Digitization and sustainability represent two central subjects for society and hence also for industry. For this reason, the Plattform Industrie 4.0 defined sustainability as one of the three pillars of its strategy in its 2030 mission statement presented in 2018. The comprehensive digitization of industrial value creation, opens up numerous opportunities to achieve sustainability goals economically. Standardization makes a major contribution to the distribution of the approaches discussed. SCI 4.0 takes up these developments and coordinates corresponding standardization projects.
Circular economy is one approach. Consistent and cost-effective recording and dissemination of information regarding the properties and composition of goods enables their optimal use throughout the entire life cycle. One example is a digital battery product passport that enables stationary reuse of used batteries from electric vehicles. As soon as this "second-life" use has also reached its end, information about the material composition of batteries will allow safe and economical extraction and reuse of the materials.
Another important approach is to minimize the consumption of energy and resources through digitalization. Due to current legislation, many products must be accompanied by printed documents. In the industrial environment in particular, many of these documents end up in the trash unread, since companies often purchase and use a large number of instances of a particular type of goods. Here, a "digital nameplate" or digital product passport can significantly reduce the amount of paper used. Standards also play a central role here, as they describe what a standardized digital product passport looks like and there is no such thing as "just any digital nameplate" based on proprietary data formats.