Earth Day is upon us, and this year’s theme calls on individuals, governments, and the private sector to invest in the planet’s future. By implementing and advocating for green, circular economies, the event’s organizers, EARTHDAY.ORG, hope that structural changes – rather than micro-level adaptations – will increase sustainability and drive long-term impact.
At Dassault Systèmes, sustainability is at the forefront of our corporate mission, and we’re proud to be named one of the world’s top 10 most sustainable companies. Among other ambitions, we are committed to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2040 for our global operations, and we work toward ensuring our partners and customers have the tools they need to reduce their own footprints, too.
In honor of this year’s theme, we’ve outlined 5 steps that enterprises of all sizes can take to make sure they’re doing their part to execute sustainable practices and processes. Some suggestions are top-down, while others empower employees to take grassroots action.
Contribute to building circular economies
Consumers and companies alike can take steps to avoid buying products and materials that are known to be wasteful and are impossible or highly difficult to break down and recycle. Choosing to either not buy new goods or to purchase only the most necessary ones which can be repurposed and given new life is a venerable step toward a greener future. Transitioning from a ‘take-make-waste’ to a ‘reuse-reduce-recycle’ model of consumption is one example of how this can be achieved.
Streamline and digitize production practices
One unexpected process that produces waste is prototyping; digitizing the product management lifecycle, then optimizing and remanufacturing goods digitally can reduce the amount of refuse created. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform enables companies to take the entire product management lifecycle online, from conception to design to manufacturing, eliminating the creation of unnecessary waste.
Encourage eco-friendly practices for employees
Companies can set an example for sustainable best practices by serving meatless cafeteria meals, offering ridesharing options and ensuring the availability of recycling stations, among other solutions. When sustainable practices are made accessible, they’re more likely to be implemented over the long-term.
Implement decarbonization solutions
Whether through capturing carbon from the natural environment, electrifying operations or investing in carbon offsetting programs, private sector businesses can work toward reducing carbon output and balancing their footprint.
Reduce energy usage
Making energy-conserving choices like lowering air conditioning or using LED lighting are simple and effective ways for companies to lower their energy usage. On a broader scale, ensuring offices are built according to energy-efficient criteria, like the ISO 50001 Standards, is an effective way to reduce heating and cooling costs, engineer intelligent airflow, and produce less carbon. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform was used for just this purpose with a firm in Paris using virtual twins to design an energy-efficient rendering of the Eiffel Tower with a vertical garden that enables water recycling.
The right time to consider steps to sustainability and for investing in the planet isn’t just around Earth Day, it’s every day of every month. Earth Day reminds us that our planet’s future is in our hands, and there’s work to be done for individuals, governments, and businesses alike.