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Industrial robots and air environment: A moderated mediation model of population density and energy consumption

Industrial robots and air environment: A moderated mediation model of population density and energy consumption
Industrial robots and air environment: A moderated mediation model of population density and energy consumption

The relationship between new digital manufacturing technologies (also known as Industry 4.0) and environmental performance has become a subject of interest for both academia and policymakers. An analysis of the impact of robot usage on air environment mediated by energy consumption and moderated by population density is developed and tested using a longitudinal dataset from 74 countries and regions worldwide during 1993–2019. We find the use of robots exacerbates air pollution and climate warming because enhanced productivity and energy efficiency in light of robot usage offer an incentive to expand production and consumption, and thus increase total energy consumption that finally leads to air deterioration. By decomposing the total effect into the direct and the indirect effect, we find that, though industrial robots weakly contribute to reduction in greenhouse gas emission, the indirect adverse impact dominates the direct benefit. In addition, the nexus between robot usage and air environment is conditional on population density which, at large, mitigates the direct effect while amplifies the indirect effect of the adoption of robots on air environment. This study emphasizes the importance of energy consumption and population density in understanding the mechanisms underlying the relationship between robot usage and air environment, which provides both theoretical and practical implications for the balance of industrial intelligentization and ecological environment.

Air environment, Energy consumption, Industrial robots, Population density, Rebound effect
2352-5509
870-888
Luan, Fushu
81f78469-2d86-438c-a9d5-17b689afce4e
Yang, Xinhui
44d0ed3b-85e3-4170-a242-a0740183f185
Chen, Yang
ec7d861c-edff-48e4-bfb3-798a91714165
Regis, Paulo José
d696452e-72ef-48bc-9409-80996e297ca7
Luan, Fushu
81f78469-2d86-438c-a9d5-17b689afce4e
Yang, Xinhui
44d0ed3b-85e3-4170-a242-a0740183f185
Chen, Yang
ec7d861c-edff-48e4-bfb3-798a91714165
Regis, Paulo José
d696452e-72ef-48bc-9409-80996e297ca7

Luan, Fushu, Yang, Xinhui, Chen, Yang and Regis, Paulo José (2022) Industrial robots and air environment: A moderated mediation model of population density and energy consumption. Sustainable Production and Consumption, 30, 870-888. (doi:10.1016/j.spc.2022.01.015).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The relationship between new digital manufacturing technologies (also known as Industry 4.0) and environmental performance has become a subject of interest for both academia and policymakers. An analysis of the impact of robot usage on air environment mediated by energy consumption and moderated by population density is developed and tested using a longitudinal dataset from 74 countries and regions worldwide during 1993–2019. We find the use of robots exacerbates air pollution and climate warming because enhanced productivity and energy efficiency in light of robot usage offer an incentive to expand production and consumption, and thus increase total energy consumption that finally leads to air deterioration. By decomposing the total effect into the direct and the indirect effect, we find that, though industrial robots weakly contribute to reduction in greenhouse gas emission, the indirect adverse impact dominates the direct benefit. In addition, the nexus between robot usage and air environment is conditional on population density which, at large, mitigates the direct effect while amplifies the indirect effect of the adoption of robots on air environment. This study emphasizes the importance of energy consumption and population density in understanding the mechanisms underlying the relationship between robot usage and air environment, which provides both theoretical and practical implications for the balance of industrial intelligentization and ecological environment.

Text
2022LuanYangChenRegis_OAdraft - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 31 January 2023.
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 19 January 2022
e-pub ahead of print date: 19 January 2022
Published date: 31 January 2022
Additional Information: Funding Information: This work was supported by the National Social Science Fund of China [grant numbers 20BJL144]. Publisher Copyright: © 2022 Institution of Chemical Engineers Copyright: Copyright 2022 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
Keywords: Air environment, Energy consumption, Industrial robots, Population density, Rebound effect

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 455000
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/455000
ISSN: 2352-5509
PURE UUID: 11b499aa-1799-4863-b9ae-5ac06a2dc64b
ORCID for Paulo José Regis: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3256-464X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 03 Mar 2022 17:41
Last modified: 28 Apr 2022 02:27

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Contributors

Author: Fushu Luan
Author: Xinhui Yang
Author: Yang Chen

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