SRC4i (2023-2024)- EITRIS Innovation – Promoting sustainability in Greek manufacturing

The manufacturing sector is considered one of the industrial sectors with the highest carbon dioxide emissions and with a  great impact on climate change as a consequence of the “Greenhouse Effect”(1).

The need to reduce the carbon footprint of industry is also reflected in EU policies, such as the “EU Green Deal” and the “Green Deal Industrial Plan» (2). A key pillar and objective of this plan is the promotion of the competitiveness of sustainable industry. A relevant strategy also exists in Greece (3), aiming to reduce the carbon footprint of Greek ndustry from 1,900 CO 2/ toe (2015 value) to 1,438 in 2030. To make this happen, various innovative technologies and tactics have been reported and have begun to be implemented worldwide, among which are: energy saving through digitization and the use of renewable energy sources.


However, The market still lacks the right and cost-efficient  tools to promote sustainability

Despite the abundance of technologies, companies do not proceed with actions to improve their environmental sustainability and to reduce the carbon footprint. The reasons are mainly the following: lack of awareness about existing technologies and strategies, inability to identify their current level of sustainability but also lack of a plan for the implementation of new technologies and the actions needed to promote sustainability of the company.


The needs of the manufacturing market in Greece for circular / green / less energy-intensive operation and the solution that can be provided with AI/IT technology

Sustainability Readiness Check for Industry (SRC4i) (2023-2024), funded by the EIT Manufacturing, focuses on the development of an integrated support framework that will help Greek manufacturing companies to adopt sustainable practices. The program takes into account the needs of the Greek market, offering an original and easy-to-use tool for evaluating and improving environmental performance.

Doloop pilot study

This program has a double objective regarding sustainability in Greek manufacturing. Initially, it aims to develop a diagnostic tool for companies’ path to sustainability. In addition, it aims to support companies on the path to sustainability through a guide for changes in technological equipment, at the management level as well as in human resources. An important part is also the collaboration between industry and university through the design of the diagnostic tool and the guide for the changes towards sustainability and on the other hand the provision of educational material through training programs based on questionnaire responses from the industry.


This gap is covered by the development of custom technologies by experts

What is currently missing from the market is a tool to diagnose the level of sustainability of the company and plan a series of steps to reduce the carbon footprint. These changes are not only related to technological equipment but also to the training of staff in new technologies, to their awareness of issues such as energy efficiency, circular economy and sustainability. Also, changes can and should be made at the management level.

This framework is part of the SRC4i program coordinated by the Laboratory for Manufacturing Systems and Automation (LMS), University of Patras,  and the team of Professor Panagiotis Stavropoulos, with Dr Vasiliki Panagiotopoulou as the leading investigator. LMS has a long track record in the development of technologies and methods for industry, in terms of energy efficiency and the reduction of carbon emissions. In addition, LMS has experience in training industry people through the concept of teaching and learning factories.


The risk is reduced by the absorption of resources from the European Union

To create this sustainability diagnostic tool, train industrial workforce and support the company in this green transition, funds from EIT Manufacturing were secured.. During this EITM-funded program, companies from RIS countries have the opportunity to be trained on issues of sustainability, circular economy and energy efficiency and based on their own needs and their participation the appropriate tool will be created. This tool, as well as the sustainability transition roadmap, will be implemented in a pilot study (Doloop: ).

It is obvious that the transition to a greener Greek and European manufacturing sector is a key objective of the Greece and European Union. However, in order to be able to demonstrate  solid results in this area, businesses and their staff must be equipped with the appropriate tools and knowledge to achieve the goals that have been set. LMS and EIT Manufacturing support this endeavour as they are fellow travelers for a more sustainable and green future.