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Mustapić, M.; Trstenjak, M.; Gregurić, P.; Opetuk, T. Digital, Green and Sustainable Technologies in Manufacturing Transportation. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 02 December 2023).
Mustapić M, Trstenjak M, Gregurić P, Opetuk T. Digital, Green and Sustainable Technologies in Manufacturing Transportation. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed December 02, 2023.
Mustapić, Miljenko, Maja Trstenjak, Petar Gregurić, Tihomir Opetuk. "Digital, Green and Sustainable Technologies in Manufacturing Transportation" Encyclopedia, (accessed December 02, 2023).
Mustapić, M., Trstenjak, M., Gregurić, P., & Opetuk, T.(2023, July 25). Digital, Green and Sustainable Technologies in Manufacturing Transportation. In Encyclopedia.
Mustapić, Miljenko, et al. "Digital, Green and Sustainable Technologies in Manufacturing Transportation." Encyclopedia. Web. 25 July, 2023.
Digital, Green and Sustainable Technologies in Manufacturing Transportation

The digital and green transitions with the introduction of Industry 5.0 concept remain imperative, now with a human worker placed again in the center of the system to improve efficiency and productivity with a special contribution to general society. The implementation of digital technologies by Industry 4.0 standards implicated the removal of a physical worker from the production process, complete automatization of operations, and, therefore, a need for new skills and workplaces. This has created the most common barrier in Industry 4.0 implementation, which is the lack of human knowledge and skills to provide the transition and their capability to work in new positions of an Operator 4.0, included in control, optimization, and decision-making processes rather than manual work.

Industry 4.0 Industry 5.0 logistics transport green technologies sustainability

1. Introduction

After recognizing the challenges of implementation of Industry 4.0, the European Union presented the Industry 5.0 strategy to overcome the barriers and to place the European industry as the key driver in the economic and societal transitions [1]. The digital and green transitions with the introduction of Industry 5.0 concept remain imperative, now with a human worker placed again in the center of the system to improve efficiency and productivity with a special contribution to general society [2]. The implementation of digital technologies by Industry 4.0 standards implicated the removal of a physical worker from the production process, complete automatization of operations, and, therefore, a need for new skills and workplaces. This has created the most common barrier in Industry 4.0 implementation, which is the lack of human knowledge and skills to provide the transition and their capability to work in new positions of an Operator 4.0, included in control, optimization, and decision-making processes rather than manual work [3]. This has also created dissatisfaction among the workers as well as fear of job loss and inability to adapt to new technologies. Industry 4.0 elements (such as big data, advanced analytics, Internet of Things, cloud computing, augmented reality, autonomous robots, horizontal and vertical system integration, cognitive computing, or digital twin [4]) in the beginning were subject to availability and required a very high investment cost but, at the same time, they were needed to remain competitive on the market for production companies. The trend of high variability and fast customization of products required design of systems of high flexibility and modularity with unclear predictable benefits in the future [5]. Industry 5.0 focuses on developing a human-centered, sustainable, and resilient production system, which could answer the market demands and unpredictable local and global events in society that might occur and affect the production in a negative manner [6]. The sustainable system is encouraged to be achieved using green technologies by principles of circular economy, which also implies the use of the renewable energy resources in the production as well as a high degree of recycling and reuse of resources within the system [7]. Digital and green principles can be implemented in the logistics system, which is why the framework of Logistics 4.0 implies the use of wireless sensor networks, Internet of Things, automated guided vehicles, drones, cloud computing, big data, robotics and automation, or augmented reality to optimize the standard logistics activities [8]. Green logistics, on the other hand, can be described in terms of green office (reducing use of paper materials, increase in recycling of the waste, excess usage of water and electricity, and implementing environment-based training and activities), green inventory control and material handling (using barcode inventory systems and RIFD inventory systems, inventory wastage control, or automatic material handling systems), green warehouse (decreasing use of paper materials, water, and electricity, reusing of the reusable materials, reduction and management of warehouse wastage, or green recycling for warehouse waste materials), and green transport (using technologically advanced transport that emits low carbon dioxide, using alternative sources of energy, following green transport strategies, or promoting eco-driving training) [9].

2. Green Management

Green technologies are aimed at significant energy savings and use of renewable energy sources. Hence, energy management of warehousing tends to be one of the most challenging factors. Implementation of Industry 4.0/5.0 technologies enables companies to monitor energy consumption in real time, as well as the optimization of the consumption processes.
Research has, therefore, shown that, with adequate energy management, sustainable and green development can be achieved. The most common topic referred to in the literature is energy saving, followed by the impact of warehouse building and its management [10].
Energy consumption, as one of the essential components, is a complex and multilayered challenge. In the comparative study of both manual and fully automated warehouses, it is suggested that energy balance should be established for the material handling equipment, energy consumption for building maintenance (heating, cooling, lighting, etc.), and energy generated by the photovoltaic system on the roof. A significant part of consumed energy is noticed to be spent on maintaining warehouse buildings, especially in the case of facilities with a low degree of automation [11][12].
One of the key drivers of green warehousing is the reduction in energy consumption. Different material handling activities have different constraints in this matter, while adopting smart automatic picking systems by Industry 4.0 standards increases energy efficiency. In this case, managerial strategies also play an important role in adoption of available equipment to increase warehouse productivity at negligible costs [13].
Another study has shown that energy consumption level could also be minimized through advanced optimization methods, such as genetic algorithms, and claims that green principles should be implemented in warehouse management to minimize the negative impact on the environment. This can generate higher investment costs in the beginning but enables sustainability of the system in the future [14].

3. Carbon Footprint Reduction

One of the key goals in the EU, but also in global environmental strategies, is the reduction of the carbon footprint. In logistics of the manufacturing industry, this can be provided by using renewable energy sources, Industry 4.0/5.0 technologies, and optimized processes. The reduction of the carbon footprint also enables the decrease in overall costs and leads to economic sustainability. A total of 10% of worldwide CO2 emissions derive from logistical supply chains, while 20% of the overall logistical cost relates to the amount of energy required for heating, cooling, and lighting, as well as material handling equipment [15]. Management has a significant role in developing a carbon-efficient supply chain but, also, for the matter of internal logistics processes, it is possible to significantly lower the CO2 emissions through energy optimization and monitoring of energy usage [16]. Optimal managerial decisions should be made to optimize both economic benefits and environmental impacts [17].
The research on green warehousing in Thailand has shown that the utilities for green warehousing had the highest score in carbon footprint reduction, while the remaining challenge is the improvement of green management. One of the motivational factors in implementing green warehousing was social responsibility, while one of the biggest barriers was local law and regulation. Therefore, the top management should be the key initiator of green technology implementation in the warehouse. Moreover, waste reduction through green management can improve employees’ living conditions and productivity by Industry 5.0 human-centric and sustainable standards [18].
Industries often aim to find a balance in using fossil fuels and reducing carbon emissions. Product deterioration is another motivation to improve processes to maximize product shelf-life because this might be the cause of larger carbon emissions due to increased transportation needed for such products. The use of advanced optimization and simulation methods can improve environmental impact of this kind [19].
Optimization is very important when using green technologies of transport and material handling, such as electric drive, and one of the suggestions found in the literature is the two-step optimization model based on integer programing for the optimal schedule of the material handling activities of electric mobile, ensuring that jobs are executed in accordance with priority queuing and that the completion time of battery recharging is minimized, which lowers the overall costs [15]. Hybrid simulated annealing and tempering algorithm is another proposed solution for the routing optimization, which can enable the reduction in carbon emissions and, therefore, lower the cost for the enterprises and their sustainable development [20].
On the other hand, the Mixed Integer Linear Programing algorithm is proven to provide improvements for an optimized relocation of the warehouses. The objective was to find an economical route, with the goal to minimize fuel consumption and emission of greenhouse gasses. This is how the supply chain managers can, apart from the route optimization, obtain results within an environmentally friendly level to attain sustainability in the warehouses and the entire supply chain [21].
The simulation of the paths and internal warehousing layouts can also improve efficiency of warehouse operation, warehouse space utilization, and energy consumption, which are related to the reduction of the carbon footprint [22].

4. Green Transport

Green transportation methods and vehicles can have a positive impact on energy efficiency and reduction of the carbon footprint but there are several challenges that a company must overcome in the internal and external transportation system to remain efficient and achieve sustainability of a system.
Transport is referred to as the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions. The goal of green transport is not only to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, noise, and space use, but to promote economic growth as well. It provides environmental safety and new customer relationships and product experience [23].
The implementation of lithium-ion battery (electrical drive) in internal transport reduces the environmental impact in the warehousing on forklifts, with many benefits regarding the reduction in the material handling equipment gas emissions [24]. The use of electric vehicles can still be very challenging, while the conventional vehicles cause considerable environmental damage. The performance of electric vehicles has numerous constraints, such as battery performance, technological advances, and energy management, so routing challenges must be considered [25].
Routing optimization is also shown to be very useful in improving the environmental impact [26][27][28], while the decisions on supply lead time, reorder quantities, and storage equipment also have an impact on costs and emissions [29]. High frequent deliveries with trucks result in high emission during transport but low emission during the storage process [30].
Subsidies for green vehicles could allow changes in the current fleet, while new solutions, such as own charging stations, could have an impact on energy efficiency.
Intermodal transport can be improved by using lean and green approaches. In the case study of Italy, the proposed green improvement solution was to shift demand from road to rail, which would improve the environmental impact of the transport and lower costs [31].
Using biofuels is another way to reduce environmental impact in transport, but it also has certain limitations. The case study of the energy and transport sectors in the United Kingdom recognized the main risks to be the lack of investor confidence in biofuel developments (the highest score); energy or fuel security issues; negative public perception of biofuels (equal second highest); increased food prices; high barriers to entry into the fuel market; and misdirected agricultural expansion or land use (equal fifth highest) [32].

5. Industry 4.0 Elements

To achieve optimum results and enable sustainable development of the internal and external transportation systems as well as other logistics processes, the elements of Industry 4.0 can be very useful. The advanced optimization methods play an important role, while the decisions must be as accurate and reliable as possible, with many constraints and influential factors. The dynamic market demands a high flexibility level and optimization in real time; therefore, elements such as Internet of Things can be very useful in green logistics implementation. It provides increased information accuracy while enabling cost reduction and achievement of long-term sustainability [33]. Real-time monitoring of logistics vehicles such as fuel levels, wheel axle and engine vibration, temperature monitoring, and effective design of maintenance schedule showed improvement from 77 to 98% in overall performance. This resulted in higher customer satisfaction, process efficiency, decreasing cost of operation with energy efficiency, and low latency performance of the implemented IoT-based framework [34].
The manual order picking generates high costs and the human impacts the efficiency of the supply chain. Therefore, proper human interaction with technology is crucial for operational success, especially within the human-centric systems by Industry 5.0 standards [35].
Collaborative robots in the logistics sector enable cost savings, as well as the reduction in CO2 emissions [36], but special caution must be placed on the workplace design in order to create a safe environment for the human worker [37].
Research has shown that green transport can have a significant impact on company performance [38].
Automatic warehousing systems are one of the green technologies and their implementation is influenced by perceived advantage, cost, technological turbulence, business partner influence, firm size, firm scope, and operational performance, especially in SMEs [39].
Along with the green perspective, the tools of lean management incorporated in the Industry 4.0 technologies can lead to improvements in the transportation processes [40][41]. Digital, lean, and green concepts can lead to viable, sustainable, and digital supply chain performance [42].
Managers should, therefore, once again take the initiative in the area of incorporating environmental management principles into their daily decision-making processes [43].

6. Corporate Strategy and Local Regulations

The green initiative in the manufacturing processes can often be used as a marketing asset, while many works in the literature deal with the relation between the actual implementation of green technologies within the manufacturing companies and the corporate brand strategy. A difference was noticed between the green initiative as a brand strategy and the actual realization in the logistics activities. The green initiative is mostly focused on hardware modifications the studies have shown but it can be considered also as part of the software development segment. The development of low-energy-requirement software is proposed as one of the green solutions requiring less hardware, which then has a green impact in the warehouse management systems [44].
Environmental awareness should certainly be part of the business strategy but alongside continuous integration and evaluation of green elements. This has been demonstrated in a case study of frozen food supply chains in Saudi Arabia. The emphasis was placed on green operations for energy and resource conservations, which was positively correlated to, while promoting sustainable work culture, sustainable strategies, and policies for their role in encouraging sustainability performance outcomes [45].
Green logistics management impacts corporate social responsibility and corporate reputation. More precisely, green supply, green packaging, green transportation, and green warehousing have been established to positively affect enterprises’ corporate reputation. Consequently, awareness of green technologies in logistics remains very important [46].
Green human resource management can also be a useful tool in achieving sustainable corporate environmental management, which positively impacts corporate social responsibility and brand image. Transportation intensity, modal split, emissions intensity, energy efficiency, and vehicle utilization efficiency are suggested to be taken into consideration as the most important elements, while the mediating role of management and employee attitudes and knowledge should also be included [47].
Local governance regulations and taxes have an influence on green and digital technology implementation in the logistics processes [20]. The price of conventional vehicles, such as a carbon tax, may lead to both an increase or a decrease in environmental performance [48].

7. Global Evidences

The global evidence of implementation of green Industry 4.0/5.0 technologies in logistics process of internal and external transportation in manufacturing industry was explored in the current literature to be able to structure the research and compare the results on the barriers and challenges of their implementation.
The case study of Indonesia in the leather tanning industry showed that the green modification in the field of both production and logistics needed to enable the functioning of the company on the international market. One of the key technologies to be implemented was a system for business process monitoring, while green warehousing was monitored by ERP system. An information system is built to monitor the activities and management of goods in the warehouse to pay attention to environmentally friendly aspects [49].
In Zimbabwe, SMEs find the biggest barriers in costs, lack of resources, and knowledge for green logistics adoption. Most of them are still not applying green logistics practices, although several are dealing with adoption of packaging optimization, warehousing, inventory management optimization, along with transport optimization and efficiency (particularly route optimization and fuel efficiency). The green logistics is identified with brand loyalty, good brand image, and profitability for a long run [50].
The influence of green warehousing, logistics optimization, and social values and ethics on supply chain sustainability and economic performance was studied in Ghana. Green warehousing and logistics negatively influence economic performance but improve their performance through supply chain sustainability. Social values and ethics have positive influence on sustainability and economic performance [51].
In a developing country, such as the Philippines, the study showed the importance of using green logistics practices in small and medium enterprises, which improves localized sourcing of environment-friendly materials, greener transport options, and subsidized electric vehicles for fleet services, utilization of shared facility to optimize the use of warehouse space, and a strategic take-back scheme and rewards system. The level of implementation of green logistics in industrialized countries differs from that of developing countries and is related to an unsolved problem concerning local logistics solutions and poor quality of logistics services and their high cost. Green technologies which can easily be implemented within small companies are the reuse of packaging, thermo-insulation of warehouses, refusal of paper documents, and reduction in CO2 emissions to the atmosphere by planning optimal routes [52].
In the case study of Lithuanian industry, the most encouraged factors to achieve the principles of green logistics are shown to be legal regulation and policies, requirements of business partners, service users, customers and society, awareness of the company’s top management, and corporate culture focused on environmental conservation and sustainable development [53], similarly to Hong Kong, where the emphasis is placed on the government policy regarding green solutions [9].
In Thailand, it was revealed that the social and operating performance mediated the impact of four different green supply chain practices on employee engagement and organizational commitment, including environmental education, green marketing, and green warehousing and distribution, which had positive effects, and green manufacturing, which had a negative effect on the firm performance [54].
The Greek agri-food supply chains study revealed that information sharing, logistics networking, and transportation are the most powerful factors that impact sustainable, business and supply chain performance. On the other hand, green warehousing and logistics emissions had no relation to performance outcomes [55].
Eco-design, green production, green purchasing, green recycling, green transportation, and green warehousing were shown to be the highest priority in achieving green supply chain in Malaysian companies [56].
In Slovakia, the study of implementation of Industry 4.0 green logistics elements showed that automotive industry companies are the leaders in the implementation. Companies use voluntary tools of environmental policy and the most important one is corporate social responsibility, primarily in logistics processes of warehousing and storage. The biggest barrier is the lack of financial resources, but one of the benefits is the improvement of customer–supplier relations [57].
In France, a positive influence of proactive environmental strategies on environmental performance was noticed, especially in distribution and transport, warehousing and green building, and reverse logistics. However, the co-operation with customers and eco design and packaging, and only eco-efficiency orientations positively influence environmental performance through green supply [58].
In Mexico, a novel methodology called Sustainable Transportation Value Stream Map was proposed, and the results indicated that the lean and green principles are an effective approach, which benefit both operational efficiency and environmental performance of road transport operations [59].
In China, the transportation industry generates high pollution emission and energy consumption, as well as traffic congestion. The improvement of energy efficiency and control of environmental pollution is suggested as a part of a green transport system building with bigger traffic planning, optimization of transport structure, and administration of energy saving and environmental conservation. Furthermore, the development of intelligent transportation systems and technical innovation are noticed to be two of the key factors in the sustainable system [60].
In Poland, social expectations from Industry 4.0 implementation are focused on the development being human-centric, sustainable, and resilient logistics systems were established [61], while, in the construction industry of New Zealand, transportation costs are more than half of overall logistics costs. Mostly, it is road transport and, to ensure sustainability, environmentally friendly improvements should be considered, because 99% of freight transport is dependent on fossil fuels. Decarbonization is related to Industry 5.0 implementation, but there are still no proposed solutions available [62].


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