Reducing Environmental Impact In Resource-Intensive Industries


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Environmental impact in resource-intensive industries has remained a serious concern for decades. Due to their utmost necessity, we can’t shut down these industries but it’s necessary to take appropriate measures to reduce the environmental impact. 

Although many strategies have been designed and tested, many scientists have put together multiple solutions for fixing the issues, but to date, no successful solution has been proposed. Environmental impact due to resource-intensive industries is still a major concern. 

Utilisation of augmented reality (AR) technology to design and develop strategies for reducing environmental impact in resource-intensive industries can present a sustainable solution. The AR-based smart devices assist resource-intensive industries in connecting digital innovation with environmentally friendly practices to transform these industries’ activities. 

AR technology can help industries in two ways. Firstly, there are benefits AR technology offers to reduce environmental impact. And secondly, how and where resource-intensive industries can utilize this technology to obtain sustainability in their activities? 

Here, we will discuss the environmental impact the world is observing due to resource-intensive industries before we dive into the benefits AR technology can offer and their industrial utilization. 

Environmental Impact Due To Resource-Intensive Industries 

Resource-intensive industries like cement, steel, chemical and refining sectors have huge environmental impacts, which include: 

1. Resource Depletion 

These industries consume a lot of natural resources, leading to their depletion and scarcity for routine use.

2. Excessive Waste Generation 

From usual dust and dirt and cafeteria garbage, resource-intensive industries produce industrial waste, including metal strips, oil, chemicals, solvents, and gasses, which are very harmful to the environment industrial wastes are one of the main causes of landfills, water and air pollution. 

3. Pollution 

Resource-intensive industries exacerbate pollution production. The activities involved in day-to-day activities of these industries involve transportation, storage, use and processing, and release the pollutants into the air, water and soil, damaging the environment. 

4. Energy Impact 

Most of the industries still rely on natural energy resources for running. This leads to the exploitation of natural resources and causes an imbalance in the ecosystem. 

5. Habitat Destruction 

The extraction of resources and accumulation of pollutants disrupt the ecosystem and cause habitat destruction for many animals and plants. 

How Resource-Intensive Industries Can Utilize Benefits Of AR Technology To Reduce Environmental Impact? 

Resource-intensive industries must include AR technology-based devices to improve operational efficiency, performance and safety. Besides, AR technology has the potential to reduce the environmental impact caused by resource-intensive industries and promote practices that support sustainability. 

Here are some of the areas in which resource-intensive industries can utilize the benefits of AR technology:

1. Efficient Resource Management

AR-based devices make it possible for industries to optimise resources, which leads to efficient resource management. The AR technology enhances the visualization of the resource management process. This provides real-time data about resource consumption and wastage, which helps industrial management reconsider their practices and design more eco-friendly ones that manage resources efficiently. Environmentally sustainable practices help in efficient resource management and also reduce operational costs. 

2. Reducing Material Waste

Industrial processes produce enormous amounts of waste material, which pollutes our waters and soils. Along with efficient waste management processes, there is a need to implement strategies that reduce the amount of material waste generation. 

AR technology can efficiently influence the journey of material waste production at multiple points, including: 

  • AR devices allow industries to perform virtual product testing and prototyping, reducing the need for physical prototypes and material waste generation. 
  • AR technology helps resource-intensive industries manage resources efficiently, due to which there is a significant drop in the total waste quantity. ‘
  • Training employees for waste management practices, improving operational efficiency and controlling waste production using AR devices have more positive results as compared to traditional training. 
  • AR technology supports circular economy principles and encourages the reusing and recycling of materials. 
  • AR devices optimize operations in all departments of the industry, minimize errors, and encourage sustainable practices, which help in reducing waste. 

3. Enhancing Energy Efficiency 

AR technology can facilitate reducing the energy impact of resource-intensive industries in the following several ways: 

  • AR enables real-time monitoring of the processes help to identify operational insufficiencies, which leads to more energy consumption and optimises the process. 
  • Technology offers the facility to simulate real working environments and provide training, allowing workers to learn and implement energy-saving practices. 
  • AR technology also allows remote assistance which saves energy consumed during travelling and also saves the environment from harmful gas emissions. 
  • AR devices monitor equipment performance and energy consumption. It enables organisations to get timely maintenance and repairs and implement practices to save energy. 

4. Minimizing Pollution and Carbon Footprint 

AR-enabled devices are crucial in minimising pollution as they efficiently reduce waste generation, enhance energy efficiency, allocate resources effectively, and support circular economy principles. These measures optimise workflows and operations, eliminating the causes and effects of pollution. 

AR technology also minimizes the carbon footprint of industries by cutting down industrial emissions, enabling remote meetings and virtual collaborations, simulating hazardous situations and providing training to minimize the risk, and raising awareness to implement energy-sustainable practices. 

5. Increasing Education and Awareness Among Workers in the Industry

AR plays an excellent role in educating, creating awareness, training and skill development domains. In resource-intensive industries, where daily operations have a significant impact on worker’s safety and environment, educating workers about safer working conditions, protecting the environment and updating practices is necessary. AR simplifies the process and makes it easier for workers to adjust to a transforming working environment. 

AR technology has the potential to transform operations in resource-intensive industries and help them overcome challenges, especially the environmental impact caused by these industries. Resource-intensive industries must leverage AR technology in all departments like manufacturing, resource management, waste management, education and training, remote collaborations and others to promote sustainable practices in their processes.

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