Last week saw the culmination of AspenTech’s annual management forums throughout the Asia Pacific region. In the span of a week, 150 industry leaders from across refining, chemical, utilities and renewable energy industries gathered for discussions in Mumbai, Seoul and Japan to learn, share and discuss how these asset-intensive industries are progressing strategies to become more sustainable.
Events in Mumbai and Seoul opened with AspenTech’s SVP and Chief Customer Officer, Manish Chawla delivering a keynote address on the challenges in meeting growing demands for resources, but in a sustainable way. In Tokyo, President and CEO Antonio Pietri echoed that theme in his address. Following the keynotes, Dr. Vikas Dhole, leader of AspenTech’s sustainability business, presented on how industries are innovating toward a sustainable future through co-innovation. Dr. Dhole also shared demonstrations of AspenTech’s solutions, which are structured to support a full range of sustainability pathways, including energy efficiency, emissions management, waste reduction and electrification among others.
|Image 1: CEO Antonio Pietri delivering the keynote
address at Japan Management Forum
Complementing AspenTech speakers were a series of guest speakers who also addressed sustainability and related topics. The Mumbai event featured Mr. Arun Cherian, a renowned TEDx speaker, CEO of Rise Bionics and inventor of the world’s first prosthetics made from cane. Mr. Cherian’s experience exemplified the Indian spirit of embracing diversity and turning it into opportunity via scalable approaches. During the Korea Management Forum, guest speaker Dr. Song Gil-Young spoke about a decade, post-pandemic, of accelerated change and strategies for remaining agile and relevant in the face of that.
The India event featured a panel discussion moderated by PRO MFG Media’s Niranjan Mudholkar. Joining him were Dr. Dhole, Emerson Automation India’s Jyotsna Joshi, Aditya Birla Group’s Priten Bangdiwala and Nayara Energy Limited’s Srinivas KRD. The group focused on the decarbonization of current energy systems versus the growth of renewables, highlighting that the energy transition mandates the balancing of several factors and the world cannot disconnect from the current hydrocarbon-based energy system before building a new one based on clean energy.
Four key takeaways from the discussion were:
- Digitalization strategies are necessary to lead in sustainability, advance and scale in innovation and unlock the full potential of industrial data
- Co-innovation and regional co-operation within the industry are necessary to expedite the development, deployment and scaling Industrial AI-enabled sustainability solutions
- There is a need to embrace adversity and turn it into opportunity via frugal innovation
- A sensitive and sensible balancing act is necessary as the world cannot unplug from the current hydrocarbon-based energy system before building a new one
At the Tokyo event, the panel discussion focused on circularity—outlining the challenges and issues that companies, researchers and governments need to address. Setting the tone for the panel, Mr. Shogo Tanaka from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) shared on the “Circular Economy in the Green Transformation Era.” In the early 2000s, Japan coined the phrase "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle"—the 3Rs. Tanaka-san spoke about METI’s policy on "Growth-Oriented Resource Autonomous Economy Strategy" to shift from a linear economy of mass production, mass consumption and mass disposal to a circular economy.
The panel was then moderated by Dr. Yuichi Moriguchi from the National Institute of Environmental Studies, with panelists that included Dr. Dhole, METI’s Mr. Tanaka, Asahi Kasei Corporation’s Mr. Kazuya Noda, and RECOTECH’s Mr. Ei Nozaki.
Special Commemorative Gift in India
To achieve transformation and drive sustainability goals, industry leaders need to go beyond traditional best practices, push the boundaries of digital transformation, spearhead innovation and institute cultural changes within their organization. In recognition of their visionary leadership, AspenTech partnered with Pro MFG Media in India to produce an industry-first commemorative book entitled ‘Icons of Transformation,’ featuring perspectives from 30 leaders from across the Indian process industry. The book was launched during the India Management Forum and copies were then distributed to the attendees.
|Image 2: Launch of an industry-first book
titled ‘Icons of Transformation’
In closing, there is unity in diversity when it comes to sustainability. Asset-intensive companies and industries can explore new co-innovation opportunities, as AspenTech enables companies to advance with a wide array of sustainability pathways.