the sustainability-related expectations of participants coming along with the implementation of IIoT solutions. China has been chosen as a case study because it brings together a strong industrial sector, ambitious plans regarding industrial digitalization and a high relevance and need for more sustainability. The survey was conducted with the means of a questionnaire which was distributed via email and used for direct on-site interviews. It focused on large and medium sized companies mainly from Liaoning Province and had a sample size of 109 participants.
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