Can the UK Government's Industrial Strategy be a sustainable one?

Published at 15:53 PM on 23 January 2017

Commenting on the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy, Dr Celine Herweijer, PwC Partner, Sustainability & Climate Change, said:

“This Industrial Strategy consultation gives us a fantastic opportunity to look at how we, as companies, investors, entrepreneurs, academic institutions and government, can harness technological breakthroughs to not only create commercial advantage but bring environmental- and social-impact considerations into the mainstream.


“As our latest PwC report - Innovation for the Earth - demonstrates, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) presents huge opportunities for us to drive and shape the way in which we apply these technological breakthroughs, across areas such as transport and energy, to address urgent environmental, social, and economic challenges.”

Launched at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Innovation for the Earth demonstrates how technological innovations of the 4IR, including Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT), could deliver innovative and commercial advances across areas including smart transport systems, clean power, and smart cities and homes.

The report also showcases how innovators and businesses could harness these advances to build solutions that deliver sustainability benefits and provide transformative climate solutions.

Dr Celine Herweijer added:

“While the 4IR is already unlocking game-changing applications and solutions for some industries, markets and consumers, it is clear that many companies are still grappling with what this period of rapid technological progress means for their business. Particularly as, according to our annual CEO Survey, innovation is a key priority with 71% of CEOs already concerned at the impact the speed of technological change may have on their growth prospects.


“The UK’s Industrial Strategy has a vital role to play in underlining the importance of resource productivity, which ought not to be seen as an add-on for each technological innovation but  an integral success factor. Smart design can optimise energy efficiency, clean energy use and waste reduction whilst achieving performance and cost improvements.


“By making smart and sustainable technology design and performance targets both a business and a government imperative, we can help ensure that technological transformation becomes a means of delivering responsible long-term growth, rather than simply being an end in of itself.”




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