Thought Leaders 2022: Damien McDade
1. What opportunities do you predict for the growth of your industry in 2022?
We recently commissioned a survey which found nine in 10 companies are expected to accelerate their sustainability activities over the year, as business recognise their role in tackling climate change. And technology is at the heart of this transformation, with four in five leading industries increasing their digital investment in order to drive sustainable business models. Technologies that we already have in place today could help us achieve 70% of the 169 targets underpinning the UN Sustainable Development Goals*.
2. What are the three biggest challenges or threats facing your industry in 2022?
The ability for industries to incorporate sustainability initiatives across their operations will be a major challenge. Those with end-to-end transparency of their complete value chain will have the visibility to adapt and optimise operations, to drive the circular economy and minimise their carbon footprint. Utilising technology and an integrated software strategy, feeding data insights into operational and governance reporting will be crucial in ensuring agility and efficiency for sustainable industries.
Another big challenge is the energy transition. To ultimately achieve net-zero, companies will need to move quickly to integrate renewables into their business models to offset their operations by deploying solar, wind, hydrogen and other alternate energy sources. Again, technology enablement plays a key role here, with highly digitised operations that provide insights into efficiency, reliability and reporting critical to achieving these ambitions.
An estimated 70% of new value created in the economy over the next decade will be based on digitally enabled platforms. But knowing where to start is vital, in order for both greenfield and brownfield projects to remain sustainable, viable and profitable for the long term. Leveraging technologies such as AI as well as digital twin and data platforms at a much earlier stage is critical in accelerating a sustainable operating model.
3. What are your thoughts about remote working technologies, mandating vaccines and supporting staff?
The pandemic has changed the way we work. Organisations had to find new ways of working, and fast. Technology such as the cloud provided multi-site view of performance and unified teams to monitor plants and remain agile — without being onsite. Companies continuing to adapt remote working strategies are deploying cloud solutions which support net-zero ambitions, consolidate industrial data and provide real-time visibility of energy usage and sustainability impacts. Cloud is also increasing productivity through collaborative, remote and agile working patterns, with up to 25% gains in workforce efficiency, while enhancing morale and wellbeing.
We recently introduced a subscription approach, allowing customers to maximise the allocation of the software they choose, which minimises their footprint by avoiding multiple distributed on-premise deployments with low utilisation.
4. Is your company working on decarbonisation strategies or net-zero goals to mitigate the effects of climate change in 2022?
We have been driving sustainable outcomes for our industrial customers for decades, with our software helping to transform the energy efficiency, circularity, traceability and resilience of their businesses. We continue to prioritise a sustainable future for ourselves and our customers. With a net-zero target across our value chain by 2050, we are committed to accelerating our technology innovations and sustainability partnerships with our customers and partners. For our own operations, we have set clear ambitions for our scope 1 and scope 2 emissions, for a net-zero position by 2030.
5. How is your industry preparing for artificial intelligence (AI) developments and/or advanced manufacturing?
Technological applications such as AI, IoT and machine-to-machine communication will continue to redefine the sustainable industries of the future.
A recent study by Microsoft and PwC UK demonstrates that using existing AI applications across agriculture, energy, transport and water could conservatively boost global GDP by 4% by 2030 — contributing up to US$5.2 trillion to the global economy — while at the same time reducing global greenhouse gas emissions by 4%, which is equivalent to the projected 2030 annual emissions of Australia, Canada and Japan combined.*
AVEVA has partnered with Schneider Electric to co-develop lean management software for their global smart factory program. The project was focused on digitally transforming the operations for over 100 discrete manufacturing sites around the world, with over 20% in energy savings achieved at select sites, with 377 tons of CO2 reduced across the world. By empowering teams with real-time holistic insights into operations, and automating processes across the facilities, in addition to energy savings, downtime was reduced by 44%, with significant productivity enhancements and a 40% increase in on-time customer deliveries.
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