What’s the status with sustainable manufacturing?

Most companies today are on a journey towards sustainability. For Dassault Systèmes, it’s been part of our purpose for many years: “Dassault Systèmes provides business & people with 3DEXPERIENCE universes to imagine sustainable innovations capable of harmonizing product, nature and life”   Sustainability can and must extend to many parts of a company’s business, and manufacturing is no exception. As part of our annual Manufacturing in the Age of Experience event – next scheduled for September 18-19 in Shanghai – we will look at the current conversation amongst manufacturers in regards to sustainability.  3DPerspectives talked to the head of our DELMIA brand, Guillaume Vendroux, about this important topic in the manufacturing sector.

3DPerspectives: The current thinking is that sustainability is both a society and a business imperative. Why is this?

Guillaume Vendroux: The first thing to consider is that in 1950, the global population was 2.5 billion.  Now, it’s 7 billion and rising. This means that we cannot produce and consume in the same way that we did in the 20th century.

At the same time, today’s consumers want to buy and consume sustainable products, and feel good about the businesses they support. People are expecting companies to evolve how they produce and do business, with greater consideration on their impact on the environment and society. They also want to know that the workforce of these companies are treated well.

Sustainability is a “must be” and “must behave.” But it is also a tremendous opportunity: the green marketplace is worth trillions, and it’s a clearly a business and innovation driver.

3DP: So, it’s clear sustainability is a driving force in business. What impact does this have on manufacturing?

GV: I think it’s important to look at the Triple Bottom Line concept – developed in 1997 by John Elkington, the global authority on corporate responsibility and sustainability.  This encourages the assessment of overall business performance based on three areas: Profit, People and Planet. The value of a company depends on its contribution to the environment, its impact on society and on the humankind.

In 2018, Dassault Systèmes shared our vision of the current global transformation reshaping the world: Industry Renaissance. In this model, sustainability is a central concern of demanding consumers and the Triple Bottom Line elements are at the heart of the Industry Renaissance.

We believe there are three pillars to achieve sustainable manufacturing and create value for all:

 

3DP: Let’s look at those one at a time, starting with workforce of the future.

GV: Sure. We know that the global workforce is on the precipice of a major shift. The prediction is that 85% of jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t been invented yet. This means companies must prepare for shifts in employee skills, and plan for life-long learning imperative to help workers evolve as job requirements change.

Looking at what today’s consumers are demanding of the companies they buy from this means considering employee safety and well-being, as well as how to increasing teams’ autonomy.

This needs to start today. Manufacturers must be capturing knowledge and know-how from today’s workforce to create empowering, sustainable experiences for both current and future employees.

 

3DP: Another area you talked about is global operations optimization. What does this mean for manufacturers?

GV: The concept of muda is core to today’s manufacturing; it looks at seven areas of waste to include Transport, Inventory, Motion, Waiting, Over-Processing, Overproduction and Defects.

Focusing on optimizing these processes globally will help manufacturers be more sustainable by delivering unique customer experiences while simultaneously reducing waste in material, time and energy.

 

3DP: The last area you talked about is value network orchestration. What does this mean for manufacturers?

We already established that businesses need to be built on sustainable practices to meet consumer expectations – but the same goes for investors, regulators and the communities where these businesses operate. Showing that you’re a sustainable organization helps to save money, build a positive reputation, attract investment, spur innovation, secure loyal customers, gain competitive advantage and bring in repeat business.

Autonomous teams working within their scope of responsibilities in a networked environment can create redundancy. If manufacturers adopt a value network model, they enhance the ability to coordinate all stakeholders and connect them efficiently in a very agile manner. Fostering collaboration, transparency, visibility and harmony across the value network is a way to create sustainable value for all stakeholders while delivering unique experiences to market.

 

3DP: Thanks for your time, Guillaume. I know our audience will discover much more during Manufacturing in the Age of Experience.

GV: Exploring the power of sustainability will indeed be a key theme during this year’s event. It has to be:

Sustainable manufacturing is not an option. It’s not only about energy efficiency or zero-waste strategy. It is about innovation for social and societal responsibility.

During the event, we will not only look at the challenges that are out there, but we will also demonstrate how the 3DEXPERIENCE platform can help manufacturers to start and then accelerate their journey to sustainability, providing all the environment, ecosystems and tools to turn ideas into on-the-ground valuable actions, collaborate and scale solutions to create sustainable growth. You can look at the agenda as more sessions are added.

Alyssa Ross

Alyssa Ross

Alyssa is a Communications Director on the Dassault Systèmes Corporate Publishing team. She’s been part of DS for over 18 years, in roles ranging from public relations to marketing programs. Twitter: @DS_Alyssa