How Businesses Can Benefit From the Digital Twin of Our Planet

How Businesses Can Benefit From the Digital Twin of Our Planet

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Preserving the delicate ecosystem of our precious planet has become one of the urgent imperatives. Though humankind has done significant damage to the delicate balance of earth’s ecosystem, the positive news is that the awareness of the urgency to undo the damage has increased significantly. Companies are playing their part by trying to balance their corporate objectives with environmental impact. However, just like the initiatives we undertake in the corporate world, it is important to understand the current state of our ecosystem and environment. Currently, environmental models are fragmented across research institutes and universities across the world. Though these institutes and agencies collaborate with each other, what is needed is one comprehensive picture of the current state of the environment. This article discusses how a digital twin of our planet can help businesses.

The Destination Earth project by the European commission aims to build that picture by developing a digital twin of our planet, in order to understand, monitor and predict the interaction between natural phenomenon and human activities. You can learn more about the project here . Once this model is live, and assuming the data will be available for corporations, businesses around the world can benefit from this digital twin.

The impact of this digital twin on businesses is twofold. One aspect is how companies can benefit from a digital twin of planet earth. As organizations invest in developing supply chain control towers to manage, control and execute their supply chains in real-time, leveraging data from this type of model can add significant value to these command centers. Here is a real-life example. Back in 2010, Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland erupted, causing a major air travel disruption since flights in Europe were grounded for weeks. However, an aspect that did not get highlighted back then, was supply chain disruption due to the eruption. I was fresh our of my supply chain masters program and hence did some research to understand the impact. But how could a digital twin help? When a volcano is about to erupt, there are corresponding climate changes. These changes can be used to predict the possibility and timeline of eruption. A simple example of parameters that can be indicators is that the temperature of volcanic lands increases before eruptions.

The second perspective is how organizations can contribute to this type of digital twin. As organizations invest in smart factories and smart supply chains, they also develop capabilities to capture their carbon footprint effectively. Sharing this data in real-time with the digital twin of the planet will not only demonstrate responsible transparency but the data can help further enhance the twin. An example is governments leveraging the data to understand how manufacturing hubs in specific regions are impacting the environment. This can help governments plan responsible and sustainable industrialization.

As technology allows us to develop capabilities like the ones mentioned in this article, opportunities to connect such models and initiatives also increase significantly. Whether it is internally within organizations, or at a much broader scale like this, eliminating visibility, planning and analytics silos are guaranteed to deliver transformational results.

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