The world will soon be gathering for the next United Nations climate conference, which runs for the first two weeks of November in Glasgow, Scotland. This is the first major global environment event since the Paris Accords were signed in 2015, at COP21. The emphasis is especially strong this year as we begin to emerge from the COVID crisis that has changed our collective awareness of environmental issues and risks, which also forced a one-year delay of this important goal-setting convention.
AspenTech is excited to be part of COP26, joining companies from around the world to discuss and share solutions to address the global climate challenge. On Thursday, November 4th, AspenTech president and CEO Antonio Pietri will join executives from Microsoft and Wood to discuss “Digitisation of the Energy Sector.” This panel discussion will address how digital technologies are increasingly highlighted as key enablers to increase efficiencies across systems, and to accelerate the technology development that is required to address demanding climate goals.
The United Nations defined sustainability back in 1987 as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” This approach has been largely dismissed for much of the 34 years since it was described, but certainly has gathered pace in recent months as consumers and businesses alike begin to rethink current behaviors to specifically address sustainability.
The COP26 event, so named since it is the 26th annual Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, will again target goal setting by countries to help avoid more than 1.5degC temperature rise across the planet. This is a daunting task and one that will require innovation and collaboration across industries and value chains to reach these aggressive targets.
Most organizations now look beyond financial indicators to develop business solutions that address sustainability targets and AspenTech is well-positioned to facilitate progress with our customers. We are actively engaging with many energy and chemical companies to reduce their energy use by as much as 30% by a wide variety of solutions such as stabilizing operations with process control (Scope 1), integration of alternative energies (Scope 2), and avoidance of unplanned outages that can lead to safety and environmental incidents.
Lots of effort is needed in immediate projects like energy efficiency, but many companies are also working on the longer-term challenges like transitioning to non-fossil fuel-based energy sources and developing new products and processes that do not generate waste and can rely only on alternative energies.
The Saras Group recently implemented AI-enabled analytics to improve operational reliability and equipment longevity in its wind farm subsidiary Sardeolica. Reliability in alternative energy operations is critical to ensure broader adoption and to manage costs for operators.
AspenTech is also focused on helping customers address the challenges of the circular economy, which takes the broad view that products and processes must be completely redesigned to eliminate waste, while also working to extend material use and regenerate natural systems. Plastics recycling processes are an important example of this concept, and digital capabilities are helping to solve some of the largest challenges in recycling activities such as reintegrating post-consumer waste and improving advanced recycling processes. (Learn more about success at Japanese consumer product company FP Corporation.)
AspenTech’s mission is focused on helping our customers’ assets run safer, greener, longer and faster. But the world needs more, and digitalization is the best path forward. To that end, last week’s strategic transaction announcement between AspenTech and Emerson will further support our customers’ end-to-end needs and help accelerate innovation towards finding and efficiently managing newer and cleaner forms of renewable energy. In combination with Emerson’s world-class OSI and Geophysical Simulation Software (GSS) businesses, AspenTech will further expand the breadth of end-to-end software solutions that we can provide for our customers. OSI positions AspenTech to support the world’s carbon reduction ambitions by enabling companies providing newer and cleaner forms of renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, to be more easily and efficiently managed and incorporated. The GSS business is highly complementary to AspenTech’s existing portfolio and provides carbon storage optimization.
We're making progress, but there is still much more work to be done to address the triple-bottom line and to develop successful businesses that address environmental and social concerns. We continue to work with customers to find and develop new solutions for sustainability.