“The biggest challenge to overcome is the lack of awareness of having to address challenges” Jake Layes, Director, Global Market Development Sustainability - AMER, APAC, Europe - ‎Autodesk

BW CIO talks to Jake Layes, Director, Global Market Development Sustainability - AMER, APAC, Europe - ‎Autodesk, about understanding sustainability and how it should be integrated at grass root levels of design in businesses.

Sustainability is not just an integral part of development but is at the core of business growth. Consumers are asking for products, buildings and cities that contribute to clean, green ways of living. Today’s markets choose brands that pro-actively pay attention to the impact their products and services can have. 

The challenge is in establishing a sustainable, responsible business, instituting an able value chain and increasing product quality and performance at the same time. Businesses are exploring avenues to ensure environment management and sustainability at grassroot level to propel growth. One of the keyplayers in this regard is Autodesk. 

BW CIO talks to Jake Layes, Director, Global Market Development Sustainability - AMER, APAC, Europe - ‎Autodesk, about understanding sustainability and how it should be integrated at grass root levels of design in businesses. 

Design technologies that can be at the vanguard to reduce the impact on the environment. Your take on the same?

Specifically for Buildings, the Insight energy performance analysis technology - it’s a cloud based tool that is a part of the Building Information Model that allows architects and engineers to identify the best possible energy performance of a building to identify the implications of lighting, air conditioning, the PV solar implications etc. and by doing this it helps to not only save energy but also money and conflicts because you have an integrated approach. For infrastructure, you can look at a bottomline analysis – look at tools which provide entire building block: energy, mobility where you can optimize transportation flow and emissions; in the manufacturing space you can help reduce material through, for example, light weighting. Generative Design is one of the tools where an algorithm helps with the most efficient and strongest way of building something with the least amount of materials. Its all about increasing the energy productivity and reducing waste and inefficiencies. 

How important is it for businesses in India to integrate sustainability at its core value?

It is tremendously important from an environmental point of view. It is important if you want to be the disruptor and a differentiator; if you can find an opportunity for yourself to grow – that is where you should be. If you are a laggard you will have higher challenges to overcome later on.

Embedding sustainability in businesses at a grassroot level of design.

The environmental impact of any product is mostly decided through the decisions you make at the design phase. You can improve them later, but it becomes costlier. If you are an architect and look at a building and know if you want to change a couple of degrees in order to improve how the sunlight comes in and heats up your building in the winter then you already have a matured, sophisticated decision that will provide better living for anyone. Better buildings mean healthier buildings which are more productive buildings where people like to live a healthy life. We need to look at a holistic and long-term approach – if you do an energy analysis early on, you can save so much more later.

What are the exceptions while addressing sustainability? 

The biggest challenge to overcome is the lack of awareness of having to address challenges. We are not in a time anymore where environmental performance is a nice thing to have. It is increasingly something that the next generation of consumers and workforce is demanding from companies that they buy products from and companies that they work with. This will force the private sector to look at this more specifically. 

It’s quite surprising that sometimes companies are very quick in realizing that this is more than just their own performance but actually an opportunity to become a leader. Its good design but it’s also good business.

It’s not about the “need to the environment” but save yourself first by integrating sustainability into your daily lifestyle.




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