Shifting the viewpoint of the sustainability pillars with mixed reality technology

Over the years, the concept of sustainability has expanded to include business, environmental and human impact aspects

However, a popular past misconception was that businesses had to forego the others while concentrating on one. While this thought process was the way things firmly stood, an increasing number of organisations in the market are now realising that these three pillars are actually able to support one another. For example, environmental initiatives can help the business  as well as its employees.

Numerous companies that are finding the new era of sustainability to be a struggle are not embracing this  this  point of view, and  generally view sustainability to be an expense rather than a transformational catalyst for the organisation. This is heightened by the fact that many organisations  are still managing their business in the same way they did a couple of decades ago.

 Harmonising to drive sustainability

Now, a variety of organisations are exploring how these three areas complement each other with some even now forming their entire strategic plan on sustainability while still supporting their employees. It’s a positive trend and one that organisations and the technology providers that also service them need to consider, while ensuring that they make a tangible difference to the environment.

Mixed reality technology, which is the combination of physical reality and digital content, facilitates communication between real-world and virtual objects, and is playing a vital role with these three pillars. Mixed reality technology has a positive impact on the bottom line as it removes the need for subject matter experts to travel and reduces production downtime.

Mixed reality is also helping the environment by enabling more output with the same level of input, while carbon emissions are reduced as engineers don’t physically attend a site to assist a worker in the field of visit a customer. Mixed reality technology is also making a difference to humans. Field workers can perform tasks correctly the first time, proving their continued relevance in their role and enhancing their morale and wellbeing in a time of automation. This is another example of how these pillars can work in tandem, as opposed to being in conflict with each other.

Considering ESG

Another vital factor when it comes to bringing the three pillars together is that it allows businesses to pursue their ESG targets. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) has shot up the corporate agenda in recent years, with 95% of S&P 500 companies publicly posting detailed ESG information on their website. However, many have strict targets that they’re struggling to meet, particularly with government-set zero emission targets adding additional pressure.

Mixed reality can also help in waste reduction when it comes to a variety of different resources. For example, where production downtime is reduced, or more output is produced with the same input, a positive impact on the environment is ensured as a direct change is made on the consumption of energy, metals and minerals, enabling more efficient practices.

Additionally, a business that  sends experts on planes around the world is going to rack up a number of air miles, particularly if there’s several people regularly doing so. Eradicating this need with technology, while still ensuring peer employees can work on projects or in different factories around the world helps to drive environmental benefits.

While an increasing number are seeing the benefits of using mixed reality technology in terms of sustainable practices and are validating and measuring their success on a small scale, it’s expected that this will grow. Numerous companies are expected to begin rolling out such technology en masse and the reaping of its benefits is expected to ensue.

While mixed reality may certainly not be the answer to every challenge a business has to deal with, it is a vital piece of the puzzle in the bid towards sustainability. In light of this, the implementation of mixed reality technology looks set to increase globally over the next few years. Currently those leading the way are businesses in sectors that have possibly been deemed as less green in their processes like the energy sector, aerospace and defence, and advanced manufacturing. As understanding and awareness of mixed reality technology increases, more businesses from various sectors will be set to reap the rewards, with an equal emphasis on these three pillars and how they work to sustain on another.

About the Author

Yan Simard is Chief Executive Officer at Kognitiv Spark. He is an entrepreneur and investor, with a diverse and successful work experience.  He has designed and led many innovative business ventures through his own start-ups or for others. He also has extensive professional experience with companies such as CGI, Zaptap, Vision Coaching, AIS, Incite Wellness, Bell Canada, Industrial Alliance, NBCC, Gameloft and Irving Oil.

Yan graduated with an MBA – IT Management from Université Laval. He is the proud father of 4 children and calls Fredericton, NB home.

Featured image: ©Chokniti