I recently returned from a long trip to the Asia/Pacific region, and was struck by some of the ways that businesses in the region are truly embracing the idea of sustainability.
I first started noticing the trend when I arrived at the airport in Aukland, New Zealand. I would normally never think of an airport as a place that could embrace sustainability on a large scale, mostly due to the amount of fuel consumed by planes taking off and landing. So I was very impressed to see that the airport has dedicated a wall to talking about their efforts. In addition to a video about their sustainability practices, there is also a screen showing the amount of solar energy being generated at the airport over the course of the day, month and year. Watch the video below to see what I’m talking about.
On September 22, I attended a Sustainable Innovation Summit in Melbourne, Australia. This event was hosted by Dassault Systèmes, and I was asked to speak about the role of sustainable design. If you don’t know, the Australian government is currently in the process of voting on a “carbon tax,” designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and limit global warming.
The argument I made was that manufacturers should worry less about the effects of the proposed legislation, and instead focus on making products and processes more inherently sustainable. Companies have a real opportunity to reevaluate their design and manufacturing processes now, and products like SolidWorks Sustainability can play a big role in helping them make better decisions. By designing more environmentally friendly products from the start, companies can be proactive when it comes to the changing environmental laws. I was very impressed by the reception from the customers in the audience.
I later found my way to Mumbai, India. When I checked in to my hotel, I was surprised to see a large display noting that every hotel in the ITC Hotels chain is certified LEED Platinum. Energy consumption is a real issue in India due to the population density, and I was very impressed to see that businesses there are really working toward lowering the amount of energy they use. The best way to save energy and prevent waste is to design it out of the building in the first place. If you’re not familiar with the levels of LEED certification, you can go here to learn more.
On a related note, our new Dassault Systèmes campus in Waltham MA is already LEED Gold Certified, and we’re working on an additional LEED certification for the interior space.
Many people think that sustainability is just a North American or European idea, but that’s not the case. Sustainability is becoming a way of life around the world, especially in developing nations. At SolidWorks, we’re working to help every designer make better choices about the products they design. If we all work together, we can help ensure that the world we leave to our children is a better one than we inherited. If you or your company have started working on ways to make your products or processes more sustainable, I would love to hear about them.