Sustainability is the key word of the next industrial revolution

17 sustainable development goals divided into 240 indicators and 169 targets

In collaboration with Elemaca

At the heart of the EU’s recovery policy is a new term that has established itself over time to become the keyword of the new industrial revolution: the

. In fact, just think of the acceleration of the double green and digital transition to understand the semantic and symbolic choice, or the United Nations 2030 agenda, where 17 sustainable development goals have been listed, divided into 240 indicators and 169 targets. In short, the intent is to overcome the idea that sustainability should only be understood as an environmental issue and to affirm a 360 ° vision on the various dimensions of inclusive development, aimed at improving the living conditions of every human being, to guarantee the business productivity and decent work at all.

Therefore, it is not just a question of changing consumption and production models in a sustainable way to face climate change and the impact it will have on the planet and society itself, but the European Union itself entrusts industry with the role of provider of prosperity, that is, as the engine that starts the machine for a development based on respect for the planet and on new production paradigms that place the well-being of every worker at the center of the company production process.

Industry as an accelerator of sustainable development

It will therefore be industry that will make Europe prosper, accelerate and catalyze change and innovation, providing solutions for society, starting with the innovative technological advancement that must place man at the center of the work flow, enhancing his safety and transforming the workplace into a place where the youngest talents can find their space for lasting professional growth.

In addition, industry will have to increase resilience to foster the green transition, achieving environmental objectives that primarily involve the integration of new technologies and production processes that take into account the environmental impact in the development of a circular economy. In other words, reuse must be enhanced more, recycling for a regeneration of what is discarded.

It is, without a shadow of a doubt, an epochal moment for the history of industry in the future European society, since never before will maximum attention be paid to the environmental and social dimension, as well as to fundamental rights. That is, the industrial revolution will extend to the human one.

How to increase environmental sustainability

For fostering the development of environmental sustainability is necessary:

· Adopt innovative technologies for the circular economy and the environment;

· Protect the territory and preserve biodiversity; · Promote the use of renewable energy sources (such as photovoltaic panels for the production of electricity) and the efficient use of available resources;

· Promote sustainable mobility;

· Optimize waste recycling by eliminating the use of plastic. That is, making the territory plastic free.

In addition, a company to reduce the impact on the environment should take some precautions, such as:

· Use sustainable packaging, thus reducing the use of plastic;

· Devising a new product design to already conceptually promote low environmental impact;

· Aim at projects that eliminate industrial waste in order to be able to recycle raw materials using only recyclable packs;

· Adopt more efficient and green solutions for transport, such as the use of less impact vehicles. In other words, the so-called green logistics must be developed.

Environmental sustainability indices

In order to understand whether the environmental conditions necessary to achieve the sustainable development goals exist, the sustainability indicators have been identified, aimed precisely at identifying any problems and hypothesizing solutions.

They are known internationally 4 types:

1. Descriptive indicatorswhich describe the real situation of environmental problems, such as the quantity (expressed in tonnes) of C02 emissions;

2. Performance or effectiveness indicators, that is, the relationship between the result achieved and a pre-established environmental policy objective. The clearest example is the percentage of waste collected respecting the rules of separate collection;

3. The efficiency indicatorscalculated by comparing the environmental result achieved with the economic resources used to achieve it, such as the cost of structural interventions to reduce emissions into the atmosphere;

4. The indicators of total well-beingwhich measure total sustainability, such as the ecological footprint (i.e. how many hectares of forest, cultivated land are needed to absorb the waste generated).