Global climate change has grown into one of the major concerns in global industrialization and economic development. Carbon dioxide (CO2), one of the six Kyoto Protocol greenhouse gases (GHGs), is the most difficult to contain due to its closeness with energy generation and consumption . With an earlier awareness of climate change, developed countries tended to displace the resource- and energy-intensive industries to other countries, thus emissions have not been reduced but relocated , which can be further magnified if production shifts to countries using carbon-intensive energy or low-energy-efficient technologies. Developing countries are responsible for 63% of GHGs emissions and get hit the hardest, i.e., 78% of the cost of climate change, and predicted to rise to 87% by 2035 . For example, people in tropical countries are more exposed to natural disasters, e.g., storms and extreme weather. Poorer living conditions make them fragile to disaster strikes. Common measures of controlling GHG emissions are pricing the emissions and adopting cleaner energy. Even if a price can be offered, it is unlikely to convince developing countries to instantly give up fossil fuel or to pursue nuclear energy while ignoring non-proliferation and nuclear waste. A more acceptable solution, at least in the near future, is circular economy  or to reduce emissions without substantial changes in energy infrastructure using intelligent technologies.
Manufacturing, a core of the product provision system and a major source of GHG and other emissions, has substantial influences on both economic and sustainability issues. Years ago, before the topic of Industry 4.0 become the dominating theme of the Hanover Trade Fair, its motto had been “Greentelligence” . The objective is to capture and monitor manufacturing activities and shift them into a greener and more eco-efficient paradigm while holding competing costs . A greener paradigm may offer opportunities for cost reduction and eco-friendly development . Industry 5.0, a new industrial paradigm from the European Commission’s consensus has been proposed to strategically plan the production and economic growths accounting for the planetary boundaries and societal goals. But exploiting these opportunities involves more than technological issues, which requires identifying priorities and finding ways to align them with existing infrastructures and technologies . Over the last decade, intelligent technologies have been growing rapidly for increasing production efficiency and flexibility. There are many ways to benefit manufacturing facilities and workplace practices with improved environmental performance . It requires the current manufacturing system to go beyond producing goods and/or services for profit and highlights the importance of long-term service to environmental and societal benefits, including human-centricity, sustainability and resilience [9, 10].
Evolving smart manufacturing systems into a greener paradigm in Industry 5.0 era is both timely and critical. The implications of intelligent technologies to green objectives are deemed controversial and the greenness assessment of intelligent technologies also remains to be addressed. In this study, we propose “Greentelligent manufacturing (GIM)” as a novel integrated manufacturing paradigm that uses intelligent techniques as the enabler for green objectives. Various green and sustainable objectives are potentially accompanied by intelligent technologies, and the sustainability of intelligent systems should also be assessed and enhanced by green metrics.