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ABB unveils the essential link between digitization and sustainability

Posted on February 11, 2022 at 11:15 a.m. by

The Maritime Executive

[By: ABB]

ABB today released the findings of a new global survey(1) of global business and technology leaders on industrial transformation at the intersection of digitalization and sustainability. The study, “Billions of Better Decisions: The New Imperative of Industrial Transformation,” examines the current adoption of the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) and its potential for improving energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and driving change. The aim of ABB’s new research is to stimulate discussion within industry on the opportunities to leverage industrial IoT and to empower businesses and workers to make better decisions that can benefit both sustainability and bottom line.

“Sustainability goals are increasingly a crucial driver of business value and corporate reputation, and industrial IoT solutions are playing an increasingly important role in helping businesses achieve safe, smart operations. and sustainable,” said Peter Terwiesch, president of ABB’s Process Automation business area. . “Unlocking the insights hidden in operational data is the key to enabling literally billions of better decisions across the industry and acting on them, with significant productivity gains, reduced energy consumption and environmental impact. reduced.”

The study, commissioned by ABB, found that an organisation’s ‘future competitiveness’ is the most important factor – cited by 46% of respondents – in industrial companies’ increased attention to sustainability. Yet, while 96% of global decision makers consider digitalization “essential to sustainability”, only 35% of companies surveyed have implemented industrial IoT solutions at scale. This gap shows that while many industry leaders today recognize the important relationship between digitalization and sustainability, the adoption of relevant digital solutions to enable better decisions and achieve sustainability goals must accelerate in sectors such as manufacturing, energy, buildings and transport.

Other key learnings from the study

71% of respondents said a higher priority was given to sustainability goals due to the pandemic
72% said they were increasing their industrial IoT spending “somewhat” or “significantly” due to sustainability
94% of respondents agreed that Industrial IoT “enables better decision-making and improves overall sustainability”
57% of respondents indicated that Industrial IoT has had a “significant positive effect” on operational decision-making
Perceived cybersecurity vulnerabilities are the number one barrier to improving sustainability with industrial IoT
Win-Win Scenarios with Industrial IoT

With 63% of executives surveyed strongly agreeing that sustainability is good for their company’s bottom line, and 58% also strongly agreeing that it delivers immediate business value, it is clear that sustainability and the traditional priorities of Industry 4.0 efforts – speed, innovation, productivity, efficiency, customer-centricity – are increasingly intertwined, opening up win-win scenarios for companies that seek to increase efficiency and productivity while making progress on climate change.

“The International Energy Agency (2) estimates that industry today accounts for more than 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions,” Terwiesch said. “If we are to achieve climate goals such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement, industry organizations need to implement digital solutions as part of their sustainability strategies. Embracing these technologies at all levels – from the boardroom to the factory floor – is critical, as every member of the industrial workforce can become a better sustainability decision-maker. »

ABB innovations for sustainability
ABB is committed to being at the forefront of technology to enable a low-carbon society and a more sustainable world. Over the past two years, ABB has reduced greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations by more than 25%. As part of its 2030 sustainability strategy, ABB plans to be fully carbon neutral by the end of the decade and help its global customers reduce their annual CO2 emissions by at least 100 megatonnes of by 2030, which is equivalent to taking 30 million combustion cars off the road each year.

ABB’s investments in digital capabilities are at the heart of this commitment. With more than 70% of ABB’s R&D resources dedicated to digital and software innovations, and a strong ecosystem of digital partners including Microsoft, IBM and Ericsson, the company has established a leading presence in industrial IoT.

The ABB AbilityTM portfolio of digital solutions enables a multitude of industrial use cases to improve energy efficiency, resource conservation and circularity, including condition monitoring, health and asset management, maintenance predictive, energy management, simulation and virtual commissioning, remote assistance and collaboration. operations. ABB’s more than 170 industrial IoT solutions include ABB AbilityTM Genix Industrial Analytics and AI Suite; ABB AbilityTM Energy and Asset Manager; ABB AbilityTM condition monitoring for powertrains; and ABB AbilityTM Connected Services for industrial robots. To learn more about ABB Ability, visit:

To continue the conversation on this important topic, ABB will host an industry webinar on Wednesday, March 2, focusing on the convergence of digitalization and sustainability, and how industrial IoT and related technologies can help save energy, conserve resources and improve safety for personnel and communities. Molly Wood, leading technology journalist and climate investor, will moderate this virtual roundtable bringing together senior executives, best-selling authors and other thought leaders to explore this convergence and how industry organizations can enable better decision-making. and more sustainable across the business.

1 ABB “Billions of Better Decisions” survey, August 2021. Conducted by California-based market research firm IntelliSurvey, the survey of 765 decision makers from large and midsize companies was conducted online in local languages ​​in China, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States. Respondents came from 12 industry segments, including energy, manufacturing and transportation. The collected survey data was complemented by in-depth qualitative interviews with experts in digital transformation and sustainability.


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