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On Earth Day: What We Must Do for Ourselves and Our Planet

Saving the world won’t be an easy task.

What 7.9 billion people do every day to live, work and raise their families has taken an extreme toll on our planet, and now almost everyone recognizes that fundamental changes must happen to safeguard its future. It simply is not sustainable to deplete our natural resources/create waste from that usage at the devastating rate that we are.

How did all of this devastation happen? And how has it accelerated so much over just the past few decades? Much of it can be attributed to population growth. It’s estimated that 385,000 babies are born every day; and daily, 150,000 people die. That gives us a net gain of 235,000 new humans each and every day.

Think about it. It took us from the dawn of time to 1804 to add about a billion people to the population. Since 2000, we’ve added 2 billion people alone. The demand for gasoline, electricity, water, housing, electronics and food is moving swiftly up and to the right.

We have cities running out of groundwater. In India alone, there are 21 cities that are running out of water! But this isn’t only an emerging market problem. Cape Town, Sao Paulo, Beijing, London, Tokyo and Miami are all big, big modern cities that are facing water shortages.

In fact, we are using the resources of two planets. Unless you tell me that we have an extra planet hidden away somewhere, this is clearly not sustainable. Is conservation the solution? Well, conservation is an important factor, but when we’re already running out of resources and we keep adding more than 1.6 million+ people a week to the equation, we will not fix our problems by conservation alone.

To not need two earths’ worth of resources, we need to be twice as good – twice as efficient, twice as productive. The industries that we serve are at the very crux of the dilemma and the resolution: oil and gas, metals and mining, utilities, power, marine and shipbuilding, food and beverage, chemical, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals.

Not that long ago, many companies considered sustainability initiatives’ cost a detractor to profitability. It almost seemed a luxury. Thankfully today, a growing number of businesses in the industries listed above know that success is compatible with addressing the environmental challenges of the delicate world in which we now live.

Hexagon provides software solutions to not only improve our customers’ bottom lines but also make enormous strides toward improving safety and eliminating waste as it builds toward an increasingly smart, autonomous, connected future.

We are working to help our customers achieve zero emissions in the architecture, engineering and construction industry. Smart buildings and infrastructure projects are optimized to reduce rework and build to plan – on time and on budget – while protecting human and material resources throughout the life of the asset.

By reducing human error during shift handover – the riskiest time of the day in large process plants – fewer workplace accidents happen, which saves lives and the ecosystem. When the companies that extract oil and gas can comply with federal safety monitoring regulations, we can keep millions of gallons of oil from spilling into the environment.

From the design to the construction to the operations and maintenance of these giant assets that produce what we need to power and feed our global community, we are helping make smarter use of the earth’s resources by unleashing data to do its greatest work … boosting efficiency, quality and safety.

Happy Earth Day to you today and every day.

About the Author

As president of Hexagon’s Asset Lifecycle Intelligence division, Mattias Stenberg is responsible for the global strategic direction and overall business development of the company. He has an MBA in economics from Linköping University and a degree in computer sciences from Stockholm University, both in Sweden.

Profile Photo of Mattias Stenberg