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Industry 4.0 and corporate sustainability: An exploratory analysis of possible impacts in the Brazilian context

Siltori, PFS and Anholon, R and Rampasso, IS and Quelhas, OLG and Santa-Eulalia, LA and Leal Filho, W (2021) Industry 4.0 and corporate sustainability: An exploratory analysis of possible impacts in the Brazilian context. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 167. ISSN 0040-1625

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Abstract

This paper aims to analyse the impacts of Industry 4.0 on corporate sustainability, considering the Brazilian context. From a literature review, 12 impacts were identified and used to structure a questionnaire. This questionnaire was applied in a survey with experienced Brazilian researchers. The data was analysed using Hierarchical Cluster Analysis, Descriptive Statistics and TOPSIS, which allowed for impact ordering. It was evidenced that all the presented impacts will be evident in the Brazilian context in a ten-year horizon. Of these impacts, six stand out: 1) the reduction of job offers for manual and repetitive activities and the emergence of new, high value-added professions; 2) the emergence of innovative business; 3) the reduction of work accidents due to the expanded use of robots in dangerous tasks for humans; 4) problems with the employees’ qualification pace in the required modernisation changes; 5) the integration of all value chain activities, allowing for a better analysis of environmental, social and economic impacts; and 6) improvements in physical and cognitive ergonomics due to the use of sensors. These findings can contribute to the expansion of the debates related to the theme and can be used as a base for defining future industrial policies in Brazil.

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