Green Alliance: The power of digital to drive a green economy
Digital technology could transform the environmental agenda, says new report published by Green Alliance
Digital technology could transform the environmental agenda, says new report published by Green Alliance.
The fourth and final report from the Tech Task Force programme, argues greater digitalisation of environmental technologies and solutions can speed up the UK's net zero transition, at the same time boosting the UK’s competitiveness in the growing green international market.
Green Alliance highlights opportunities to embed ‘green approach’ in new government plans, for recovery from Covid-19, industrial strategy and achieving net zero carbon across the economy.
“As the country seeks to recover from COVID-19, UK businesses need all the help they can get to remain competitive”.
The report points to the need to drive a step change in digital adoption across UK businesses.
The 2017 Made Smarter review estimated that, by 2027, digital technology could add £38.2 billion to the construction sectors’ bottom line, with the potential of £13.2 billion being saved by food manufacturers, through better use of resources.
So far, fewer than one in five UK manufacturers make extensive use of digital technology in their operations.
The UK is lagging behind international competitors – South Korea, Singapore and Germany are already ahead of the UK on industrial digitalisation.
The EU plans to boost low carbon industries as part of its Green Deal, focusing on digitalisation, including scaling up connectivity infrastructure, strengthening its industrial leadership.
For example, digitally enabled energy efficiency could save UK businesses £6 billion a year by 2030.
China has also announced plans to invest $1.4 trillion to 2025 in digitally enabled infrastructure.
An update is expected of the Industrial Strategy in the autumn 2020, alongside the Digital Strategy and others relevant to decarbonisation. Amongst these include: the transport decarbonisation plan, the National Infrastructure Strategy, the Energy White Paper, and the Low Carbon Heat Strategy.
Caterina Brandmayr, Head of Climate Policy at Green Alliance, said: “This is a unique moment to make cohesive policy in this area and drive business investment in smart environmental solutions cross the economy”.
“Using the power of digital technology to speed up the transition to a low carbon economy is a win-win for the environment and the economy.”
The report concludes that failure to link the digitalisation and environmental agendas will hold back adoption of smart low carbon solutions in key sectors of the UK economy.
This report outlines gains that could be made across the high impact sectors of transport, energy, buildings and food through a smart, green approach. With solutions ranging from car sharing and smart car charging for consumers to ‘product passports’ and materials databases for businesses.
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