Influenced by the “unprecedented transformation” required to achieve sustainable development goals, Bentley Systems is taking a lead role in helping reduce carbon emissions while making communities more resilient to the inevitable impacts of climate change. Bentley took home the Microsoft’s Asia Pacific Region Social Impact Recognition – Sustainability Changemaker in 2021.
While more than 70 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions come from infrastructure, at least 85 per cent of the global population – and the world’s infrastructure – have already been affected by climate change and extreme weather events.
Yet the 2030 milestones to achieve the Paris Agreement and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals targets are rapidly approaching.
“Our mission is to provide innovative software and services for enterprises and professionals who design, build and operate the world's infrastructure, advancing the global economy and the environment for improved quality of life,” said Rodrigo Fernandes, director of ES(D)G (Empowering Sustainable Development Goals) at Bentley.
Around the world, engineers, architects, constructors and owners/operators are using Bentley's software solutions to accelerate project delivery and improve asset performance for the infrastructure that sustains the world’s economy and environment.
“We are proud to empower their work, which is essential to the quality of life for everyone everywhere, and to sustain our economies and the environment,” Fernandes added.
For Fernandes, sustainable and resilient infrastructure is a “foundational and essential contributor” to reaching the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
“Our expertise in infrastructure is our greatest contribution to sustainable development,” he outlined. “We must build sustainable infrastructure and endeavour to be the best possible stewards of our environment.
“Understandably, we feel that our most significant impact is providing the technology and facilitating the sharing of best practices that empowers our users to advance infrastructure responsibly.”
Notably, Fernandes said such transformation is already underway with users sharing the vision that infrastructure digital twin solutions are “essential enablers and accelerators” in this journey.
“There are great projects from leading organisations that are already future-proofing infrastructure with digital twins,” he noted. “We advocate that infrastructure digital twin solutions and sustainable development go hand-in-hand.”
From a technology standpoint, all of Bentley’s digital twin solutions and services operate in Microsoft Azure, designed to “significantly enable and accelerate” decarbonisation and resilient pathways.
The provider offers specific solutions to support multiple industries and sectors, such as wind farms (OpenWindPower), smart water networks (WaterSight), city planning (OpenCities), digital construction (SYNCHRO) and efficient project management and collaboration (ProjectWise).
This is in addition to a digital twin platform – the Bentley iTwin platform – to empower innovation and collaboration.
“Integration with Azure allowed us to ensure scalability, security, and sustainability from day one, taking into account Microsoft’s commitments to and roadmap for decarbonisation, circularity and water use reduction,” Fernandes added. “We want to keep exploring additional collaboration for sustainability-driven opportunities with Microsoft.
“No one can predict what infrastructure digital twin solutions will be five years from now, but it’s a safe bet that they will be connected to more systems than are possible today. Users want the flexibility to change as requirements change and new things become possible.”
Strategic sustainability priorities
At the heart of Bentley’s mission is a commitment to help overcome sustainability challenges spanning climate emergency and action, energy transition and efficiency alongside land and water resources, cities and communities and ecosystem collaboration.
In response, Bentley has created a framework under the banner of ES(D)G which ranks as the company’s most strategic priority during the next decade.
“We are now prioritising three sectors that we have identified as key to addressing the sustainability challenges,” Fernandes explained.
“Firstly, mobility. The focus of this priority is to make cities and communities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable (SDG 11), as well as to build resilient infrastructure and sustainable transport (SDG 9) (e.g., roads and bridges, rail and transit).”
Secondly, the environment which encompasses two main areas: ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all (SDG 6) while protecting, restoring and promoting sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems (SDG 15) (e.g., water and waste, resources).
“Thirdly, grids,” Fernandes added. “We primarily include technologies that can help provide access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy (SDG 7) (e.g., renewables, electricity grids, electrification and energy efficiency).
“Another important business priority for us will be the integration of life cycle assessment (LCA) and carbon footprint as an important component of our digital twins. We have started that journey by the new service and partnership with One Click LCA.”
Highlighting how the ecosystem can support increased customer appetite for transformation, Vivek Puthucode – Chief Partner Officer at Microsoft Asia Pacific – outlines the path to partner success. To read – click here.